Tuesday, May 31, 2011

AL All Star Voters Out at 1B

So far at the All Star ballot box, American League fans have gotten a lot of things right. Jerome Mancuso and Pedro Franco have been the best hitters at their positions and lead in All Star voting. The latest in sabremetric analysis shows that at First Base and Right Field, the other ‘offensive’ positions, the voting results have so far been, well, offensive. At First and in Right, vote leaders Sean Holt and Javier Rios have done well this season posting weighted on base averages (wOBA) and Wins Above Average (WAA*) of and .390 and 1.85 and .380 and 1.44 respectively. The problem is that other hitters have done better, and it’s not really close. Making matters worse, the voters’ second choices of Pablo Rosa and Juan Baez are even farther off the mark.
Pawtuckett 1B Ajax Warley shouldn’t have All Star weekend off. Yet to win any major award, he is the best hitting First baseman the AL, worth about 2.4 WAA with a wOBA of 417. It’s not as though the fans are taking park factors into account either; Tacoma’s Jude Harris has a wOBA of .397 and 2 WAA playing in a very pitcher friendly environment.
In Right Field, Javier Rios trails 4 other Right Fielders on offense. Norfolk’s Fernando Rojas has accounted for 2.48 WAA – a full win more than current vote leader Rios - and has a wOBA of .419, but hasn’t been a factor in the All Star Voting.
No fault of the fans but worst of all, Quilvio Suarez, whose big bat has been worth 3.6 WAA so far this season – the second best in the AL – is squeezed out of the only DH spot by Pedro Franco’s 5.41 WAA monster first half.

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