FanPost

Debating Leadoff

Now that the tea leaves are indicated Nyjer's time as an everyday'r are done, there is a void left behind by the player described as the Nationals' only prototypical leadoff hitter. Each of the remaining candidates is flawed in some way but common sense indicates that either Ian Desmond or Danny Espinosa possess the skillset most suited for the job. Below is a 2010 comparison of the two along with the player I would most like to see assigned the job, Wilson Ramos:

2010 Statistics from FanGraphs, ranked in comparison to each other (lower=better):

 

PA

BAA

OBP

SLG

BB/K

ISO

Espinosa

112

3

3

1

3

1

Desmond

154

2

1

3

2

3

Ramos

82

1

2

2

1

2

Clearly each stat is not as important for the next, for example it can be argued that OBP is much more important than SLG for the leadoff hitter but each player had so few PA it's tough to make a decent comparison. Anyway, I'd rather see the player hit a double than try to steal 2nd (maybe I've just become basestealing-adverse).

Espinosa

11

Desmond

11

Ramos

8

While only best in batting average and BB/K, Ramos was the least flawed of the three as Espinosa seemed lacking in plate discipline while Desmond was lowest in power (importance of power at leadoff is of course debatable).

Oddly, while Ramos had the highest BB/K, he might not have the best plate discipline swinging more at pitches out of the zone and getting more first pitch strikes:


O-Swing%

F-Strike%

Espinosa

31.00%

57.10%

Desmond

33.20%

61.90%

Ramos

38.10%

63.40%

I would say that the discord between BB/K and these is due to the sample size. Steal attempts even more so:


SB/SB Attempts

Espinosa

0/2

Desmond

17/22

Ramos

0/0

Probably more questions than answers for Ramos but Wilson at least would provide a bonus:


GIDP/PA

Rodriguez

5.94%

Ramos

2.44%

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