Thursday, July 07, 2005

Berroa and Winning - A Scary Fact

I have a tendency to focus on certain players throughout a season. Either because I like them (DeJesus, Costa), am frustrated by them (Berroa) or fascinated by them (Greinke). As such, it is probably no suprise that after winning two straight games I could not help but notice that Angel Berroa went 5-7 in those two wins. And of course, that sent me looking into stats.

In 28 wins, Angel Berroa is 43-177 for a .368 batting average. In games the Royals lost, Angel is 38-209 for a .182 batting average. Now, obviously there is a lot more going on to contribute to wins than just Berroa getting hits and in stands to reason that the more guys getting hits, the more likely a team is to win. Without devoting my day to it, my guess is that there are a majority of players who have higher averages in games won by their teams than in those lost, but I found this split (nearly 200 points) to be rather dramatic. For a little more fun, Berroa has registered at least one hit in 56 games this year: the Royals are 28-28 in those games. I freely admit this is a fairly skinny statistical analysis, but it does point out how much better this team would be if Angel Berroa 2003 was playing instead of Angel Berroa 2005.

Anyway, moving on. As I mentioned above, I like Shane Costa. He just looks like a hitter to me. Once he learns that just because his quick bat can get to the inside pitches does not mean he has to swing at them, I believe Costa could be very, very solid. At the minimum, good enough to hold down left field in 2006 as we wait for Butler, Maier, Gordon to arrive.

Interesting stat on Shane. In 66 plate appearances, he has encounterd 49 0-1 counts. Of those 49, however, only 13 times (26.5%) has the he fallen behind 0-2. By comparision, our favorite whipping boy Angel Berroa has let an 0-1 count go to 0-2 121 out of 227 times (53.3%). As Angel is an easy one to look statiscally superior to, let's take a look at David DeJesus. He has gone from an 0-1 count to 0-2 49.7% of the time (93 out of 187). Now, the one problem you can see is that 74% of the time Costa is behind 0-1, compared to just 55% for DeJesus and 65% for Berroa. This past weekend, we document Angel's production decline paralleling his increase in 0-2 counts, so Costa's ability to stay away from 0-2 is important.

More fun stats on Costa. His 5 strikeouts in 66 plate appearances, just 7.6%, compares very favorably to Berroa's 17.7% strikeout percentage (seems like more doesn't it?) and DeJesus's 13.5%. Even as far back as college, Shane has had a very low strikeout number. Although Costa has not and probably will not ever get a lot of walks, he does work the count. Almost one quarter of his plate appearances have gone to a full count (24.2%), while Angel goes full just 10.3% of the time and DeJesus 13.5% of the time. I have no idea if getting a lot of full counts is good or bad, although the more pitches you see generally the better idea you have of hitting a pitcher, but if we assume Costa may someday be a number 2 hitter you would like his ability to work the count. In the same area, Costa's pitches per plate appearance rival that of DeJesus, who I think does a pretty decent job of working counts himself. DeJesus checks in at 3.61 pitches per appearance, Costa at 3.59 and Berroa at 3.46. Bottom line, trade or no trade, come August 1st Shane Costa should be our everyday leftfielder.

One final note, D.J. Carrasco and Runelvys Hernandez may not have been anywhere near to lights out in their starts, but those two guys go to battle for you. If the Royals can ever get to where these two are our number 3 and 4 starters, we will have a very good rotation.


At 9:22 AM, Blogger Craig Brown said...

Very nice!

I was wondering the same thing about Berroa. I've been as hard on him as anyone, but it is a freaky coincidence. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to doubt that we'll ever see Angel, v.2003.

And I'm a Costa fan as well. The guy plays the game the right way. You're right about him being a good placeholder in left.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger cfos said...

I was trying to remain upbeat about Berroa returning to 2003 form until about a month ago. I think you're right that we will never see that form again.


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