Weekly Stats Leaders
The QUAD and K/100P leaders have been updated at the bottom of our sidebar. Albert Pujols maintained the lead in slugging average (.803), times on base (80), and total bases (114), but fell to second place in on-base percentage (.447, behind Barry Bonds' .479).
Pujols is actually leading MLB in those three departments, bettering the AL leaders in SLG (Jim Thome, .685), TOB (Derek Jeter, 82), and TB (Miguel Tejada, 103). Jason Giambi tops the junior circuit in OBP (.476). After giving way to Thome in SLG last week, Giambi dropped into a tie for third in TOB (79).
Thome and Travis Hafner are clearly having the best seasons offensively in the AL. Thome is first in SLG, fourth in OBP (.434), T3 in TOB (79), and T2 in TB (98). Hafner is third in OBP (.435) and SLG (.645), second in TOB (81), and T2 in TB (98). Both players are on teams in the AL Central, hit left-handed, and serve as DHs. Thome was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 13th round of the 1989 amateur draft and hit .287/.414/.567 with 334 HR and more than 900 runs, RBI, and BB during a span that covered 1991-2002.
Speaking of leaders, how much money could you have won for picking Brad Ausmus to rank fourth in OBP at this juncture of the season? Believe it or not but the man with a lifetime OBP of .328 has been getting on base at a clip better than 43% of the time thus far in 2006. Ausmus is hitting a relatively hollow .336 but has walked more often than he has struck out (16 to 15).
Bill Hall is also exceeding expectations. His .635 slugging average tops everyone in the NL other than Pujols and Matt Holliday (.643). Had someone told you that two Colorado players whose last names start with the letter "H" were in the top 10 in the Quad categories, is there one person outside Holliday's and Brad Hawpe's families who would not have guessed Todd Helton would be one of them? Holliday is second in SLG and TB (108), while Hawpe is sixth in OBP (.422), fifth in SLG (.625), T10 in TOB (73), and T4 in TB (95). Pretty heady stuff.
With respect to surprises, how about Casey Blake and Alexis Rios ranking second in the AL in OBP (.440) and SLG (.664), respectively? I know there were a lot of skeptics who thought Blake was a weak link in Cleveland's offense and that Rios was better suited to be a fourth outfielder despite his tools.
On the pitching side, Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana once again are leading their leagues in strikeouts per 100 pitches. Martinez has the best K/100P in the majors with a phenomenal 7.84, or 0.70 better than Santana's MLB-leading rate last year.
At the request of a reader, I am providing the entire rankings (from 1-99) for K/100P. Among qualified pitchers, the league average is 4.18 and the median is 4.07.
PLAYER TEAM K/100P Pedro Martinez NYM 7.84 Johan Santana Min 7.49 Chris Capuano Mil 6.45 Cory Lidle Phi 6.31 Jeremy Bonderman Det 6.30 Carlos Zambrano ChC 6.28 Aaron Harang Cin 6.02 Mike Mussina NYY 5.86 Dave Bush Mil 5.83 Scott Kazmir TB 5.81 John Smoltz Atl 5.63 Jake Peavy SD 5.35 Curt Schilling Bos 5.22 Chris Carpenter StL 5.12 Cliff Lee Cle 5.08 Tom Glavine NYM 5.06 John Lackey LAA 5.04 Chan Ho Park SD 5.00 Sean Marshall ChC 4.88 Brandon Webb Ari 4.85 Bronson Arroyo Cin 4.85 Vicente Padilla Tex 4.84 Kelvim Escobar LAA 4.84 Greg Maddux ChC 4.82 Javier Vazquez CWS 4.71 Scott Baker Min 4.70 Dan Haren Oak 4.70 Kevin Millwood Tex 4.68 Brett Myers Phi 4.67 Tim Hudson Atl 4.67 Ervin Santana LAA 4.66 Ted Lilly Tor 4.59 Brandon Claussen Cin 4.57 Chris Young SD 4.57 Andy Pettitte Hou 4.56 Brad Penny LA 4.54 Ian Snell Pit 4.53 Jon Lieber Phi 4.50 Josh Beckett Bos 4.48 Jason Schmidt SF 4.46 Miguel Batista Ari 4.44 Matt Clement Bos 4.34 Jeff Francis Col 4.31 Jason Jennings Col 4.28 Nate Robertson Det 4.26 Gil Meche Sea 4.23 Randy Johnson NYY 4.20 Roy Halladay Tor 4.10 John Thomson Atl 4.09 Tim Wakefield Bos 4.07 Barry Zito Oak 4.00 Clay Hensley SD 3.95 Roy Oswalt Hou 3.94 Tony Armas Was 3.92 Wandy Rodriguez Hou 3.91 Mark Mulder StL 3.85 Zach Duke Pit 3.83 Brett Tomko LA 3.81 Victor Santos Pit 3.81 Jamie Moyer Sea 3.80 Livan Hernandez Was 3.72 John Koronka Tex 3.71 Kenny Rogers Det 3.60 Rodrigo Lopez Bal 3.60 Justin Verlander Det 3.60 Erik Bedard Bal 3.53 Jamey Wright SF 3.52 Dontrelle Willis Fla 3.51 Brad Radke Min 3.50 Doug Davis Mil 3.47 Jeff Suppan StL 3.46 Jake Westbrook Cle 3.45 Jeff Weaver LAA 3.41 Freddy Garcia CWS 3.41 Steve Trachsel NYM 3.39 Jose Contreras CWS 3.32 Paul Maholm Pit 3.30 Josh Towers Tor 3.20 Derek Lowe LA 3.16 Kris Benson Bal 3.14 Josh Fogg Col 3.14 Joe Blanton Oak 3.13 Seth McClung TB 3.10 Aaron Cook Col 3.08 Paul Byrd Cle 3.04 Mike Maroth Det 2.98 Jon Garland CWS 2.97 Matt Morris SF 2.90 Jarrod Washburn Sea 2.83 Joel Pineiro Sea 2.78 Kameron Loe Tex 2.76 Mark Buehrle CWS 2.72 Chien-Ming Wang NYY 2.72 Scott Elarton KC 2.67 Jason Marquis StL 2.59 Jason Johnson Cle 2.48 Ramon Ortiz Was 2.09 Carlos Silva Min 1.92 Casey Fossum TB 1.87
The White Sox have four starters with below-average K/100P. Only Javier Vazquez sports a respectable rate. The team's strong pitching is more a testament to its outstanding defense as well an ability to keep the ball in the yard. It may also be a function of the fact that CWS starters are allowed to pitch deeper into games than any other staff. The Pale Hose are first in the Beane Count, ranking no worse than fifth in the league in walks and home runs, offensively and defensively.