Saturday, June 23, 2012

Player of the Fortnight

As a professional scout told me years ago, to check which players are playing at the top of their game, all one needs to look at are stats from the past two weeks.

While Major League Baseball announces winners of Player of the Week and Player of the Month for each league, here's our take of who have been the best players over the past 14 days.

NL Batter of the Fortnight
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
The past two weeks have shown some outstanding hitters. Beltran, Joey Votto, Aaron Hill, Ryan Braun, and even Tyler Colvin had prominent placement on different leader boards. All in all, we awarded Beltran mostly for his .540 OBP with some power.

Carlos Beltran started as a Royal. This year, he's shining on the
other side of the I-70 series, with a 1.003 OPS against KC.

NL Pitcher of the Fortnight
R.A. Dickey, Mets
Was there any doubt? He leads the league with a 0.00 ERA, 1.25 xFIP, and 12.50 K/9. There's plenty to read about Dickey's recent success all over the Internet. So, let's just move on.

R.A. Dickey hasn't shaved in a long time.

AL Batter of the Fortnight
Trevor Plouffe, Twins
It's nice to see our biggest dark horse "star" from the June Swoons and Stars post producing at such a high level. The Tins third baseman is just a few points behind Ben Zobrist in wRC+ and wOBA, but Plouffe played in 3 more games and hit 6 HR's to Zobrist's 3. Another contender was Jose Bautista, who hit 7 HR's. While we aren't fans of the batting average stat, it's something when Plouffe is at .383 and Bautista's is .282.

Trevor Plouffe is one of the few bright spots for the 2012 Twins.

AL Pitcher of the Fortnight
Yu Darvish, Rangers
Two wins in two starts, a 10.7 K/9, 69.4 GB%, and league leading 2.16 xFIP wrap the award up for the year's best Japanese Import. These were his two starts against National League competition, the Astros and Padres. Maybe we should have rewarded someone with stiffer competition, like Justin Masterson or CC Sabathia.

One more interesting note on Darvish, while we're here. He's had much more success pitching to Yorvit Torrealba than Mike Napoli. Look at some of these numbers:

to Napoli: 45.3 ip, 23 ER, 16 xBH, 30 BB, 45 K, .807 OPS
to Torrealba: 43.3 ip, 11 ER, 8 xBH, 19 BB, 51 K, .556 OPS

Lots of strikeouts and ground balls
make for good pitching in any language.

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