Monday, May 4, 2009

Yuniesky Betancourt: How Is This Possible?

Yuniesky Betancourt is a unique player. As the great Rob Neyer pointed out this morning, Betancourt has 0 walks in 25 games this season; a statistic that seems almost hard to believe considering the sabermetric age we live in.

After looking at Betancourt's 2009 stats, I noticed that his batting average is actually higher than his OBP. I honestly never thought that this was possible. Almost every baseball player has a higher OBP than batting average because batting Average counts only Hits, while OBP includes not only hits, but walks and hit by pitch as well.

But upon further review, I discovered that this was entirely possible and that Brewers catcher Mike Rivera was another member of the "higher OBP than batting average" club. But Rivera only has 13 at bats, which is nothing compared to the 91 at bats that Betancourt has so far.

So what is the reason why a batting average can be lower than OBP? Sacrifices.

WSJ.com:
"sacrifice fly outs are factored into on-base percentage, while sacrifice bunts, considered offensive strategy sent in by the manager, are subtracted. The reasoning is that a sacrifice fly isn't really a sacrifice, rather a player who is trying to get a hit but fails with the exception of making a deep enough out to drive in a run."
On the season, Betancourt has one sacrifice bunt, one sacrifice fly, and as I mentioned before, no walks. We'll see how long Betancourt is able to keep this up for, but it probably won't be for long. So enjoy it while you can, stat geeks!

Over/under on Betancourt walks this season: 8

Any takers?

6 comments:

Zach Sanders said...

If you have to watch him play everyday like I do, you would believe it.

Yuni has absolutely no discipline or plan at the plate, and will swing at any and everything thrown at him. It is awful to watch.

Josh said...

Zach,
I feel your pain. Does his defensive ability make up for his inability to get on base?

Zach Sanders said...

What defensive ability?

His UZR numbers:
2005 - 2.1
2006 - 0.7
2007 - -1.4
2008 - -12.7
2009 - -27.1

Everyone was hyping his defensive ability when he was called up, and he hasn't lived up to it. He routinely misplays balls, and is actually one of the worst fielders in baseball (so says UZR).

I cannot wait for the Ronny Cedeno era at SS.

Josh said...

So then why do the Mariners keep playing him?

And true, Cedeno is a great defensive player, but can he hit enough to man the position adequately?

Zach Sanders said...

The dreaded "P" word has been floated around Yuni. Stupid potential.

Doubtful that Cedeno has what it takes offensively to start. Carlos Triunfel should be up in the majors in the next two years (could have been one, but he's out for awhile with an injury), and there is still a chance they draft one at #2 this year.

Josh said...

Zach,
If Cedeno isn't the shortstop of the future, then why would they trade Heilman? Are they that high on Olson?