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2005 OQ Report

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2005 OQ REPORT

2005 OFFENSIVE LEADERS BY POSITION

AMERICAN LEAGUE  
     
C Jason Varitek  
1B Mark Teixeira  
2B Brian Roberts  
SS Michael Young  
3B Alex Rodriguez  
LF Manny Ramirez  
CF Grady Sizemore  
RF Vladimir Guerrero  
DH David Ortiz  


NATIONAL LEAGUE  
     
C Michael Barrett  
1B Derek Lee  
2B Chase Utley  
SS Felipe Lopez  
3B Morgan Ensberg  
LF Jason Bay  
CF Jim Edmonds  
RF Brian Giles  

Bold
indicates 2004 leaders.

To qualify for this list, a player must play at least half his team’s games at the defensive position indicated.

2005 AMERICAN LEAGUE OQ LEADERS

 
Rank
 
Player
Team
OQ
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
Rodriguez
NY
160
 
 
2
 
Ortiz
BOS
158
 
 
3
 
Giambi
NY
156
 
 
4
 
Hafner
CLE
156
 
 
5
 
Ramirez
BOS
149
 
 
6
 
Guerrero
LA
143
 
 
7
 
Teixeira
TEX
141
 
 
8
 
Sexson
SEA
136
 
 
9
 
Konerko
CHI
135
 
 
10
 
Roberts
BAL
133
 
 
 
 
 
11
 
Dellucci
TEX
131
 
 
12
 
Sheffield
NY
131
 
 
13
 
Young
TEX
129
 
 
14
 
Peralta
CLE
128
 
 
15
 
Varitek
BOS
124
 
 
16
 
Matsui
NY
123
 
 
17
 
Martinez
CLE
122
 
 
18
 
Sweeney
KC
120
 
 
19
 
Tejada
BAL
119
 
 
20
 
Jeter
NY
118
 
 
 
 
 
21
 
Dye
CHI
116
 
 
22
 
Sizemore
CLE
114
 
 
23
 
Gibbons
BAL
114
 
 
24
 
Mora
BAL
112
 
 
25
 
Posada
NY
110
 
 
26
 
Mueller
BOS
110
 
 
27
 
Soriano
TEX
110
 
 
28
 
Crisp
CLE
110
 
 
29
 
Ibanez
SEA
110
 
 
30
 
Damon
BOS
110
 
 
 
 
 
31
 
Chavez
OAK
109
 
 
32
 
Brown
KC
109
 
 
33
 
Mauer
MIN
109
 
 
34
 
Mench
TEX
109
 
 
35
 
DeJesus
KC
109
 
 
36
 
Cantu
TB
106
 
 
37
 
Swisher
OAK
106
 
 
38
 
Wells
TOR
106
 
 
39
 
Iguchi
CHI
105
 
 
40
 
Crawford
TB
105
 
 
 
 
 
41
 
Young
DET
105
 
 
42
 
Suzuki
SEA
104
 
 
43
 
Zaun
TOR
104
 
 
44
 
Belliard
CLE
103
 
 
45
 
Matthews
TEX
103
 
 
46
 
Broussard
CLE
102
 
 
47
 
Monroe
DET
102
 
 
48
 
Hinske
TOR
102
 
 
49
 
Millar
BOS
102
 
 
50
 
Jones
MIN
102
 
 
 
 
 
51
 
Lugo
TB
102
 
 
52
 
Inge
DET
101
 
 
53
 
Figgins
LA
100
 
 
54
 
Hillenbrand
TOR
100
 
 
55
 
Everett
CHI
100
 
 
56
 
Cano
NY
100
 
 
57
 
Huff
TB
99
 
 
58
 
Blalock
TEX
99
 
 
59
 
Morneau
MIN
99
 
 
60
 
Blake
CLE
98
 
 
 
 
 
61
 
Kotsay
OAK
97
 
 
62
 
Anderson
LA
95
 
 
63
 
Hudson
TOR
94
 
 
64
 
Renteria
BOS
94
 
 
65
 
Adams
TOR
94
 
 
66
 
Uribe
CHI
92
 
 
67
 
Rodriguez
DET
92
 
 
68
 
Beltre
SEA
92
 
 
69
 
Williams
NY
91
 
 
70
 
Rowand
CHI
91
 
 
 
 
 
71
 
Ford
MIN
90
 
 
72
 
Podsednik
CHI
89
 
 
73
 
Stewart
MIN
89
 
 
74
 
Teahen
KC
88
 
 
75
 
Rios
TOR
88
 
 
76
 
Erstad
LA
88
 
 
77
 
Hatteberg
OAK
87
 
 
78
 
Reed
SEA
87
 
 
79
 
Boone
CLE
84
 
 
80
 
Cabrera
LA
84
 
 
 
 
 
81
 
Kendall
OAK
80
 
 
82
 
Berroa
KC
79
 

The 2005 American League base-to-out ratio was .698.

This list includes every player who had at least 3 (at bats + walks) for each game his team played.

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2005 NATIONAL LEAGUE OQ LEADERS

 
Rank
 
Player
Team
OQ
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
Lee
CHI
175
 
 
2
 
Pujols
STL
167
 
 
3
 
Helton
COL
158
 
 
4
 
Bay
PIT
150
 
 
5
 
Delgado
FLA
149
 
 
6
 
Berkman
HOU
147
 
 
7
 
Ensberg
HOU
145
 
 
8
 
Giles
SD
145
 
 
9
 
Dunn
CIN
144
 
 
10
 
Edmonds
STL
143
 
 
 
 
 
11
 
Cabrera
FLA
143
 
 
12
 
Griffey
CIN
143
 
 
13
 
Burrell
PHI
137
 
 
14
 
Abreu
PHI
137
 
 
15
 
Utley
PHI
136
 
 
16
 
Wright
NY
136
 
 
17
 
Jones,A
ATL
134
 
 
18
 
Ramirez
CHI
134
 
 
19
 
Johnson
WAS
134
 
 
20
 
Glaus
ARI
133
 
 
 
 
 
21
 
Kent
LA
131
 
 
22
 
Tracy
ARI
130
 
 
23
 
Jenkins
MIL
126
 
 
24
 
Floyd
NY
124
 
 
25
 
Holliday
COL
121
 
 
26
 
Lopez
CIN
120
 
 
27
 
Overbay
MIL
119
 
 
28
 
Green
ARI
118
 
 
29
 
Gonzalez
ARI
118
 
 
30
 
Hall
MIL
117
 
 
 
 
 
31
 
Giles
ATL
117
 
 
32
 
Lee
MIL
114
 
 
33
 
Klesko
SD
113
 
 
34
 
Lane
HOU
111
 
 
35
 
Lawton
CHI
109
 
 
36
 
Wilson
WAS
108
 
 
37
 
Casey
CIN
108
 
 
38
 
Guillen
WAS
108
 
 
39
 
Castillo
FLA
108
 
 
40
 
Randa
CIN/SD
107
 
 
 
 
 
41
 
Encarnacion
FLA
107
 
 
42
 
Durham
SF
107
 
 
43
 
Furcal
ATL
107
 
 
44
 
Wilkerson
WAS
107
 
 
45
 
LaRoche
ATL
106
 
 
46
 
Clark
MIL
105
 
 
47
 
Biggio
HOU
104
 
 
48
 
Atkins
COL
104
 
 
49
 
Burnitz
CHI
103
 
 
50
 
Rollins
PHI
102
 
 
 
 
 
51
 
Beltran
NY
101
 
 
52
 
Eckstein
STL
100
 
 
53
 
Counsell
ARI
99
 
 
54
 
Mackowiak
PIT
96
 
 
55
 
Castilla
WAS
95
 
 
56
 
Feliz
SF
94
 
 
57
 
Grudzielanek
STL
94
 
 
58
 
Vizquel
SF
89
 
 
59
 
Bell
PHI
86
 
 
60
 
Lowell
FLA
86
 
 
 
 
 
61
 
Reyes
NY
85
 
 
62
 
Clayton
ARI
84
 
 
63
 
Pierre
FLA
83
 
 
64
 
Perez
CHI
83
 
 
65
 
Wilson,J
PIT
81
 
 
66
 
Everett
HOU
79
 
 
67
 
Taveras
HOU
78
 

The 2005 National League base-to-out ratio was .690.

This list includes every player who had at least 3 (at bats + walks) for each game his team played.

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A POWER OUTRAGE

Was it a coincidence that the first year of the steroid-testing era witnessed a puzzling reduction in power from certain erstwhile behemoths of the game? Here’s a look at these suddenly enfeebled players, complete with their alibis, when available.

PLAYER (AGE)
2004 AB/HR
2005 AB/HR
EXCUSE
 
Moises Alou (39)
15.4
22.5
Ballpark, getting old
Carlos Beltran (28)
15.8
36.4
Ballpark
Adrian Beltre (26)
12.5
31.7
Ballpark
Vinny Castilla (38)
16.7
41.2
Ballpark, getting old
Steve Finley (40)
17.4
33.8
Ballpark, getting old
Brian Giles (34)
26.5
36.3
?
Todd Helton (32)
17.1
25.5
?
Aubrey Huff (28)
20.7
26.1
?
Mike Lowell (31)
22.1
62.5
?
Ivan Rodriguez (33)
27.7
36.0
Getting old
Scott Rolen (30)
14.7
39.2
Injuries
Sammy Sosa (36)
13.7
27.1
Ballpark, injuries
Jim Thome (35)
12.1
27.6
Injuries
 

On the other hand, Florida’s Juan Pierre is and has always been the very definition of what the Japanese call a “benjo hitter.” He bats at the top of the order but almost never hits for extra bases and won’t take a walk. If his batting average is below .300, he’s not helping you. This year he hit .276 (83 OQ). One good thing about Pierre: he’ll never be suspended for violating any anti-steroid policy baseball is likely to implement.

Sadly, physical problems dimmed the luster of the two leading lights of baseball’s next (post-steroids?) generation of power hitters, the aptly named Jamal Strong (Seattle) and Terrmel Sledge (Washington).

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RUSSELL BRANYAN FOLLOWUP

Russell Branyan will be 30 in December, and it doesn’t look as if anyone’s going to offer him a job as a regular. He posted typical Russell Branyan numbers again for the Brewers in a platoon role, but time is running out. I’ll update what I said last year:

During the past eight seasons Branyan has played for the Indians, Reds, and Brewers, nonwinners all, but he’s never had a full-time major league job.

Although a mediocre defensive player, he’s no worse than a guy like Adam Dunn, and he’s versatile in the field. He can play third base, first base, or a corner outfield position.

Like Dunn, Branyan bats lefthanded. They say he can’t hit lefthanded pitchers, but he’s never had a real chance to prove it.

Like Dunn, Branyan strikes out a lot. But Dunn has a full-time job. Why not Branyan? I’d like to see some team put Branyan in the lineup and leave him there for a full season. Make him the DH if you must, but give him full-time work. Give him one fair shot to see what he can do in an entire season!

Branyan’s production per 500 at bats, 708 minor league games:

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
AVG
BB
SO
BTOR
  
500
89
128
24
4
39
105
.256
73
190
.941

Branyan’s production per 500 at bats, 536 major league games:

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
AVG
BB
SO
BTOR
  
500
68
116
25
2
32
81
.232
68
204
.805

This type of season would produce an OQ of about 115. That’s baseline, and there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t improve on that with full-time duty.

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A SHORT STOP IN BETWEEN

All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez turned 30 this season. He’d be playing shortstop for any team but the New York Yankees, who feature one of the great money players of all time, Derek Jeter (age 31), at short. Both men are mortal locks for Hall of Fame selection. They could walk away from the game today and be elected to Cooperstown in five years, no sweat.

Nomar Garciaparra, who was once mentioned in the same breath as these two stalwarts, has stalled out. He’s just another infielder now, playing second fiddle to shortstop Neifi Perez and third baseman Aramis Ramirez for the sub-mediocre Chicago Cubs. Now 32, he has accumulated just 4363 at bats. Garciaparra will have to jump-start his game significantly to regain All-Star status, and that’s a tall order for a guy as injury-prone as he is. At this juncture, his Hall of Fame chances are nil.

What other contemporary shortstops might be riding the Cooperstown express? Edgar Renteria is only 30 and has 5500 fairly productive at bats and a couple of gold gloves while playing for winning teams. Miguel “King Vitaman” Tejada is 29, has swung a potent bat, and has been durable. Tejada, by the way, is the only player of value Baltimore has to show for its wild free agent spending of the last two years, while the team remains in the tank. Hope he’s enjoying the money, because he won’t be showcasing his skills in postseason play again as long as he wears an Oriole uniform.

No one is talking about Omar Vizquel, but baseball’s oldest regular shortstop turned in a solid season for the Giants. Vizquel’s career almost stacks up to that of Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. Smith’s last year as a regular was 1994, when he was 39. Vizquel will be 39 next April. Vizquel has averaged a 92 OQ during his career, and he has won 9 Gold Gloves. Ozzie’s average OQ was 95, and he won 13 Gold Gloves. Both men played on championship teams. If Vizquel can bank two more seasons as a regular, he has a chance for eventual enshrinement.

Who’s the shortstop of the future? I’m voting for the Mariners’ 23-year-old Cuban émigré sensation Yuniesky Betancourt. Word is that a few Seattle moms have already named their newborns Yuniesky.

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THAT LITTLE OLD OUTMAKER, ME

In 2005 Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, by making 500 or more outs, joined an exclusive club whose members have only numbered 6 since 1984.

For the purposes of calculating the OQ, Outs= At Bats minus Hits.

Here’s the all-time list:

Frank Crosetti, 1939 New York Yankees
152 games, 79 OQ, 503 outs.
Bobby Richardson, 1965 New York Yankees
160 games, 81 OQ, 500 outs.
Horace Clarke, 1970 New York Yankees
158 games, 75 OQ, 514 outs.
Sandy Alomar Sr, 1971 California Angels
162 games, 83 OQ, 510 outs.
Omar Moreno, 1980 Pittsburgh Pirates
162 games, 87 OQ, 508 outs.
Juan Samuel, 1984 Philadelphia Phillies
160 games, 107 OQ, 510 outs.
Jose Reyes, 2005 New York Mets
161 games, 85 OQ, 506 outs.

As you can see, the 162-game schedule made this goal easier to attain.

RUMINATIONS

* A spring training incident described by Sports Illustrated: Oakland manager Ken Macha may never be accused of being wild and free, but he has a funny side to him. After a recent road trip to Tucson, he instructed the team bus to pull into a Dairy Queen, where everybody -- in full uniform -- made like Little Leaguers. “I got the biggest Blizzard I could get, $7,” said rookie Nick Swisher. “Chocolate-chip cookie dough.”

This was my favorite Oakland A's story of the spring. Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the sports media castigated Macha for doing this, most notably radio commentator Jim Rome, whose many disciples of the smart-aleck school of sports journalism were quick to fall into line. Rome called the incident “bush league.” I can’t agree, and I hope DQ got some good publicity mileage out of this.

* I wonder when a major league baseball game last ended the way the Nationals/Brewers contest did on July 15. In the bottom of the 10th, before 40,000 screaming fans in Milwaukee, Washington manager Frank Robinson summoned reliever Mike Stanton with runners on first and third with one out. This was Stanton's first appearance for the Nationals.

Stanton did not throw a pitch. Instead he launched a pickoff throw to first. First base umpire Paul Schrieber ruled a balk. Game over!

Interestingly, both teams finished the season with identical 81-81 records.

* The panjandrums of baseball might as well rename the N. L. Manager of the Year award the Bobby Cox Award. He proves he deserves it every year, but he never did a better job than he did in 2005, taking a team of tyros and winning a division title. The entire Braves organization is solid, from farm system to scouting staff to general manager, but without Cox to guide the team on the field, they don’t win 14 consecutive titles.

That said, let’s not overlook the job a Cox protégé, Ned Yost, has done with the ragtag Milwaukee Brewers. That team doesn’t have more talent than the Rangers, the Blue Jays, the Cubs, the Reds, the Rockies, the Dodgers, the Pirates, or the Giants, but they played .500 ball while those teams floundered. Yost and pitching coach Mike Maddux somehow got a journeyman relief pitcher, Dan Kolb, to pitch like a world-beater in 2003 and 2004, and Kolb was a guy not even Cox and Leo Mazzone could do anything with. After Kolb flew the coop, Yost and Maddux worked the same magic on Derrick (Who He?) Turnbow. They took a couple of guys nobody wanted, Doug Davis and Chris Capuano, and made them into solid major league starters. The Brewers won’t spend money for free agents, and their farm system is considerably less than productive, so there’s no pennant in their future. But when the Brewers finally dismiss Yost and Maddux as convenient fall guys for the failures of the team’s front office, watch to see how long they stay unemployed.

* In 2005 Ken Griffey missed "only" 34 games, a fact that is trumpeted as a marvel of modern medical science. Considering that he sat out an average of 70 games a year during his previous 5 years in Cincinnati, I guess it is.

Griffey is just average as a defensive player, but he ended his season sporting a 143 OQ while producing 142 runs, which was pretty darn good. He was especially productive during the hot months of the mid-season. But although he's a good player, he's nowhere near worth the eight-figure salary he's pulling down. The proof: the Reds would give him away to any team that would pay that salary, but there are no takers.

Cincinnati has three guys who can play the outfield for them: Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, and Willy Mo Pena. The team is a loser because management hasn’t been able to recognize, sign, and develop pitching talent. But if Griffey is not the problem in Cincinnati, he is not the solution either.

* With 50 doubles, 3 triples, and 46 home runs, Derrek Lee just missed 100 extra-base hits, a feat very few men have accomplished.

* Carlos Delgado quieted a lot of skeptics this year.

* As predicted in this space last year: Tampa’s Bay’s charismatic Jorge Cantu has emerged as a major star at age 23. He’s the new face of the Tampa Bay franchise.

* Although Curtis Granderson, leading off for the Detroit Tigers on September 18, produced five hits (four singles and a double) in five at bats, he neither scored nor drove in a run as the Tigers lost 5-3 to the Angels. Wonder when was the last time that happened?

A reminder: never confuse Curtis Granderson with Garret Anderson.

* Mariners outfielder Chin-Soo Choo was one of 2005’s most intriguing rookies. But is his nickname Ah or Choo? Whichever, this kid’s going to make Hee Seop Choi look like chicken chow mein.

* The Pirates paid Benito Santiago $2.15 million to catch 6 games for them. Wonder if my least favorite player will attempt a comeback in 2006? My prediction: he will.

* Jody Gerut is the modern Joe Charbonneau.

* Baseball’s next great star? Philadelphia’s Ace Chutley.

* When in Hellville, stay at the Auberge Orangea.

October 2005

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