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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Why is Chris Young batting Lead Off?

I like Chris Young. He is an exciting player, both in the field and at the plate. I wonder though, if he is the right fit for the lead-off spot in the lineup.

Last season, Young had an on-base percentage of .295. Look at that number again: .295. I don't know about you, but I think it's pretty hard to move over (or drive in) your lead-off guy when he's already back in the dugout. Micah Owings had an OBP of .345. O-Dog's was .376. The overall team OBP for the Diamondbacks was .321, and that includes the pitchers. Among positions players who appeared in more than 100 games for the D-backs, Chris Young was the only one whose OBP was below .300.

Part of the problem with Chris is his strikeouts. He led the team with 141 (just slightly less than the number of games in which he appeared: 148). Opening day was no exception-- Chris excited the Arizona fans with a solo home run, but he also struck out three times.

I'm not saying that Chris shouldn't be playing... he is a key part of this lineup and has a lot to contribute. But a lead-off hitter is supposed to get on base-- and it's clear that someone else needs to be filling that role. Orlando Hudson or Eric Byrnes would be fine by me.

1 Comments:

At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you on his OBP not being very good. Well, who are we kidding, its terrible. But one thing I have noticed more this year about him (same goes with Mark Reynolds) is that he isn't chasing pitches out of the zone as much. He is being patient and getting more walks. This year, he already has 14 walks. He is batting lead-off for his speed. Eric Byrnes could bat lead off but he is better in his 2nd spot to be able to give the chance to move Chris Young over. Essentially, 3 players are batting lead off with the speed of Chris, Eric, and Orlando. If it ain't broke, and the Diamondbacks surely aren't right now, why fix it?

 

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