Monday, August 11, 2014

Has David Ortiz really been so far this year as some people seem to suggest?

Has David Ortiz really been so bad this year as some people seem to say?

His batting average is off significantly - .245 compared to .284 lifetime.  That's a real decline. It's the lowest it's ever been in any of his years with the Red Sox.

His on-base percentage is .338, more than 40 points below his career average .379.  And his slugging is down, too, to .490 compared to a career .545.

With the team as a whole hitting so poorly, it's not surprising that the number of runs he has scored is down significantly as well.

But there are two areas where he doesn't come off too poorly. Not at all.  As far as driving runs in, he's driven in 84 already.  It would be surprising if he didn't surpass 100.  Math genius that I am, I have to ask: doesn't 84 RBIs at this point in the season, project to about 116 RBIs?   

That would be the most since the 117 RBIs he had in 2007.  That's pretty good, isn't it?

Second on the Red Sox this year is Pedroia, with 43 RBIs.  Ortiz had almost double the second-closest contender.

Home runs are a big part of RBIs, of course, for a slugger like the Large Father. He's got 26 so far this season.  Does that project to 36?  Even in 2007, he didn't hit many (he hit 35). The last year he hit more was in 2006 when he set the franchise record with 54 homers.

Maybe it's fashionable to pooh-pooh RBIs, but runs can make the difference between wins and losses. I don't know how well-timed his run production has been this year - did many of them come in games where the Red Sox were losing?  Still, to have more than twice the RBIs of almost anyone else on the team has to count for something, and to be driving in runs at a faster pace than any year since 2007 also has to count for something, too.  

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