Last week, Chris showed you a graph that indicated that Giants’ shortstops were amongst the worst hitting in baseball. I would add that the main surprise was that one team’s shortstops managed to hit worse. Let us tip our caps to the Cincinnati Reds fans that endured that.
This week I’m going to tell you that Giants’ shortstops also performed badly compared to another group of bad hitters: the rest of their team.
I call this graph “The Cake of Failure”. Cake is inferior to pie and the Giants’ 2011 offense reminds me of things being inferior to other things. It helps if you visualize the cake as being made out of coconut, marzipan and those pickled body parts that they hide in fruitcakes.
The area of each square represents the number of runs below league average the Giants were at each position (considering offense only). The more below average the position hit, the bigger that position’s piece of the cake of failure. Giants’ shortstops hit .210/.265/.299 while the league average shortstop hit .261/.314/.374, which translates into about 29 runs below average at that position. I used a version of wOBA to come up with the runs below average, and this version does not account for things like base running (which the Giants were generally unexceptional at), and clutchiness (which the Giants were generally terrible at).
- Third base, right field and pitcher are missing because the Giants were actually above average at those positions. Pablo Sandoval, Carlos Beltran and Nate Schierholtz were really the only dogs pulling the sled throughout this year.
- First base wasn’t as bad as it felt. That’s partly because Brandon Belt’s hundred at-bats or so there were about average for that position. Belt’s worse at-bat’s coincided with his time in left field. Aubrey Huff’s worse at-bats coincided with Aubrey Huff being in the batter’s box and holding a bat.
- Not a single player who spent so much as a day at either CF or SS ended up with an above average offensive performance there. Cody Ross’s time in CF was the best at either position: he hit 5 home runs in 79 plate appearances as a center fielder, but that was accompanied by a .266 OBP.
- The Giants actually got 334 PAs of above average production from Sanchez and Fontenot at second base. The other 391 PAs from Jeff Keppinger and assorted fillers put up a .236/.276/.292 line. That’s almost as bad as the shortstops.
Trying to get a league average offense is probably a reasonable goal if the Giants want to return to the playoffs, and even that is going to be challenge. More than any other winter, I do not envy the Giants front office. There are too many holes to fill them all cheaply, and a lot of faith is going to have to be put into whether or not players can fully come back from injury.