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Monday, February 25, 2013

Maybe Derek Jeter isn't as good as we think or what happens to all those lefty throwers?

In 2012 about 16.9% of plate appearances (PA) were by left handed throwers.  See post:

Monday, February 18, 2013
Batters throwing

It doesn't matter how they bat.  They are precluded from playing half of the 8 every day fielding positions.

Derek Jeter and those who play shortstop, second base, third base and catcher do not need to be concerned about southpaw (lefty) non-pitchers (non designated hitters, too).  Jeter only needs to be better than players who throw right handed.  Lefty non-pitchers are confined to first base (1B) and the outfield (OF).

Since about 17% of all PA are by southpaws and since they can only play 50% of the 8 every day fielding positions, then about 34% of the PA for 1B and OF are by southpaws and no PA at SS, 2B, 3B, C are by lefty throwers.

Two lessons:

1. Young right handed players should learn to play SS, 2B, 3B, C because there's much less competition.

2. Teams should avoid southpaw batters as their use is limited.

Players with at least 70% of games at a position and at least 5,000 PA and OPS+ >= 110:

SS:
Rk Player OPS+ PA From To Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Honus Wagner 153 9640 1901 1917 27-43 2298 8507 1414 2766 506 210 78 1375 836 648 99 198 601 26 .325 .392 .462 .853 *63/957481 PIT
2 Arky Vaughan 136 7722 1932 1948 20-36 1817 6622 1173 2103 356 128 96 926 937 276 46 116 70 118 .318 .406 .453 .859 *65/74 PIT-BRO
3 Nomar Garciaparra 124 6116 1996 2009 22-35 1434 5586 927 1747 370 52 229 936 403 54 554 59 5 63 129 95 31 .313 .361 .521 .882 *63/5D4 BOS-TOT-CHC-LAD-OAK
4 Lou Boudreau 120 7024 1938 1952 20-34 1646 6029 861 1779 385 66 68 789 796 309 34 164 155 51 50 .295 .380 .415 .795 *6/5342 CLE-BOS
5 Vern Stephens 119 7241 1941 1955 20-34 1720 6497 1001 1859 307 42 247 1174 692 0 685 6 37 8 169 25 22 .286 .355 .460 .815 *65/79 SLB-BOS-TOT-BAL
6 Joe Cronin 119 8840 1926 1945 19-38 2124 7579 1233 2285 515 118 170 1424 1059 700 34 166 57 87 71 .301 .390 .468 .857 *6/5347 PIT-WSH-BOS
7 Derek Jeter 117 11895 1995 2012 21-38 2585 10551 1868 3304 524 65 255 1254 1039 38 1743 163 89 53 269 348 95 .313 .382 .448 .829 *6/D NYY
8 Barry Larkin 116 9057 1986 2004 22-40 2180 7937 1329 2340 441 76 198 960 939 66 817 55 59 67 178 379 77 .295 .371 .444 .815 *6/4D CIN
9 Jim Fregosi 113 7403 1961 1978 19-36 1902 6523 844 1726 264 78 151 706 715 48 1097 32 79 53 125 76 40 .265 .338 .398 .736 *635/D74 LAA-CAL-NYM-TOT-TEX-PIT
10 Luke Appling 113 10254 1930 1950 23-43 2422 8856 1319 2749 440 102 45 1116 1302 528 11 74 129 179 108 .310 .399 .398 .798 *6/543 CHW
11 Cal Ripken 112 12883 1981 2001 20-40 3001 11551 1647 3184 603 44 431 1695 1129 107 1305 66 10 127 350 36 39 .276 .340 .447 .788 *65/D BAL
12 Alan Trammell 110 9376 1977 1996 19-38 2293 8288 1231 2365 412 55 185 1003 850 48 874 37 124 76 156 236 109 .285 .352 .415 .767 *6/D5478 DET
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/25/2013.
Arky Vaughan is the only player who batted either both or lefty; OPS+ 136.  Obviously, they all threw righty.  Jeter is #7 with OPS+ 117.  How would that do at the positions at which lefty throwers are concentrated?

1B:
72 players led by Lou Gehrig: OPS+179.  Gehrig batted and threw lefty.
33 throw lefty: 46%.  (31 of the 33 also bat lefty)

OF:
184 players led by Babe Ruth: OPS+ 206.  Ruth batted and threw lefty.
39 throw lefty: 21%

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