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Monday, June 13, 2016

Batting order position for BA and HR leaders in the last decade.

In 2015 all but two of the 653 plate appearances (PA) by Dee Gordon were when he was batting leadoff in the lineup. Gordon had the highest batting average (BA) in the National Conference (NC) in 2015: .333. See the previous post:

Batting order position and success. Sunday, June 12, 2016

Only first and fourth really have names: leadoff and cleanup. Cleanup really puts pressure on batters. Few batters below fifth are significant. How many non-pitchers were MVP batting sixth? ...

Jackie Bradley outfielder with the Red Sox uncharacteristically batted leadoff May 26, 2016 and his 29 game hitting streak was stopped. During that streak Bradley mostly batted 9th and 8th. Towards the end Bradley was batting 7th, finally 6th in 2 of final 3; second once...

I don't have an easy way to find the batting order position other than looking at individual players for a season. But I may try to find that for at least some who led their league in BA or HR.


Since I don't have a way to get data for batting order position for all batters, I decided to look at the BA and HR leaders of recent years.

None of these home run leaders makes me even suspect that any batted other than in the middle of the order, probably cleanup or third.

Unlike his Red Sox teammate Jackie Bradley who has been buried at the bottom of the lineup in 2016, Bogaerts is leading the American Conference in BA batting third almost all the time.

In addition to Gordon other probable top of the lineup NC BA leaders checked: Morneau, Cuddyer, Posey, Reyes, Gonzalez, Ramirez, Sanchez. Carlos Gonzalez batted leadoff 20% of the time, the rest almost all batting third. So all but two batted third or fourth: Reyes in 2011, like Gordon in 2015, batted leadoff in all but two PA.

Only Jose Altuve needed to be checked among AC BA leaders. His PA in 2014:
1. 358
2. 288

Since Miguel Cabrera led the AC in BA four times, it's worth noting that going back two more years shows these AC BA leaders:
2005: Micheal Young PA: 2. 627  3. 105
2004: Ichiro Suzuki PA: 1. 720  3. 41

Gordon, Reyes, Suzuki were the only real leadoff batters to have the highest BA in recent seasons.

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