Archive for the ‘Commissioner’s Blog’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Who Would Have Thought?

As we enter the homestretch of the 2015 baseball season, I am beginning to take notice of all the things that are occurring this season that I never could have predicted back in March. Sure, injuries can cause players not to perform at the level they were expected to perform at. Anyone can say they would not have expected David Wright to have fewer home runs than fellow Mets third baseman Eric Campbell. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about surprises that have occurred without injuries as the sole factor. Here are 9 surprises I never could have predicted before the season began:

1) The Houston Astros. They are leading in the AL West. They have 2 starting pitchers tied for the most AL wins (Keuchel and McHugh) and 2 starting pitchers in the top 3 in AL ERA (Kazmir and Keuchel).

2) The Minnesota Twins. They have a better record than the Detroit Tigers.

3) The Texas Rangers. They have a better record than the Seattle Mariners.

4) The New York teams. Both the Yankees and Mets are winning their respective divisions.

5) Mark Teixeira. He has hit more home runs than any other first baseman except Albert Pujols. That includes Paul Goldshmidt and 15 other first basemen who hit more home runs than Teixeira hit last year (i.e. Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Cabrera, Jose Abreu, Anthony Rizzo, Lucas Duda, Chris Carter, Victor Martinez, Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, etc).

6) Alex Rodriguez. After sitting out a full season, ARod is on a pace to hit more home runs than he has hit in any single season since he hit 54 in 2007.

7) Closers. Jeurys Familia and Brad Boxberger each have more saves than both Aroldis Chapman and David Robertson.

8) Dodger aces. Zack Grienke has a lower ERA, a lower WHIP, and more wins than his teammate Clayton Kershaw.

9) Mets aces. Jacob deGrom has a lower ERA, a lower WHIP, and more strikeouts than his teammate Matt Harvey (actually, I did predict this one, but it is still surprising to most).

It will be interesting to see what more surprises still lie ahead in this season full of surprises.

PostHeaderIcon Nothing Willy Nilly About Choosing Phillie

On the final day of the 2014 season, when the Phillies lost 2-1 to the Atlanta Braves, that outcome cost me approximately $5,000.  That’s because that loss knocked me out of my survivor pool.  After surviving for 16 weeks. after outlasting 352 other members who had all been eliminated, after making it down the final 11 survivors, the Phillies’ loss on the very last day of the season knocked me out of the pool.  This blog is not to talk about the “what ifs”, although there are certainly many “what ifs” I could talk about.  Nothing positive can come from discussing the “what ifs”.  Instead this blog is to defend the “what was” because I feel like doing so could be very cathartic for me.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with how a survivor pool works.  In a baseball survivor pool, each week you need to choose one Major League Baseball team to win at least half it’s games without ever choosing the same team more than once.  Well, after exhausting 16 other teams throughout the course of this pool I found myself down to two reasonable choices on the last week.  I would classify one of those choices Cleveland, as the safe choice and one of those choices Philadelphia, as the risky choice.  However, I was very aware that even the safe choice was not all the safe.  And here is what I also knew.  I knew it was very likely that as many as 9 of the final 11 survivors could join me taking Cleveland.  Meanwhile, I knew that no one was likely to join me taking Philadelphia.  Once I would have chosen Cleveland I would have been conceding that I was content with winning one tenth of the grand prize at best.  But by taking Philadelphia I was still giving myself a chance to win the entire pool outright.  I never felt very confident in the woeful Phillies.  But as the deadline to make my pick grew closer and closer I became less and less confident in the Indians as well.  From a risk/reward standpoint, at the last moment I decided that the Phillies were the way to go.

The Phillies needed to win 3 of 6 games for me to collect the prize.  They had Cole Hamels getting 2 starts.  They had 3 games at the Marlins and 3 games at home against the Braves.  No one had ever done more research into a survivor pool that I had done making this pick.
First the Marlins, they were missing Stanton and Ozuna from the middle of their batting order.  That represented half of their team’s home runs and 32% of their team’s RBI’s.  They had not scored more than 2 runs in a game since Stanton had gone down injured a week earlier.  Their pitchers were to be Alvarez, Hand, and Koehler.  The only one of those who’d even been having a decent year was Alvarez, but the Phillies had a .283 batting average against him this year.  They had hit .291 against Koehler and even though he was going against the rather unintimidating Buchanan, the Marlins had previously only batted .233 against him.
As far as the Braves, even though they had a decent win loss record for the year, they had been horrible in September.  Not just horrible in fact.  Their 4-14 record in September was the worst record in Major League Baseball for the month.  They were slated to throw Santana, Harang, and Wood–not exactly Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz.  The light hitting Phillies previously had a .295 batting average against Wood and a .346 batting average against Harang.  And Atlanta’s offense had been slumping big time too.  They came into the week on a 4-game losing streak.
For the Phillies to sneak out 3 wins in 6 games against these 2 opponents did not seem unreasonable.  So what actually happened?
The first game Hamels pitched great but the Phillies lost 2-0.  The second game they won 2-1.  That set up the third game which was the real killer.  In the top of the 7th inning the Phillies took the lead 4-2.  This set up the Phillies to do what they do best, protect a lead.  All year they had been relying on Diekman in the 7th, Giles in the 8th, and Papelbon in the 9th.  Diekman had only allowed 1 earned run in his last 14 appearances.  And the Marlins had not scored over 2 runs in a game in over a week.  So what happened?  The Marlins scored 4 runs in one inning against Diekman and won the game 6-4.  Unreal.
Game four the Phillies won 5-4 against the Braves and evened their record back up at 2 and 2 for the week.  Going into Saturday they had 2 more games left to play and needed to win just one.  They would be favored in both games in Las Vegas.  They lost game five 4-2, a game in which they had 2 runners thrown out at the plate on throws from the outfield.  That brought it all down to Sunday.  In the 16 previous weeks I’d been in the pool, this was the only time I had ever needed to win on a Sunday in order to survive. Surely, it wasn’t too much to ask that I would win one must-win game in a pool I had been coasting along in for 4 months.
Pitching for the Phillies was Cole Hamels.  In 3 previous games pitching against the Braves he had allowed a total of 1 run.  That’s 1 run allowed in 3 games.  Pitching for the Braves was some middle reliever named James Russell.  Russell had been pressed into emergency service because Wood was scratched from the game with forearm soreness.  So on one side there was Hamels who had the lowest ERA in the entire Major Leagues since the All Star Break behind only Kershaw.  And the other side was Russell who hadn’t started a game in years and had an ERA of over 9.00 when he did last start.  As far as the hitters, while the Phillies decided to play all their regulars, the Braves decided to sit their entire starting outfield, their starting shortstop, and their starting catcher for the season finale.  With so much at stake, I certainly wouldn’t say that I was relaxed.  But I also didn’t feel like I could have asked for a much better scenario for a do-or-die game in Week 17.
Little could I have known that in the very first inning Emilio Bonifacio would greet Cole Hamels by hitting his second home run in 390 at bats. Then backup shortstop Phil Gosselin (who?) would get a base hit, steal second base, and score on the third base hit of the first inning.  Hamels was totally dominating after that, but by then it was too late.  The Phillies offense was just too weak.  Even against a bunch of second tier relief pitchers all they could muster was one lone run.  They lost the game 2-1.
Cleveland also faced a do-or-die game on the final day of the season.  Unlike the Phillies, the oddsmakers listed them as underdogs for their game.  But also unlike the Phillies, they managed to scratch out a win.  So yes, it would be easy to have regrets, but I’m not going to do that.  Cole Hamels pitched two games, allowing only 2 runs in each and lost them both.  Late in the third game they had a 4-2 with one of the best bullpens in baseball going against one of the worst hitting lineups in baseball and blew the game.  They were a betting favorite on the final day of the season and lost a game I really feel like they would win 7 or 8 times out of 10.  I think I made a worthy gamble.  And even though it didn’t work out, I’d do it again.  OK, I feel better now.

PostHeaderIcon Use Your Smart Phone To Dominate Your League

Most of us fantasy owners use our smartphones to manage our teams on the go. Whether it’s updating our lineup, scouring the waiver wire or digging into a pile of stats, our phones have become go-to tools for everything fantasy baseball.

There are tons of fantasy baseball apps out there and sorting through them all can be like trying to decide which left-handed middle reliever September call-up to snag. I’m here to help you get the most out of your phone when it comes to managing your fantasy baseball team. Here are five apps I have on my smartphone that I use for managing my many fantasy baseball teams.

Fantasy Alarm
Fantasy Alarm instantly notifies you if one of your players is a late scratch from a lineup or if a game has been delayed or rained out. This app was the recipient of the “Best Mobile App” award in 2013 by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and was also the winner of the 2014 “Most Innovative Product or Service” award. Sports Geekery talks more about this app. At-Bat
Paul Macchia of Verizon Wireless shares his favorite baseball apps and among them is’s At-Bat. This app allows you to follow the action of your players while you’re on the go as you monitor your superstar’s at-bats pitch-by-pitch in real time. You can even watch’s featured game of the day for free on your phone or tune into the home or away broadcast of any other game.

Home Run Weather
This app provides up-to-the-minute weather reports on everything that alters the flight of a baseball: temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, field orientation, wind direction and speed. Basically, the app determines if the weather conditions for any particular game are favorable for fly balls carrying over the fence. The Washington Post wrote a fascinating piece about this app and all of its components.

Fantasy Assistant
Every General Manager needs an Assistant GM at their side. Enter your roster at Fantasy Assistant and the service will analyze your team’s strengths and weaknesses, suggest possible trade scenarios, and project your team’s success. Fantasy sports blogger David Gonos lists this app as one of his fantasy football favorites and the app also works for baseball.

Bill James Baseball IQ
Bill James brought sabermetrics to big league franchises and now the notorious baseball statistician has brought his knowledge to your smartphone. James, whose statistical study of baseball was the basis for the hit book and movie Moneyball, provides statistical breakdowns that run deeper than any other app out there. With this app you can find such specific information including how often a player pops out on full-count fastballs. Fantasy baseball is all about finding an edge and if there’s an edge to be found, this is a good place to look. Knot of Light provides a more detailed review of this app.

Smartphone apps are a great tool for staying on top of your fantasy teams and are sure to help separate you from the pack.

–This article was submitted to BoxScore Baseball by guest blogger, Jared Harris. Jared is a fantasy baseball junkie and blogger from Tacoma, Washington who has visited 29 different major league ballparks and 41 minor league stadiums.

PostHeaderIcon Records Were Made To Be Broken

Ted Williams had his .406 batting average. Joe DiMaggio had his 56-game hitting streak. These are a couple of Major League Baseball’s timeless records. BoxScore Baseball also has single-season records that have withstood the test of time. On the back cover of our Owners Manual are our all-time record holders for our 11 statistical categories. Somewhat remarkably, none of these records have fallen in 8 years. Records may have been made to be broken, but in the case of these records that has not proven to be the case in a very long time.

Like the record book for Major League Baseball, the record book for BoxScore Baseball has been somewhat tarnished by performance enhancement drugs. The explosion of offensive numbers in the 90’s and early 2000’s caused the establishment of records that will probably never be broken. In 2000 the Diamond Gems owned by Todd Lammi had a batting average of .310 while scoring 1564 runs. Todd Lammi also built an Ultimate League powerhouse in 2004, the Gingerbread Men, that had an OPS of .894. And in 1999 the Vikings owned by Carl Isackson and Rick Nelson hit 476 home runs and had 1660 runs batted in. In the past dozen years, no team has really even come close to surpassing any of these records.

In 1992 the North Coast Kilbanes owned by Michael Hannum set the record for steals with 394. That record has now stood for 21 years and with the lack of running in today’s baseball I don’t see that record ever falling either.

As far as the pitching records, in 2005 the Splendid Splinters owned by Bob Macleod set the record for Wins with 149. In 1998 Aces of Clubs owned by Todd Lammi set the record for strikeouts with 1852. And in 1998 E.R.A.C. owned by Al Dubiel set the record for saves with 201.

To break the record for wins an owner would need his 10 pitchers to average 15 wins apiece. To break the strikeout record an owner would need his 10 pitchers to average over 180 strikeouts apiece. This is the reason I consider these 2 records to also be untouchable, just like all of the offensive records.

To break the saves record, assuming an owner had 4 closers, those closers would need to average over 50 saves apiece. Based on those numbers this record also seems safe, unless at some point some owner gets the notion to draft 6+ closers just to get his name in the record book. I doubt that will ever happen, but because it conceivably COULD happen, I am not willing to classify this record as unattainable like I would with the others previously mentioned.

In 2004 Shelby’s owned by Joe Gentry set the record for net wins with a mark of +75. That is just a ridiculously high number. Can you imagine a team with a pitching staff that was 75 games over .500? In 2013, no team in BoxScore Baseball was even 50 games over .500 and that was with Max Scherzer being +18 all by himself. This record also seems unreachable; however, since it did happen once it is not out of the question that it could happen again. There have been no rule changes in Major League Baseball that make it impossible to achieve. So while I am saying it is unlikely to ever be broken, I will not say it is impossible.

In 1992 Kenneth Porter’s Yankee squad set the ERA record at 2.68. This record has stood as long or longer than any of the other record in the history of BoxScore Baseball. But shockingly this is the record I am going to predict is the most likely to fall. If an owner stacks his team with the right group of pitchers I believe this record is breakable.

There are currently 9 ML pitchers who have made at least 3 starts and still have an ERA of under 2.00. And there are 12 pitchers who have made at least 2 starts who still have an ERA under 1.00. Leading the way is Yu Darvisch who has made 2 starts and is yet to give up a single earned run. I believe the pendulum in MLB has swung back towards pitching.

In BoxScore Baseball Team Cream owned by Malcom Kneen (and drafted by Scott Nadler) currently has an ERA of 1.61. I realize we are still only in April, but with a staff headed by Darvisch, Felix Hernandez, Gio Gonzalez, and Jose Fernandez, this is the kind of a team I could see making a run at the ERA record. I am not predicting this team will break the record, but I do feel like this team or a team like it could possibly do it.

Looking at all these numbers more closely, it becomes clearer why these records have stood for so long. Perhaps none of BoxScore Baseball’s current records will ever be broken. After all, none of them have been broken since back in 2005. True, 2.676 is a very low ERA. True, 21 years is a very long time for a record to stand. But if any of these records are ever to be broken, the ERA mark is the one I feel is the most attainable. It will be interesting to watch.

PostHeaderIcon Who Will Be The Chris Davis Of 2014?

Chances are if you were fortunate enough to draft Chris Davis in 2013, your fantasy team had a pretty good season. It was certainly the case in BoxScore Baseball where owners such as Brian Scott won the national championship with Chris Davis performing prominently on his squad. The thing that was so valuable about Chris Davis was the fact that he put up the numbers of a first round draft pick while being drafted in about the 15th round. Seemingly out of nowhere he amassed 53 homers, 103 runs, and 138 RBI’s. So this prompted me to consider who could be the Chris Davis of 2014?

Admittedly, there is an excellent chance that there will be no player who bursts onto the scene in 2014 who profiles similarly to the way Chris Davis profiled in 2013. Probably the Chris Davis of 2012 was Mike Trout. Trout was another player who put up first round numbers despite being drafted after the 15th round. But Trout burst onto the scene as a rookie. That’s different from what Chris Davis did. And this is not an attempt to evaluate which rookies may make a huge impact in 2014. You can find a million articles written on that topic. This analysis is an attempt to evaluate which player, who profiles similarly to Davis, could potentially produce a 50-home run season in 2014.

In order to do this, I looked for players similar to the Chris Davis of 2012 in terms of statistics, experience, and age. First, in terms of statistics, the following were the numbers for Chris Davis in 2012:

Runs: 75, HRs: 33, RBI: 85, K: 169, BA: .270

Some players I eliminated because they are not true sleepers the way Davis was in 2013. I only considered players who are currently being drafted in the 10th round or later. Adam Jones had 33 home runs last season, but he is a legitimate first round pick already. Evan Longoria had 32 home runs, but he certainly doesn’t qualify as a sleeper. Neither does Justin Upton who had 27 dingers. Jay Bruce who hit 30 home runs is borderline. If he comes out and hits 53 home runs in 2014 that would certainly qualify as a surprise. But I still don’t consider him to be a true sleeper. Any on these four players could put up huge numbers in 2014, but if they do it will not be a shock similar to how it was with Davis.

Other players I looked at who had similar statistics to what Davis had in 2012 I eliminated because of a difference in their age or experience. Last season Davis was entering his 5th season in the big leagues and was 27 years old. Adam Dunn had 34 home runs last season, but he’s entering his 13th season. Ryan Zimmerman had 26 home runs, but he’s entering his 9th season. Brandon Moss has 30 homers but he’s 30 years old. So none of them very closely mirror Chris Davis in terms of age and/or experience.

What I was left with were 3 players who I feel have the best chance to be the Chris Davis of 2014. All 3 of them are entering their 4th season in the big leagues, similar to Davis who was entering his 5th season. Take a look at their statistics compared to Davis’ 2012 stats. Without being prejudiced by their names, which player do you feel is most similar statistically to Davis of 2012?

C. Davis (27 yo) Runs 75, HR 33, RBI 85, K 169, BA .270
Player A (27 yo) Runs 70, HR 36, RBI 100, K 186, BA .233
Player B (28 yo) Runs 85, HR 34, RBI 100, K 184, BA .234
Player C (26 yo) Runs 83, HR 27, RBI 83, K 97, BA .272

Player C is Dominic Brown. His batting average, runs, and RBI’s most closely resemble Chris Davis of anyone in this However, his strike out rate is much lower. Also, he only hit 27 home runs. That’s significantly less than the 33 that Davis hit. Therefore, I am predicting it is highly unlikely Dominic Brown will jump to the 50 home run level in 2014.

Player A and Player B are so statistically similar that you could almost flip a coin to choose which one is the most likely to be the next Chris Davis. Like Davis they both hit 30+ homers. They both strike out a ton. They both are very close to him in terms of age and experience. Where they don’t resemble Davis is in batting averages where they both hit significantly lower than Davis’ .270 mark. However, keep in mind back as recently as 2010 Chris Davis batted just .192. So Chris Davis is certainly no stranger to a low batting average either.

Player A is Pedro Alvarez. Player B is Mark Trumbo. Honestly, I don’t have either of them rated very highly on my draft board because they strike out so much. However, I didn’t have Chris Davis rated very highly on my draft board last season for the very same reason. So actually my lack of faith in these 2 players gives me even more reason to believe that one of them could well be the next Chris Davis.

Will it happen? Probably not. But if it does, remember where you heard it first.

PostHeaderIcon Paying Homage To A Senior League Member

This week, long time BoxScore Baseball owner Gene Ostreicher will be celebrating his 80th birthday! That caused me to ponder to myself, who is the oldest active BoxScore Baseball owner? Is there anyone playing my game who is over 80 years old? I suspect there may be. I even have a particular Hall of Fame owner in mind. So consider this blog to be a question to all of my current BoxScore Baseball membership. Are any of you older than 80 years old? If so, please send my an email and let me know.

Anyhow, that’s pretty cool to still be playing fantasy baseball at 80 years old. Lord willing, I hope to be doing the very same thing myself when I’m that age. So happy birthday, Gene. May fantasy baseball always help to keep you feeling young.

PostHeaderIcon Survival Game Week One–Playing The Thursday Night Game

In all the years I have been following NFL football, I cannot recall a time when one of the teams playing in the prime time Thursday night game was also the largest point spread favorite of the week. It has certainly never happened in the opening week of an NFL season before. However, such is the case in Week One of the 2013 season when the Denver Broncos host the Baltimore Ravens as an 8-point betting favorite. So the question to consider is this: Is there a strategy advantage to choosing a Thursday night team as your Week One selection? I contend there is, but with one condition.

As you will notice in the Survival Game rules, there are no buy-backs. In Survival Game Football once you are out, you are out for good. However, there is also one semi-loophole to that rule.

Survival Game Football does accept entries into its 2013 contest until Saturday, Sept. 7. That means that you will still be able to join the competition AFTER the first Thursday night game has been played. Now obviously if you join the pool after that game has started, you will not be allowed to choose one of the teams participating in that game. However, let’s assume that you had already entered the pool earlier. And let’s assume you selected one of the two combatants in the Thursday night game. And let’s further assume that you should happen to lose. Well, if you’re willing to risk an additional $45 it would certainly be within the Survival Game rules for you to rejoin the contest and select one of the teams playing on Sunday.

Admittedly, no one wants to pay the additional money to rejoin the pool. But under the condition that you’d be willing to do so should you happen to lose, then technically there is a strategy advantage to making one of the Thursday night teams your Week One selection. And the fact that one of the teams participating in that game this year also happens to be the biggest favorite on the board is just an added bonus.

There is one other twist to this strategy. If we should happen to see the Broncos lose on Thursday night, we would likely see 15% to 20% of the pool exit from the contest before our signup period has even expired. That means whether you were one of the ones who got knocked out or not, it still becomes an excellent value to enter more teams. Think about it. If all the Bronco-backers get knocked out, all of their money would still be in the pool; yet none of them would have any chance to win it. Just something to consider whether you play the Thursday game or not.

PostHeaderIcon BoxScore Baseball’s $3,000 Club

In Major League Baseball they have the 3,000-hit club. In BoxScore Baseball, I have now created the 3,000-dollar club. This is the group of owners who have managed to win over $3,000 in a single baseball season. Here is the current list:

1) Les Travis (2011) Won Super Megabucks 1 & 2, Ultimate 1 & 3, and the Al Kaline League: $6,715

2) Bob Wilfore (2006) Won Super Megabucks 1, Ultimate 1 & 4, and the National Championship: $4,375

3) Rick Garlinghouse (2016) Won Super Megabucks 2, Ultimate 5, Stan Musial, and the National Championship: $4,350

4) Bob Wilfore (2008) Won Super Megabuck 2, Ultimate 1 & 4, and the Ultimate National Championship: $3,875

5) Tim Grand/Keith Taylor (2006) Won Super Megabucks 1: $3,650

6) Thomas Bonds/Lance Smith (2007) Won Super Megabucks 1 and Ultimate 1: $3,550

7) Jonathon St. Amand (2005) Won Super Megabucks 1: $3,480

8) Tim Grand/Ken Patten (2010) Won Super Megabucks 2 and the National Championship: $3,350

9) Rick Garlinghouse (2015) Won Super Megabucks 2 and was runner-up in Super Megabucks 1: $3,325

10) David James (2009) Won Super Megabucks 2 and the National Championship: $3,115

11) Paul Soehnlein (2014) Won Super Megabucks 1: $3,025

12) Scott Cacciatore (2007) Won Megabucks 2 & 3: $3,015

PostHeaderIcon BoxScore Football Goes 2-QB

In 2012, there were approximately 12 quarterbacks who scored more fantasy points than Adrian Peterson did. Yet in 2013, Adrian Peterson is projected to be drafted ahead of all of those quarterbacks. Why is this? Well, the main reason is because the gap between the highest drafted active running back and the lowest drafted active running back is much greater than the gap between the highest drafted active QB and the lowest drafted active QB.

There is one simple way to elevate the value of QBs to the level of RBs: allow teams to carry 2 active QBs. Suddenly, when a 12-team league has 24 active QBs, the gap between the best and worst active QBs becomes very similar the gap between the best and worst active RBs.

Initially, I was opposed to the idea of teams having 2 active QBs. Somehow it just seemed wrong to me since teams in real life football team’s only have 1 active QB on the field. But the arguments in favor of going to a 2-QB system started to make sense to me. After all, the object of fantasy football is not to mirror NFL football exactly. The object of fantasy football is to create a fun game. If the object were to mirror NFL football we wouldn’t award points for yardage and receptions and sacks and countless other categories that don’t result in points in an actual NFL game.

The one fear I had was that the league may run out of quarterbacks. In a 12-team league we would drafting 36 quarterbacks. Since there are only 32 NFL teams, some BoxScore teams would not even have 3 quarterbacks on their rosters with starting jobs. With bye weeks and injuries this could cause major problems.

To deal with this potential problem, BoxScore Football is creating a super flex position. A super flex player may be either a quarterback or a running back or a wide receiver. Teams will be forced to activate one super flex player each week. I’m sure that over 90% of the time the active super flex players teams will be utilizing to will be quarterbacks. However, in the rare instances when a team is either unable or unwilling to do so, it will also be legal for them to activate an additional running back or wide receiver.

I am expecting the super flex position to add a great deal of strategy to our contest in 2013, especially during the draft. There are several good articles about this topic all over the Internet I welcome you to read. 2-QB leagues appear to be the wave of the future and BoxScore Football is climbing onboard.

PostHeaderIcon The Year Of The Weak Hitter

I cannot recall any year since back in the 1960’s when there were so many woeful hitters littering the lineups of Major League rosters. I’ll confess to not doing much detailed historical research when preparing this blog. I’m operating mostly from memory when I say not since the days of Ray Oyler and Mark Belanger prior to the lowering of the pitcher’s mound do I recall seeing so many hitters with pathetically low batting averages.

I understand there have always been weak hitting middle infielders and catchers throughout the history of the league. I realize there are always going to be a few slumping hitters who get off to poor starts. But we’re after Memorial Day now. We’re into mid June. And I’m not just talking about the occasional light-hitting Clint Barmes’ of the world. I’m talking about outfielders and corner infielders who are full-time, middle-of-the-order players who are just not producing. Right now we have literally dozens of players starting in the Majors every day who are batting below .220. That’s horrible. Here are just a few examples of players who already have between 100 and 250 at bats this season who can’t even reach the Mendoza line:

L. Cruz .132
Espinosa .158
BJ Upton .166
Hicks .179
Bernadina .181
Dunn .181
C. Young .186
Moustakas .189
Uggla .193

Here are a few more players with between 100 and 250 at bats who have barely managed to sneak their averages above .200 but who are all still way, way underachieving from what was expected of them:

Reddick .206
Lawrie .209
Willingham .211
J. Hamilton .213
P. Alvarez .214
Youkilis .219
Carter .219
Heyward .221
Headley .224
M. Montero .225
V. Martinez .225
Cespedes .232
S. Castro .238

And that doesn’t even include players like Ike Davis (.161) and Dustin Ackley (.205) who have already been shipped to the minors.

How many of these guys were you unfortunate enough to draft? And this is just a small sampling of all the low batting average hitters in teams’ every day lineups right now. Check out the Twins batter order sometime. Or the Mets. Or the Dodgers. Or the Astros. Or the Phillies. Even check out the lineups of some contending teams like the Braves. The total team batting average for the Marlins right now is .230. The total team batting average of the defending NL East Championship Nationals is .232. Are you kidding me? Like I said, I haven’t really researched this yet, but I can’t believe this is typical. To this point, I am viewing 2013 as The Year of the Weak Hitter.