When OBP Goes Wrong: Mark Trumbo Snubbed For Rookie Of The Year And The Monday Links
Tampa Bay Rays Rookie starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson was named American League Rookie Of The Year Monday receiving 17 of 28 first-place votes. Hellickson is certainly a deserving award winner. He was outstanding for most of 2011 posting a 13-10 record with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. What is perhaps most impressive – Is that Hellickson held hitters to a .210 batting average, which was the third lowest number in the majors. Still he pitched every 5th day. Meanwhile in Anaheim – Mark Trumbo – he of the ridiculously low .291 On Base Percentage played virtually every day and almost single-handedly kept a team that had no business being a contender in the American League west in contention. Trumbo led all AL rookies in SLG, HR, ISO, and yes RBI’s. He finished second in the voting.
What’s clear from Trumbo’s second place finish is that he was likely overlooked as a result of his poor On Base Percentage. This is yet another case where one stat (see WAR) is vastly being over emphasized. There are a wealth of stats at our disposal to gauge player performance. To sell a player like Trumbo short on the basis of one stat is severely flawed. Mark impacted a larger portion of his teams success than Hellickson. He played everyday. Just as voters appeared to gloss over Hellickson’s 4.44 FIP – Trumbo’s OBP should have merely been one part of the equation to tell the full story.
Onto the Monday Links: