Nuggetpalooza’s Red Sox Review: Kevin Youkilis
|11.29.10 at 9:52 pm ET|
Nuggetpalooza is kicking off the reviews of the 2010 Red Sox players by taking a look at one of the two critical players who was lost to injury during the season, crippling the team’s postseason hopes: Kevin Youkilis. The numbers in here tell me that Youkilis is a superstar who performs at an All-Star level so consistently that he’s in danger of being taken for granted.
Here’s his “Nuggetpalooza Player Card” for 2010:
* – Kevin Youkilis posted a career high OPS of .975 in 2010. In fact, his OPS has increased in every season of his career (six consecutive seasons of increases). Only seven other players in baseball history have increased their OPS in six straight seasons:
Only Gruber increased his OPS in the six seasons immediately following his first year (as Youkilis has). No player has done it in seven straight seasons.
* – Youkilis’ 435 plate appearances in 2010 were his fewest in a season since 2005.
* – Youkilis’ career 4.31 pitches per plate appearance ranks third highest since they began tracking the stat back in 1988 (min. 2,500 plate appearances):
4.47 – Jayson Werth
4.36 – Rickey Henderson
4.31 – Kevin Youkilis
4.30 – Mickey Tettleton
* – “Youk” not only led the major leagues in batting average against lefties last season (.404; minimum 100 plate appearances against LHP), but he had the highest such average (.404), OBP (.513), slugging percentage (.798) and OPS (1.311) by any Red Sox player in a season since they began tracking the stat in 1974.
* – Prior to getting injured, Youkilis reached base in 10 of his final 13 plate appearances against lefties.
* – The Red Sox were just the fifth AL team since 1974 to have multiple players with an OPS over 1.100 against lefties (min. 100 such PA):
1994 White Sox – Frank Thomas, Julio Franco
1996 Athletics – Mark McGwire, Scott Brosius
1996 Mariners – Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey, Jr.
2000 Mariners – Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez
2010 Red Sox – Kevin Youkilis, Victor Martinez
* – Youkilis is the AL career leader in OPS during the month of May (since 1950; minimum 500 May plate appearances):
His 2010 May OPS (1.204) was the fourth best by a Red Sox since 1950 (same minimum):
1.300 – Mo Vaughn (1996)
1.278 – Ted Williams (1957)
1.214 – Wade Boggs (1986)
1.204 – Kevin Youkilis (2010)
Note that he is the only right-handed hitter on that list.
* – Youkilis put the ball in play 13 times following 3-and-0 counts last season and collected six hits… and all six went for extra bases. He’s just the third player since 1988 to get six or more hits following 3-and-0 counts in a season and have all go for extra bags:
All three had exactly six such hits.
* – Youkilis hit a career low .258 with runners in scoring position last season, dropping his career average in that category from .344 to .333. He now stands third in Red Sox history (since 1974; minimum 500 such PA):
* – Youkilis’ .950 OPS against “star” pitchers (see definition on player card above) ranked second in the AL last season (min. 80 such PA):
* – Youkilis put up an OPS of 1.573 after getting ahead 2-and-0 last season, third best in the majors (min. 50 such PA):
* – Youkilis hit a career high .274 on groundballs last season. Grounders made up 37.0 percent of his batted balls, also a career high.
* – Youkilis’ swinging strike percentage (4.9 percent) was a career low and was the third lowest last season among the 120 players who hit 15 or more home runs:
* – After creating +2.28 runs above average per 100 fastballs in 2008 and +2.49 in 2009, Youkilis’ created a career high +2.50 per 100 heaters in 2010, ranked seventh in the AL. Chicago’s Paul Konerko led the league at +3.45 (min. 300 plate appearances).
* – Here’s some context on Youkilis’ RBI averages from his player card above:
Youkilis’ .282 RBI average (62 RBI divided by the 220 runners on base when he batted) ranked 19th out of 195 players who batted with at least 200 runners on last season. Here are the top three:
.432 – Jose Bautista, TOR
.359 – Carlos Gonzalez, COL
.351 – Joey Votto, CIN
Youk’s .549 RBI average with RISP ranked 18th out of 217 players who batted with at least 100 runners in scoring position.
Again, the top three:
.799 – Jose Bautista, TOR
.686 – Adrian Gonzalez, SD
.671 – Joey Votto, Cin
As always, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment here, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or tweet me at @nuggetpalooza.
Check back often for more Red Sox Reviews as we count down the days to spring training and the 2011 baseball season!
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