26 games into the 2012 season, the Philadelphia Phillies are hitting .256/.300/.361. It’s not the worst OPS for major league teams — the Marlins, Cubs, Padres, Pirates, Nationals and A’s all fare worse — but it is pretty bad, particularly since the Phillies play in a better hitter’s ballpark than most of those other clubs. Their isolated slugging percentage of .105 is next to worst in the majors, barely ahead of the Nationals at .104. Even the light-hitting Padres are at .114 despite their Petco Park time.
So, I thought it’d be fun to take a glance at some of the players who compare best with these 2012 Phillies…. those who hit closest to .256/.300/.361 over significant careers.
Joe McEwing – .251/.302/.355 in nine seasons
Tom Pagnozzi – .253/.299/.359 in 12 seasons
Luis Sojo – .261/.297/.352 in 14 seasons
Gerald Laird – .242/.301/.360 in his 10th season
Billy Martin – .257/.300/.369 in 12 seasons
Jose Macias – .256/.298/.371 in seven seasons
So, yeah, the Phillies are even getting outslugged by Jose Macias. On the plus side, they’re not too far away from hitting like a Hall of Famer. Bill Mazeroski came in at .260/.299/.367 during his 17-year career.
The Yankees signed first-round draft pick Clarke Schmidt and second-round pick Matt Sauer on Saturday, per a team announcement. Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, is set to earn a signing bonus of $2,184,300. According to MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin, that’s much lower than the typical $3+ million allocated for a No. 16 overall pick. The opposite is true for Sauer, whose projected $2.5 million signing bonus tops the suggested $1.2 million reserved for a No. 54 pick.
Schmidt, 21, boasts an impressive four-pitch repertoire and profiles as a front-end or mid-rotation starter, according to reports from Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and ESPN’s Keith Law, among others. He carried a 4-2 record through nine starts in 2017 and turned in a 1.34 ERA before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. While the Yankees won’t see him pitch at any level until late 2018, they seem confident in his makeup and ability to rebound over the next couple of years.
Fellow right-hander and Righetti High School senior Matt Sauer is a different story altogether. The 18-year-old hurler appears destined for the bullpen with a polished fastball-slider combo and a promising curveball and changeup. He dazzled on the mound this year, going 9-1 with an 0.98 ERA and two shutouts over 78 1/3 innings. While the Yankees seem most interested in his pitching skills, Sauer showed some pop at the plate as well, touting a .427 average with 24 RBI through 135 plate appearances.
The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.
Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:
Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:
In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.
The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.