>Originally posted by sordie in the Plumpy Times, July 18, 2010
STRIKING FEAR INTO THE SOUTHPAW HEART
Who are the batters Plumpy southpaws most hate to face?
Largely the same players the righties fear — the Todd Fords, the Ron Puffers, the Damaso Delgados. But there are some hitters who specialize in feasting on the wrong-handed, and some whose overall stats are so ordinary, so pedestrian, that without further analysis one may not even notice that they kill left-handed pitchers.
Following are the top ten guys at hitting for average against lefties:
Steve Myatt Chicago Bulls .373 / .420 / .714
Lonny Griffin Montgomery Burns .366 / .410 / .559
Ralph Lewis Norfolk Needlefish .365 / .459 / .529
Frank Bako SF Steroid Sluggers .364 / .442 / .581
Todd Ford Montgomery Burns .361 / .413 / .775
Red O’Donnell Monterrey Jacks .360 / .429 / .540
Esteban Vincente Toledo Black Bears .358 / .408 / .492
Rich King Hartford Submarines .352 / .429 / .593
Vance Sierra Norfolk Needlefish .352 / .404 / .648
Rick Harrison AZ Armadillos .347 / .386 / .442
This is a pretty good batch of contact hitters. Seven of them — Myatt, Griffin, Lewis, Ford, O’Donnell, King, and Harrison — bat in excess of .300. But the other three — Bako, Vincente, and Sierra — are actually liabilities when facing right-handed pitchers.
Based on the players’ skill ratings, one might expect Bako to perform significantly better against lefties, and he does. A right-handed batter who sports splits of 91 & 60, Bako’s .364 / .442 / .581 rate stats against lefties stand in stark contrast to what he does against right-handed pitchers: .224 / .283 / .316.
Sierra’s splits are about equal (76 & 78), but he’s still a useless hunk of useless against righties: .207 / .266 / .299.
The real outlier in the batch is Esteban Vincente. His splits are actually more favorable against righties (55 & 61), and he’s a left-handed hitter, so while he ain’t no badass slugging machine, one would expect him to hold his own against right-handed pitchers. But this is not the case as demonstrated by this sorry-assed stat line against righties: .207 / .266 / .299.
Following are the top five (with a tie for fifth) performers at slugging against lefties (as measured by at bats per home run):
Todd Ford Montgomery Burns 8.45
Grady Diggins Atlanta Shockers 8.73
Omar Alvarez Philadelphia Regulators 9.00
Damaso Delgado Portland Killer Whales 9.54
Steve Myatt Chicago Bulls 10.73
Ron Puffer Jacksonville Alcoholics 10.73
The biggest right vs. left disparities here come with Diggins (one home run every 23.25 at bats against righties) and aging slugger Puffer (one dinger per 27.63 at bats vs. righties).
When it comes to teams lefties try to avoid, in the A.L., the top batting averages against southpaws belong to:
Arizona Fighting Armadillos .284 / .331 / .451
Atlanta Shockers .283 / .355 / .456
San Juan Elephant Seals .279 / .345 / .488
Norfolk Needlefish .278 / .350 / .456
Boston Stranglers .275 / .337 / .422
In the N.L., team leaders are:
Montgomery Burns .299 / .359 / .463
Chicago Bulls .278 / .334 / .457
Scranton Boll Weevils .274 / .335 / .398
Hartford Submarines .270 / .330 / .469
Vancouver Mounties .265 / .320 / .414
Obviously, many of these teams (like the Burns) are offensive powerhouses who have the guns to hit whatever pitcher is throwing against them. But others have lineups that sizzle against lefties, but fizzle against righties.
Most notable in this regard are the Armadillos, Shockers, and Mounties. For basis of comparison, the following shows these teams rate stats against lefties, followed by same stats against righties.
Arizona Fighting Armadillos .284 / .331 / .451 —–> .248 / .297 / .386
Atlanta Shockers .283 / .355 / .456 —–> .254 / .320 / .370
Vancouver Mounties .265 / .320 / .414 —–> .242 / .302 / .383
The worst discrepancy in the NL (the Mounties) comes despite Vancouver having three lefty batters in their regular lineup.