You can’t read too far into stats this early in the season. That’s not to say you can’t be encouraged or dismayed by how someone is doing. It’s just that many players have had good starts to the season and aren’t able to keep it up, or vice versa.
This post is not really analyzing anything, trying to figure out if someone is doing something different pitch or swing wise, and whether or not that will keep up. This is about finding some weird stat that is probably “small sample size noise”, and being amused by it.
Here are four extremely small sample sized and weird stats from the early season.
Gary Sanchez is a clutch two-out hitter
Sanchez has gotten off to a good start this season after his sub par 2018. He’s been one of the Yankees best hitters so far, and is just one behind the MLB home run leaders. Weirdly, nearly all the damage he’s done has been with two outs.
Five of Sanchez’s six home runs have come with two outs in whatever inning he’s batting in. Overall, he’s hitting .471/.526/1.353 in those situations. With one or two outs, he’s hitting just .125/.192/.291.
It’s especially funny since Sanchez will undoubtedly get tagged with being “unclutch” at some point.Next time there’s runners on with two outs and the bottom of the order due up, it might a time to use pinch-hitter “Barry Sanchez.”
Clint Frazier is solar-powered
Another positive early in the season has been the resurgence at the plate of Clint Frazier. One more home run and he will match his career total going into 2019.
The majority of the damage he’s done has come during the day for whatever reason. Two of his three home runs, and six of his nine hits, have come during day games. By nine points of OPS. daytime Frazier has been a better hitter than Mike Trout.
Chad Green can’t get out number nine hitters
These are already small samples, but four batters faced is especially so. Regardless, the ninth hitter in the order is typically one of, if not the worst, hitters in a team’s lineup. While Green is a reliever and more likely to face a pinch-hitter, he still should have the theoretical advantage over whoever is hitting ninth. Instead, he’s retired one batter, allowed a home run, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch. His ERA and WHIP against nine hitters are 54.00 and 6.000. Green hasn’t been great in general this year, so that is somewhat a by product of that, but it’s still interesting.
Luke Voit’s extremely specific struggles
Luke Voit has come to the plate with a runner on and one out 11 times this season. He has made an out 11 times this season. Six of them have ended in strike outs, and another two were double plays. That specific scenario accounts for 11 of the 37 times he’s failed to reach base this season. If you add just one more person on base, and have him bay with one out and two runners on, his OPS is over 2.000.
Solution: if Voit continues to hit third, both Brett Gardner (or whoever else is hitting lead off that day) and Aaron Judge need to both get on.
What should we read into these stats? Nothing. But as long as we have this data, we might as well use it to find out obscure things.