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Thursday, June 30, 2005

 

Mind the Mean

Derrek Lee was 0-4 today. I know it's just one game, but regressing to mean can be a, well, mean thing. (Had to say it.) The guy's a career .275 hitter. To say that hitting .380s is a statistical oddity is a an understatment. You heard it here first folks, Lee will regress to the mean, certainly in batting average. As promised, I wanted to take a minute to try and shoot down the Derrek Lee triple crown talk. It ain't easy. He's having a killer year, in the post-juice era. The first and most obvious thing is that his year thus far is way, way above average for the guy. As mentioned above, he's a career .275 hitter who is hitting .385. Hmmmmm... My prediction is that he'll tank as the season progresses, maybe not tank, but I just can't believe this pace will keep up. Let's take a look. Last year, 2004, Lee was much better pre-All Star than post. Overall 2004: .278/.356/.504, 32 HR, 98 RBI Pre: .304/.375/.516 Post: .249/.334/.491 Ah ha! Check out the month to month. June: .385/.444/.673 July: .280/.339/.630 Aug: .270/.325/.514 Sep: .226/.333/.377 Note the drop in average as the months went by, without Lee experiencing any significant time out for injury. Of course, when I looked back at 03 and 02, the pre and post All Star theory didn't expose itself. He was fairly consistent. But, hey, he's a Cub now, and the inevitability of a choke is hanging over his head, like Steve Bartman's glove. Cynicism aside, I'll admit Lee's a good player, and he's obviously having a career year. However, I just don't see this trend, particularly the batting average, continuing. Statisics are a crazy thing, but there's always a lot of truth wrapped up in them (and I wouldn't necessarily call myself a sabermetrician). Anyone else out there of similar mind? There's a curious lack of debate on this subject on the net, mostly just mainstream media hyping the triple crown story or the Pujols/Lee All Star balloting (for the record, I say let Lee have it, he is having a great year, so far). Pujols is just average this year, at .338, jeez, if we could all be so average. I still say there's a better chance of yours truly pulling off the number one at Busch Stadium's last number pulling off ceremony. (I am available, though). BTW: Mustering five hits and being shut out by the Rockies (top of the 9th as I write this) is embarassing. Wow, maybe it's just some stupid marketing tie-in for the bad news bears remake.
Comments:
Hi, Ryan. Smokin' analysis, buddy! I wish I had drafted Lee in one of my fantasy leagues!! As for last night, I think there is a warning bell ringing loudly about the Cards' feebleness against mediocre lefthanders. I trust Jocketty is looking for a right-handed bat to help this situation out! Who do you think is available?
 
I don't know about another bat. Too bad they couldn't have moved for Marlon Byrd, but I suspect they try to get an OF that can come off the bench this year.
 
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