White Sox notes from The Bill James Handbook 2012

Bjh2012_medium By preventing Adam Dunn from going to the plate six more times, Ozzie Guillen saved his DH a little bit of dignity. In the process, he gave the people who write about him a headache, because it forces us to qualify statements by mentioning that he needed six more plate appearances to officailly appear on leaderboards -- or trailerboards, in his case.

This is especially clear when thumbing through The Bill James Handbook 2012, which is one of my favorite offseason pastimes. For instance, Mark Reynolds is atop the leaderboard for the highest strikeout rate for hitters, as he struck out in 31.6 percent of his plate appearances. However, had Adam Dunn received six more at-bats, he would've thumped Reynolds handily, as he struck out in 35.7 percent of his 496 plate apparances.

Of course, it couldn't be one of the worst seasons in major-league history if it didn't make itself a pain in the ass upon its conclusion, too.

Here is but a sampling of the other interesting stuff I found in this year's Handbook.

Offense

  • Juan Pierre (4.85 percent), Alex Rios (5.03) and Gordon Beckham (-5.18) had the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-worst RBI percentages in the AL.
  • Alex Rios has the lowest offensive win percentage in baseball (.183), which is basically saying that if you were composing lineups featuring nine of the same player, the Fighting Rioses would be the worst in baseball among all regulars. The last one worse than Rios? 2006 Angel Berroa, who hit .234/.259/.333.
  • The White Sox scored the worst in the American League in team baserunning (-41), due mostly to their awful success rate on the basepaths (-25 in steal attempts alone). Funny enough, Paul Konerko scored -41 by himself, the worst in baseball.
  • Ozzie Guillen set a personal low in pinch hitters used with 73 -- mostly because Alex Rios and Adam Dunn were never pinch-hit for when it mattered.

Pitching

  • Guillen led the league in intentional walks with 49, 35 of which turned out "good." That's by far the best success rate of his career.
  • He also ordered 40 pitchouts, which was by far a personal high (previously: 27 in 2006).
  • We knew Chris Sale was utilized uniquely in 2011, and the numbers bear that out -- nobody pitched as many "long" outings as Sale (16) with his leverage index (1.6).
  • The White Sox led the league in long saves for the second straight year (eight).

Defense

  • The White Sox were the third-worst team in the AL in terms of runs saved (-18), ahead of the Twins (-27) and Orioles (-45).
  • Carlos Quentin saved the Sox from a worse fate. In 2011, his plus-minus was -25. In 2011, he scored +3, which puts him ahead of Ichiro Suzuki, if you can believe it.
  • Alexei Ramirez had the highest success rate of all AL shortstops with double plays, in terms of both the pivot (68.9 percent) and overall (64.4 percent). Seems like he's pretty good at avoiding contact in this respect.
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