Jemile Weeks Should Stop Batting Right Handed

Now, I say this based solely on the numbers, as since I (unfortunately) live in Michigan, and I didn't get around to buying MLB.TV this year, I only see a very limited amount of games. The grand total of PA's I've seen Weeks take is somwhere in the 15-20 range. Anyone (e.g. all of you lucky enough to watch our beloved A's on a daily basis) who has first hand, preferably live eye witness testimony is more than welcome to disagree with me. I'm just going by the numbers here. Please take all of this with a grain of salt, as the sheer number of PA that Weeks has acrued is still withing spitting distance of "Small Sample Size!" chants. Follow me after the jump to my reasoning and the numbers.




2011 ML Data PA BB Rate K Rate Line Drive Rate OBP SLG wOBA
vs R as L 206 5.3% 14.6% 22.8% .359 .442 .349
vs L as R 111 3.6% 11.7% 19.6% .284 .356 .280
vs R as R 6 0.0% 33.3% 0.0% .333 .500 .359

Again, smaple sizes aside, it's clear that there is a distinctly different result from each side of plate. The low overall walk rate is alarming, but given that Weeks had an above average walk rate int he minors, I'm not ready to totally overhaul his approach yet. After putting the numbers into such clarity, I can't imagine an argument for him to bat right handed at all. But now the question is this inablilty to swing right handed a recent trend, or something that has surfaced before?

Unfortunately I don't have access to Weeks' Minor League splits from earlier this year, so his 2010 AA data will have to do here. You'll notice a big difference there too.



2010 AA Data PA BB Rate K Rate OBP SLG
vs R 208 10.1% 16.8% .341 .370
vs L 109 6.8% 8.8% .312 .422

My apologies for not offering identical statistics in the charts, but only so much data can be found in the world of MiLB and I did the best I could. I had to base my assumptions on that odds that Weeks did infact bat righty vs lefties, and vice versa. That being said, again there is a stark contrast in his numbers. You may see the difference in Slugging%, and not to discount 50 points of slugging, but the biggest difference here is hands down the 30 points of OBP. If you feel that I'm weighing SLG too little, or OBP too much, I suggest this fantastic study here (Note: Must be viewed in Adobe PDF form, also, it's great to see some of those old names again!). After reading that, and then realizing that Weeks will probably be our leadoff hitter for years to come, the OBP vs SLG debate isn't really much of a debate at all. On-base percentage is (obviously and intuitively) more imporatant than slugging at the top of the lineup.

I realize I'm mining from less than 500 PA and I'm missing half of the 2011 data, but to me, this isn't just wild speculation. It's been clearly shown that Weeks is an inferior right handed hitter in almost all aspects. I would love to have the coaches or Bob talk about this sometime. I would have Jemile exclusively hit left handed for the duration of the year, to see what happens.

You can't do much worse than .280 wOBA....



Any and all criticism is welcome, I'm not sports writer by profession, but this something that I felt had to be said, and I haven't heard anyone else voice this concern. MLB stats from FanGraphs, MiLB from ML Splits and Excell to HTML tables compliments of Tableizer!. In addition to (rarely) appearing here in game threads, I run my own blog at

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