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First Half Report Cards: The Batters

We have hit the half way point of the season (yeah I know, one game short of half) so I thought we'd put up first half report cards. Today we'll look at the batters, tomorrow pitchers.  80 games in we are doing a little better than I thought we would in the first half. I had figured us for a better second half than first half, thinking we'd be spending the first half finding out who our rotation was. I didn't think we'd spend the first half injuring off our rotation. If you had told me Litsch would be gone for the season, McGowan wouldn't be back, Purcey would be sent back to the minors and, oh Doc would spend time on the DL, I'd have guessed us for last. But we are above .500. Still we aren't happy.

Anyway on to the report cards, after the jump:

Rod Barajas: C+: Rod, what can you say, he has turned inconsistency to an art form.  A 5.4 VORP puts him closer to the bottom of the AL catchers than the top. He has killed lefties .345/.381/.621, but righties he's crappy against .239/.274/.368. He has 8 homers and 39 RBI and he's defense is good.  April he was great .299/.381/.621, May less so .274/.304/.369 and June his batting average dropped off .224/.268/.418. I keep thinking if he would take some walks (he has 12 till now) he might be able to balance some of the boom and bust in his stats.

Raul Chavez: C-: He has 70 at bats and he hasn't yet taken a walk. He's a catch and throw backup, he does seem to have a good arm. .271/.271/.371. As a backup he's fine, but I wouldn't want to see him more than once a week.  If he would take a walk now and then he'd be pretty useful.

Lyle Overbay: B+: An 11.7 VORP, he's hitting like we wanted him to last year. He hasn't hit lefties at all, .222/.317/.389, but he's been great against right-handers .374/.400/.516. Third in the AL in UZR/150 at 5.7 among first basemen, his glove is great, he really should get votes for the Gold Glove.  Wouldn't mind him higher in the order but such is life.

Kevin Millar: D-: A negative VORP (-1.8) and a lousy glove. He's actually hitting lefties better than I thought .306/.351/.431. He's played way too much.  Had a great April .343/.395/.514, but May .218/.283/.364 and a dreadful June .200/.298/.300. They keep saying that he is great in the clubhouse but the games are won on the field and he is terrible there. Maybe he'd be good as a color commentator, can't be worse than Tabler, right? He might be ok if we would only use him against lefties, but even then he doesn't have much value.  I'm sure he's a nice guy and all, but I'd release him.

Aaron Hill: A: Second in the league in VORP (26.7) among second basemen and Ben Zobrist who is leading the way hasn't played that much. His UZR/150 isn't as good as I thought it would be, 3.9 putting him in the middle of the pack but watching him he seems great with the glove. He could take a few more walks but a .504 slugging average is pretty good for a middle infielder.  He didn't have a great June, .245/.294/.491 but we couldn't expect him to hit .365 all season.

Marco Scutaro: A: I love watching him play. He's been great, 23.6 VORP, 3rd in the AL for SS. I didn't think he'd be a good leadoff hitter but I was wrong. He takes pitches and is a very smart player. Leads the AL shortstops in URZ and made just his 2nd error today. Didn't have a good June .229/.328/.324, but then everyone has ups and downs in a season. I am so glad the Jays didn't sign Rafael Furcal or worse yet, Orlando Cabrera.

Scott Rolen: A: Second to Evan Longoria in VORP for 3B's in the AL with 24.5. After last year I thought his days of being a force were over, but with his defense he was still a useful player.  He's not the power hitter he once was but a .333/.394/.494 line is very good. Killing lefties but hitting righties hard too. Had just an amazing Jun: .384/.419/.547. His UZR isn't what I think it should be from watching him, he's ranked about the middle of the league.  Only 30 RBI, for some reason I thought he had more.

John McDonald: Incomplete: But if he gets picked off second in the 9th inning of a game again I'm going to start calling for his release.  Being used only as a pinch runner, he really isn't that good of a base runner. His defense isn't what it once was, but he seems like a heck of a nice guy.

Alex Rios: D+: A strange season so far, poor April (.248/.304/.366), a great May (.302/.359/.509) and a poor June (.232/.290/.374). I guess if we are following the pattern, this ought to be a good month.  His VORP is 7.4 isn't the lowest among RFers but is the lower part of the list. He's 4th in UZR for RFers.  I guess the maddening thing is his mind isn't always in the game. Today, throwing to the wrong base and the occasional base running blunder doesn't endear him to fans.  He is hitting far better at home (.287/.350/.500) than on the road (.232/.287/.329). 9 homers at the half way point without really hitting a hot streak he could get into the 20's.

Vernon Wells: D-:  one of the most interesting splits in Vernon's stats his home (.172/.249/.287) where he is Johnny Mac's weaker brother and road (.321/.354/.485 where he is quite good.  Also his left/right splits are backwards; against lefties he is hitting .195/.259/.286, righties .265/.315/.420. He wasn't bad in April .283/.345/.465 but has been terrible since.  And his defensive numbers have been awful too.  -20.3 UZR, worst in the league by far. He has looked to me like his range as been better lately, at the start of the season I thought that if the ball wasn't hit to where he was standing, he wasn't going to catch it. I was sure in April there was 30 balls that fell at his feet. Lately, he's actually run for the ball and made some catches.  I don't know the answer, he hit well last year and I don't see a reason why he shouldn't start to hit well this year, but then I don't know of a reason why he would either.

Adam Lind: A: VORP of 30.6, best among players listed as DHes on Baseball Prospectus. Fallen behind Hill in the team homerun race 16-19 but has just been great at the plate. Hitting left-handers well and righties better.  He had a poor May but a terrific June (.360/.434/.650). He isn't a great LFer but for with his bat I don't mind him out there at all. All his splits are good.

Jose Bautista: C+:  He has been hitting lefties well (.305/.397/.508), he should never bat against righties (.209/.391/.239). If the righty doesn't walk him he doesn't have a pray.  Has a great arm in the outfield.

The other bats get an incomplete.