Here are some lists. We begin with that favorite moribund statistic, batting average:
Victor Martinez, DET, .365; Starling Marte, PIT, .361; Buster Posey, SFG, .361, Josh Harrison, PIT .355
Sure looks like Buster is a second-half hitter, doesn't it?
Now, on-base percentage:
Jose Abreu, CHW, .451; Victor Martinez, DET, .448; Jon Jay, STL, .429; Jayson Werth, WAS .429
Notice a trend? Six of the seven hitters listed thus far in the "stretch drive" sweepstakes are from playoff-bound teams.
Does the trend hold up for slugging average?
Starling Marte, PIT, .611; Buster Posey, SFG, .602; Victor Martinez, DET, .586; Giancarlo Stanton, MIA, .581; David Ortiz, .BOS, 567
A bit of a falloff in the #4 and #5 slots, bringing the playoff-bound average down to two in three.
How do we do when we move to those paltry counting stats? First, homers:
Chris Carter, HOU, 15; Giancarlo Stanton, MIA, 12; Jose Bautista, TOR, 12; Adam LaRoche, WAS, 12
One out of three new names, we're now 7-for-12 in batting leaders who are headed to the post-season.
Shall we sully ourselves further, with RBI? Oh, what the hell:
Victor Martinez, DET, 42; Jose Bautista, TOR, 37; Evan Longoria, TBR, 37; Kennys Vargas, MIN, 37, Chris Carter, HOU, 36
That gets us to 7-for-14, or a 50% chance that a hitter on this "down the stretch" list will be on a post-season club.
Now, let's use OPS to look at the guys having the worst last two months of 2014. Here we go:
|Matt Dominguez: generic...and bad enough|
to be "two steps away from the county line..."
All new names, of course, and all of them (save KC...) are going to miss the post-season. That Austin Jackson deal didn't help the Mariners' offense much, did it? And clearly Gatorade™needed to spike their drink for Derek Jeter, as his final two months don't quite track with the awe and ecstasy of the teeming Bronx masses fawning over him in their puffed-up paean.
Worst batting averages since August 1? Two guys from Houston, and two from the Yankees make the list:
Jon Singleton, HOU, .160; Matt Dominguez, HOU, .165; Javier Baez, CHC, .173, Brett Gardner, NYY, .182; Mark Teixeira, NYY, .188; Chris Davis, BAL, .189.
Again, only the one playoff team member (the otherwise fallen-from-grace Davis). Proving, perhaps, that playoff teams avoid debilitating negative performance extremes as much if not more so than having a big surge from someone in the final two months.