Monday, May 6, 2013

Meet the Napolis

The Red Sox have enjoyed the services of Mike Napoli for about five weeks now, so what have we seen so far? Looking beyond the fact that Napoli can crush Toronto's horrible pitching -- 4 of his 6 homers have come against the Blue Jays -- let's split Napoli's stats by games against above and under .500 teams:

Against above .500 teams: .264 BA / .324 OBP, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 9 R, 22K (18 games)
Against below .500 teams: .272 BA / .298 OBP, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 8 R, 24 K (13 games)

The stat lines look pretty similar.  So we're looking at a player who performs equally well against all types of competition, and we don't have to worry about him getting beat by good pitching, right? 

Not really.  I'm going to take away 2 games from Napoli's above .500 teams stats -- one was against Cleveland, the other against Oakland.  The Oakland game was against A.J. Griffin, who had a bad start.  The Cleveland game was against Ubaldo Jimenez, who is just plain bad.  Have a look at Napoli's stats against .500 teams, minus bad pitching:

.237 BA / .307 OBP, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R, 18 K (16 games)

Some might say that I'm being unfair by selectively removing a couple games against bad pitchers/pitching, but before Napoli came here he was known for having huge games against bad pitching that inflated his stats.  I want to see how Napoli performs against real competition and, looking at those stats, I'm not impressed.  The Napoli that hits 4 homers against Toronto doesn't look like the same Napoli that only got 1 hit in three games against Texas this weekend -- and that hit didn't produce a run.  The Sox don't play against Toronto, or pitchers like Jimenez, every other week; so Napoli needs to find a way to start producing against real competition. 

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