People who study this stuff contend that the order of a baseball team's line-up plays a negligible role in the eventual outcome of a game. So it's hard to greet Charlie Manuel's decision to return Jimmy Rollins to the leadoff spot with anything more than a slight raise of the eyebrow. Interesting, sure. But the Phillies haven't struggled because Shane Victorino was hitting first and Rollins was hitting third. Still, it should be noted that Victorino has actually performed well as a table-setter this season, at least when you judge him by the numbers he has posted.
Victorino is reaching base in 41.2 percent of his of his plate appearances when leading off an inning and 38.5 percent when leading off the game. He is hitting .375 with a 1.099 OPS in 48 plate appearances as the first batter in an inning. Of those 48 plate appearances as a true leadoff hitter, Victorino has gone on to score a run 12 times. Three of those runs he drove in himself via home runs, which means a teammate has driven him in nine times.
In other words, 20 percent of Victorino's plate appearances as a leadoff hitter have seen him reach base and then score.
Here is how that ratio compares to those of other leadoff hitters in the National League when leading off an inning.
|Player||Plate App||On Base Perc.||Runs||Home runs||Percent|