2012 Recaps: Illinois HittingPosted: June 9, 2012
I will be posting hitting, pitching, and defensive updates for each team in the Big Ten to recap their 2012 seasons with the proper scrutiny. Those are linked at the 2012 Season Recaps tab at the top right. I have no planned schedule on when I will have them posted, but the order is going to be alphabetical. Their timing will likely be sporadic, however.
The Fighting Illini finished the 2012 campaign three games over .500 at 28-25. Boyd Nation currently has Illinois ranked 96th overall. Despite this, the Illini finished just 11-13 in conference play, in a tie for sixth place which left them on the outside of the Big Ten Tournament invitees. This is a recap of their hitting as both a team and individuals.
As a Team
On the whole, the Illini were middle-of-the-road offensively. Their 309 runs on the season were the sixth most in the conference. Illinois posted a 0.326 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA; refer to this post for more links on what wOBA is) which was a shade over the 0.320 conference average. That gives Illinois seven runs above average offensively which was actually the fourth-best mark in the Big Ten.
Categories with a plus sign are put on the OPS+ scale where 100 is league average
Illinois was significantly above-average in getting on base. BB+ is based on BB% which does include hit by pitches, as well. They were above average when they put the ball in play and it all totaled to a slightly above-average offense. Had they hit for some more power, they could’ve really been an offensive force.
The above raw values placed on the OPS+ scale would look as such:
Both tables are sorted by Weighted Runs Above Average. Any category with an asterisk (*) is adjusted for park factors which are taken from Boyd’s World.
Willie Argo continued his trend of decreasing his strikeouts (relative to league average he’s posted 111, 120 and now 106 the last three years) and increasing his walks/HBP’s (135, 140, 151). After hitting eight home runs combined in the previous two seasons, he only managed to hit one long ball which really hurt his Isolated Power. He made up for that, however, with very good on-base skills (0.430 OBP) and very good stolen base numbers (22 SB’s, 4 caught stealing) and since I include SB/CS’s in my individual wOBA calculations (still debating on whether this is good or not), it really pumps up his wOBA to a team-leading, park-adjusted 10.6 runs above average.
Jordan Parr was very good in suppressing strikeouts, but he didn’t walk much either. His wOBA was driven by a very big isolated power — best on the team with a 0.173 park-adjusted IsoP, 139 IsoP+. He clubbed 13 doubles, three triples and tied with Brandon Hohl for the teamlead with five round-trippers. Speaking of Hohl, he tended to be the opposite. Yes, he tied for the team lead with five home runs, he only had one other hit go for extra bases (one double) out of his 51 total hits.
Kelly Norris-Jones really struggled in his first year, hitting for almost no power. He only swiped two bags in three attempts, so he didn’t supplement his weak stick with much value when he was on base. Additionally, he was a touch above-average in BB+ but struggled making contact. He’ll improve as he continues to see more college pitching, but his 151 PA’s hurt the Illinois to the tune of a run below average.
Michael Hurwitz had no luck when the ball was in play (just 0.111 BABIP), but his 45 plate appearances were impressively poor, costing his squad almost four full runs. That was the second worst mark for a player with so few PA’s this year, just about half-a-run better than Northwestern’s Chris Kontos who posted a -4.2 wRAA in 44 plate appearances.