Why Vote For Victorino? Here’s Why

July 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

Shane Victorino, the feisty and gritty center fielder for the Phillies, is among the nominees for the National League’s final roster spot for the 2009 All Star game. His competition is Cristian Guzman of the Nationals, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, Mark Reynolds of the Diamondbacks, and Pablo Sandoval of the Giants.

So how does Victorino stand up against the other nominees?

At first glance it may appear that Reynolds could be a favorite based on his power numbers, but Victorino holds his own and should be the winner of the final vote.

Let’s look at Victorino’s numbers…

Right off the bat, hitting for a .300 average is nothing to be upset about. What the stats don’t tell you above is that Victorino has the fewest strike outs (39) than any of his competition, yet has the most at bats (320), meaning Victorino strikes out 12 percent of the time. His competition?

  • Reynolds strikes out 36.9 percent of the time (111 SO in 301 AB)
  • Kemp strikes out 24.5 percent of the time (74 SO in 302 AB)
  • Sandoval strikes out 15.4 percent of the time (43 SO in 279 AB)
  • Guzman strikes out 14.5 percent of the time (42 SO in 289 AB)

Throw in the fact that Victorino has the second most walks (32) among the Final Vote candidates and it may turn some heads. Only Reynolds has been given a free base more times with 38.

Victorino, with five home runs, is second from the bottom in that category, but everybody knows that power is not his game. Still that could detract some votes for fans who look for home runs.

What Victorino does offer that no other candidate can is Gold Glove caliber defense. Victorino picked up his first career Gold Glove award for his play in center field last year.

If your team is looking for a clutch double play then you better hope that Victorino is not the batter. Victorino has hit into just two double plays this season, fewest among his final vote candidates.

Victorino’s two double plays are half as many as the next fewest (four for Sandoval). To be fair though, batting second behind a struggling Jimmy Rollins has vastly limited Victorino’s opportunities to hit into double plays this season.

On the flip side though, you have to wonder how Victorino’s RBI would look if Rollins was on track from the start of the season. Victorino has 31 extra base hits, and if Rollins had his offensive game in check you would have to imagine that Victorino’s RBI numbers would increase to a certain level.

With 35 RBI in the second spot in the lineup, you could expect his total to raise by at least ten runs if Rollins was getting on base from the start of the season in the leadoff spot.

There are some good arguments for a few of the Final Vote candidates on the National League squad, but the favorite should be Victorino.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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