[Ed. note: If you hate stats, or are just not familiar, please read on and don't give up! This stuff was confusing for even the most diehard stathead at one point. There is good stuff here. And if you have questions, please ask. We don't judge around here]

We are more than one-third of the way through the season. Let’s take a look at how some of the Rays hitters are performing in terms of weighted On Base Average (wOBA). If you are not familiar with wOBA, just think OPS, but better (check this link for a quick explanation). However, typically, if a player has a good OPS, they will also have a good wOBA and vice versa.

In short, this is the best way to get a sense of who has been swinging the bat the best. Notes on the table are below…

Notes on the table

  • wOBA is on an OBP scale which makes it easier than OPS to get an idea of what is good and what is not good. The cutoffs are somewhat arbitrary but generally, .350 and above is good, .335 is average and anything below .320 is not very good.
  • The Rays as a team have a wOBA of .315, which ranks 9th in the AL.
  • Basically, the Rays lineup is a case study in feast-or-famine. Five of the Rays have been hitting lights out, led by Matt Joyce who has a ridiculous .415 wOBA.
  • But the Rays also have 9 batters with at least 80 plate appearances who are struggling to carry their weight. It is no surprise that Reid Brignac, Kelly Shoppach, Dan Johnson and Felipe Lopez are at the bottom.
  • wOBA does not consider stolen bases or defense. So wOBA doesn’t accurately reflect BJ Upton’s value. Still, his .313 wOBA would be his second-worst mark in a full season.
  • In the end, we really don’t see any surprises here. Just about everybody is ranked right where we thought they would be.
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  1. Sarah says:

    Interesting to see it laid out this way. I wouldn't have guessed that Elliot Johnson strikes out nearly as frequently as Kelly Shoppach. I also think that Sam Fuld should learn to draw a few more walks - that would make his low batting average less problematic and allow him to take advantage of his real strength, which is base running.

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