Saturday, October 10, 2015

Brantley's 2015 Situational #s, Team Highs, League Rankings, etc.

as i continue to switch things up and do my posts a little differently this year, here is a new blog for you guys, though it will seem somewhat familiar if you've been reading my blogs all season. this one contains Michael's 2015 statistical #s, including his situational statistics, team highs, career highs, league rankings, divisional team stats, Indians History information, and more. if you have not yet read the Brantley's 2015 Game-by-Game Numbers & Notes blog or the Brantley's 2015 BOP & LF/CF/DH/PH #s blog, i highly recommend you do so.

in 2015, Michael had a total of 596 plate appearances and 529 at bats in 137 games (1034.2 innings). in total, he had 164 hits, 60 extra base hits, 104 singles, 45 doubles, 15 home runs, 84 RBI, 5 sac flies, 68 runs, 60 walks, 8 intentional walks, 2 hit by pitches, 15 stolen bases (14 - 2nd, 1 - 3rd), 1 caught stealing (3rd), 14 GIDP, 51 strikeouts (37 swinging, 14 looking), 34 first at bat hits, 254 total bases, 223 left on base, 212 putouts, 8 assists, 2 errors, and 1 double play.

2015 batting average: .310 (164-529)

OBP: .379

SLG: .480

OPS: .859

Michael's .310 batting average was the
highest on the team out of all the qualifying players. he finished 7 points ahead of Jason Kipnis, who was 2nd on the team with his .303 batting average. Francisco Lindor ended his rookie season batting .313 but did not accumulate enough plate appearances to be a qualifier, so his BA does not formally rank for the team high.

Quick Season Overview

coming into 2015, i was worried about Michael's capabilities and how he would perform. knowing that he'd had a lower back strain in spring training and didn't even play in half those games, i wasn't sure what to expect from him in the regular season. while the strain did keep him out of some games early, he looked almost injury-free when he returned. the Indians worked with him vigilantly and rigorously, making sure the trainers had him on a regimen that would best benefit his back, and taking advantage of extra rest opportunities by sometimes giving Michael a game off before an off day as well.

unfortunately, his back would not be the only injury he was forced to overcome. in August, Michael had some left shoulder inflammation and missed 3 games. then in September, he injured his right shoulder on a failed diving catch attempt. he missed 4 games before trying to come back for the last week of the season, but after 2 games and persistent discomfort, an MRI revealed he had inflammation in the shoulder. ultimately, the Indians had to shut him down early for his own safety.

Michael was determined to play as much as possible this season and there's no doubt he played a number of games hurt. there were obvious times when it was visible to everyone that he wasn't fully healthy and that certainly affected his numbers this year. he had a few months when he didn't hit any home runs, and he appeared to have trouble running on the basepaths and in the outfield occasionally, too. but his desire to play and help his teammates outweighed any pain he felt. this was particularly true in September when he was not hitting much, and his poor overall numbers for the month reflect that.

Michael's only discernible slump this season occurred in September, and that was before the shoulder injury came about. it was his worst month by far and i, for one, never saw it coming because he had just finished the month of August batting over .400--his best month of the year and one of the best in his career. so really other than that one bad month, Michael had strong to quite strong individual months this season. a lot of days, if you had no prior knowledge to the injury impediments he was battling, you wouldn't have known.

even despite the dissatisfying ending to his year, Michael still wound up with a lot of exceptional numbers, some of which rival the numbers he put up during his MVP-caliber season from a year ago. that in and of itself is one hell of a feat considering he was never at full strength. surprisingly, his inferior September didn't hurt his comprehensive 2015 stats as much as you might think either. however, it did bring some of his categorical batting averages down. you're going to notice some areas where it seems like perhaps Michael should have done better when you now continue to read through the rest of this blog.

Team Leads and Career Highs

in 2015, Michael led the team with 60 extra base hits, 45 doubles, 8 intentional walks (tied), 15 stolen bases, 15:1 stolen base:caught stealing ratio, .310 batting average, .379 OBP, .480 SLG, and .859 OPS. he had the least amount of strikeouts among qualifying players as well, with 51.

defensively, Michael led the outfielders with 212 putouts, 8 assists, 1034.2 innings, .991 fielding percentage (among qualifiers), and 118 games in the field. he was also tied for 2nd with 1 double play.

Michael was 2nd on the team with 164 hits, 104 singles, 15 home runs, 84 RBI, 60 walks, and 254 total bases.

additionally, he was 3rd with 68 runs, 596 plate appearances, 529 at bats, and 137 games played.

when comparing Michael's past seasons to this one, i discovered that Michael set a career high for himself in 2015 with 60 walks. he also had a career low 51 strikeouts. and for the record, he played a career high 18 games as a DH this year as well.

HR:RBI, K Rate, and Outs

i'm amazed that Michael was able to hit 15 home runs this year even with the back and shoulder injuries he experienced. the power he developed last season was definitely lacking at times and that was a result of him not being 100% health-wise. nevertheless, 15 homers is very good for Michael, and it was also good enough for 2nd most on the Tribe. as expected, Carlos Santana had the team high, leading everyone with 19 home runs. Yan Gomes and Francisco Lindor had 12 homers each, Jason Kipnis had 9, and Ryan Raburn had 8. conversely, Michael did lead the team with 9 home runs at Progressive Field. Lindor was behind him with 8, while Santana and Kipnis each hit 6 homers at home.

Michael ended the season with 84 RBI. it probably would have been more had he not struggled so much in September and then missed the final 6 games because of his right shoulder. therefore, he sadly did not finish with the team high in ribbies. i knew it was only a matter of time before Santana took that honor, as he'd been slowly creeping up towards Michael's total in late September. on October 2, Santana tied Michael for the team high and then on October 3, when Santana hit his final home run of the year, he passed Michael and gave himself the sole team lead with 85 RBI. that could have been avoided if only Michael would have driven in a few more of the 223 runners he left on base this year.

now here are his final HR:RBI ratios for 2015: 7 of Michael's 84 RBI (8.3%) came from his solo homers, while 25 of his 84 RBI (29.8%) came from all 15 of his home runs.

Michael's K rate in 2015 was 8.6% (51 K/596 PA). he was the toughest hitter in the American League to strike out this season, and 4th toughest overall in the majors. Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets had the lowest K rate at 7.1%, Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves had the 2nd lowest at 8.2%, and Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants was right behind Simmons at 8.3%. also in 2015, Michael averaged 1 strikeout per 11.7 plate appearances.

because Michael was one of the hardest hitters in the league to strike out, most of his outs came after making contact with the ball. on the season, he totaled 177 groundouts, 156 flyouts, and 54 lineouts versus 51 strikeouts.

Situational Statistics

Michael had a hit in 104 of the 137 games he played in 2015 and reached base safely in 117 games. he had 33 hitless games, but still reached base in 13 of those. Michael had 43 multi-hit games, 15 3+ hit games, and 16 multi-RBI games. he had at least 1 RBI in 61 games. in addition, he had 19 go-ahead hits and 22 go-ahead RBI. the Indians were 68-69 in games that Michael played in and 13-11 in the games he sat out.

in 2015, Michael bat .321 (101-for-315) against right-handed pitchers and .294 (63-for-214) against left-handed pitchers. he was actually about to end his season batting .300 against southpaws, but he played hurt in his final game and went 0-for-4 against lefty pitchers, which brought his average down. regardless, his final BAs against both righties and lefties are very good. his average vs. RHP was 2nd best on the team and 4th best in the American League, and his average vs. LHP was 3rd best on the team.

compared with last year, the averages were down a bit from .337 and .307 against right-handers and left-handers, respectively. but at least he still did better this season than in 2013, when he hit .288 and .276. once again, he's proven himself to be an equally talented hitter against both types of pitchers.

Michael hit .316 (81-for-256) with 39 RBI at home on the season. he totaled 24 doubles and 9 home runs (33 extra base hits) at Progressive Field, along with 40 runs, 32 walks (4 intentional), 2 hit by pitches, 9 stolen bases (1 - 3rd), 6 GIDP, 28 strikeouts (19 swinging, 9 looking), and 132 total bases while playing 66 out of 80 total home games*. he hit safely in 48 of the 66 home games he played in and safely got on base in 56 of them. he had 18 hitless games at home, reaching base in 8.

(*1 home game in September was postponed due to rain. MLB rescheduled it for the day after the regular season ended, but it would only be played if the game was going to have any postseason implications. the Indians were eliminated from postseason play after the games on October 1 concluded and therefore the PPD game was officially cancelled.)

away from Progressive Field, Michael hit .304 (83-for-273), 6th best in the AL, with 45 RBI in 2015. he had 21 doubles and 6 home runs (27 extra base hits) on the road, along with 28 runs, 28 walks (4 intentional), 6 stolen bases, 1 caught stealing (3rd), 8 GIDP, 23 strikeouts (18 swinging, 5 looking), and 122 total bases while playing 71 of 81 total road games. he also hit safely in 56 of 71 road games he played in and safely reached base in 61 of them. he had 15 hitless games away from home, reaching base in 5.

for the year, Michael bat .324 (45-for-139) with runners in scoring position and produced 65 RBI. that average put him at 10th best in the AL. breaking it down, he hit .321 (9-for-28) with RISP and 0 outs, .431 (25-for-58) with RISP and 1 out, and .208 (11-for-53) with RISP and 2 outs. normally a strong hitter with 2 outs and RISP (he bat .306 last year and .364! in 2013), his performance there this season was very unsatisfying to the point of almost unacceptable.

even his overall RISP numbers suffered a hit this season. in previous years, Michael has typically been one of the best clutch hitters in the league. for example, his .376 batting average in 2014 was the highest on the Indians and also ranked 1st in the American League. and going back to 2013, he rounded out that year with a .375 batting average with RISP--3rd in the AL. now in 2015, he barely squeaked into the top 10. so from what we've been used to, this season yielded a decline.

Michael completed 2015 batting .254 (47-for-185) with 2 outs in an inning. he tallied 12 doubles, 2 home runs, 20 RBI, 29 walks, and 18 strikeouts (12 swinging, 6 looking). this was another problem area for Michael pretty much all season. i don't know if it was just a different mindset and he felt more pressure when coming up to bat in this situation, but something was going on here. this was his worst seasonal 2-out batting average since he's been in the majors. ouch.

additionally, Michael bat .329 (82-for-249) with 77 RBI with runners on base--6th best in the AL--and .308 (4-for-13) with 9 RBI with bases loaded on the year. these are both superb numbers and i really can't complain at all here.

furthermore, Michael hit .293 (82-for-280) with the bases empty in 2015. he acquired 25 doubles, 7 home runs, 7 RBI, and 21 walks when nobody was on base this season. that's rather sufficient.

finally, Michael wrapped up 2015 with a 3.8 fWAR (wins above replacement), a 135 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus--the ability to create runs compared to the league average), a 1.4 BsR (baserunning runs above average with stolen bases and caught stealings), and a -3.3 UZR (ultimate zone rating). among qualifying AL left fielders, Michael's WAR and wRC+ ranked 1st, and his BsR ranked 2nd. [these stats all came courtesy of]

Versus AL Central Division Teams

vs. the Detroit Tigers, Michael bat .323 (20-for-62) in 15 games. (he missed 2 games because he was out resting his back and he sat out 1 game. plus, 1 game was rained out and not made up.) of his 20 hits, 9 were extra base hits--7 doubles and 2 home runs--giving him 33 total bases. he also had 9 RBI, 9 runs, 3 walks (1 intentional), 1 stolen base, and 3 first at bat hits. in addition, he had 1 GIDP, 4 strikeouts (2 looking, 2 swinging), and 26 men left on base. defensively, he obtained 21 putouts in 118 total innings--92 innings in 11 games in left field and 26 innings in 3 games in center. (he was the DH for 1 game.)

final thoughts: Michael did not have a good performance against the Tigers in September and that brought his overall average down. he went through a slump at an inopportune time and then played hurt, which hindered him against pitchers that he's hit well against throughout his career (Justin Verlander and Alfredo Simon, to name a few). so that was tough to see. but otherwise, he tortured this team.

vs. the Chicago White Sox, Michael bat .262 (17-for-65) in 17 games. (he missed 2 games because of his back.) he had 6 doubles, 1 home run, 11 RBI, 1 sac fly, 3 runs, 3 walks, 4 first at bat hits, and 26 total bases. he grounded into 2 double plays, struck out 10 times (7 swinging, 3 looking), and left 29 guys on base. between left and center field, he played 133.0 total innings (96.1 in left in 11 games and 36.2 in center in 4 games), and recorded 22 putouts and 1 outfield assist. (he was the DH for 1 game and a PH for 1 game.)

final thoughts: the two September series' really helped Michael's total numbers against this team. Chicago has a lot of tough left-handed pitching, which is no excuse, but had Michael not faced Chris Sale 3 times (out of 4), his numbers against the ChiSox would have undoubtedly been higher.

vs. the Kansas City Royals, Michael bat .250 (14-for-56) in 16 games. (he missed 1 game to rest his back and 2 games because of right shoulder soreness.) he had 2 doubles and 2 home runs to go along with 5 RBI, 9 runs, 12 walks, 1 hit by pitch, 4 stolen bases (1 - 3rd), 5 first at bat hits, and 22 total bases. he also had 2 GIDP, 4 strikeouts (3 swinging, 1 looking), and 22 left on base. in the field, he recorded 21 putouts in 122 innings (108 in left in 13 games and 14 in center in 2 games). (he was the DH for 2 games.)

final thoughts: like with the Tigers, a poor September showing against the Royals really dragged his entire batting average down. he was in the midst of his only slump this season at that time and went hitless in 4 of the 5 games he played. how unfortunate.

vs. the Minnesota Twins, Michael bat .341 (15-for-44) in 11 games, one of which he left early with a right shoulder injury. (he missed 3 games because of left shoulder inflammation and 2 games because of right shoulder inflammation before he was shut down for the final 3 games against this team.) he had 3 doubles, 1 home run, 7 RBI, 7 runs, 4 walks, 2 stolen bases, 2 first at bat hits, and 21 total bases. in addition, he hit into 1 double play, struck out swinging 3 times, and left 13 runners on base. defensively, he totaled 19 putouts, 3 outfield assists, and 1 double play in 79 innings as the left fielder. (he was the DH for 1 game.)

final thoughts: until September, Michael really owned the Twins this year. if he hadn't missed all the games that he did, it's plausible that he would have secured more total stats. looking at it from Minnesota's perspective, i'm sure they were happy he wasn't in the lineup for those 8 games this season.

Spotlight On 2-Baggers

Michael is the current American League leader with 90 doubles over the past 2 seasons. Houston's Jose Altuve is close behind Michael with 87 doubles and Detroit's Miguel Cabrera is 3rd with 80. if you include the National League players as well, then New York's Yoenis Cespedes is 4th with 78.

(i originally came upon this information via Paul Hoynes on May 12 and Jordan Bastian on September 25 this year. i then kept track of it myself through the end of the season and will continue to carry this on once the 2016 season begins.)

also, as you may already know, Michael led everyone in baseball with his 45 doubles in 2015. but did you know there were 17 players who hit at least 38 doubles this year and Michael was the only one to finish the season without recording a triple? you can blame that on the back strain. (thanks again to Hoynsie via Bill Chuck for that tidbit.)

League Rankings

quite a few of Michael's overall numbers for 2015 ended up in the top 10 among players in the American League and major leagues. here is where his final numbers rank:

among qualifying players in the American League, he ranked 1st in doubles (45), 3rd in OBP (.379), 4th in batting average (.310), and tied for 9th in intentional walks (8). Detroit's Miguel Cabrera won the AL batting title with his .338 BA. Michael also ranked 68th out of 68 players in strikeouts (51), meaning he had the least amount of Ks in the AL. 

among qualifying outfielders in the American League, Michael was 1st in doubles and batting average; 2nd in OBP; 3rd in intentional walks; 5th in RBI (84), walks (60), SLG (.480), and OPS (.859); 6th in extra base hits (60); tied for 6th in sac flies (5); 8th in hits (164); and 10th in singles (104). plus, out of 23 players, he was 23rd in strikeouts. 

among qualifying left fielders in the American League, Michael ranked 1st in extra base hits, doubles, RBI, intentional walks, total bases (254), batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS; 2nd in hits, singles, and walks; tied for 2nd in sac flies; 3rd in stolen bases (15), plate appearances (596), and at bats (529); tied for 3rd in games played (137); 4th in runs (68); and tied for 7th in home runs (15). additionally, he ranked 4th out of 4 qualifiers in strikeouts. 

among all major league left fielders, Michael was 1st in doubles and OBP; 2nd in extra base hits, RBI, intentional walks, and batting average; 3rd in walks, total bases, SLG, and OPS; tied for 4th in sac flies; 5th in hits; tied for 5th in singles; 7th in plate appearances; 8th in stolen bases and at bats; and 9th in runs. he also had the least amount of strikeouts, finishing 15th of 15 total qualifiers.

among all major league outfielders, Michael ranked 1st in doubles; 4th in batting average and OBP; and tied for 7th in intentional walks. he ranked 54th out of 54 in strikeouts as well. 

among all major league qualifying players, Michael's doubles ranked 1st and his OBP ranked 8th. (just for the record, Michael's .310 batting average ranked 12th in all of baseball. not bad considering.) he had the 3rd least amount of strikeouts, too, ranking 139th out of 141 players.

In Indians History

Michael concluded 2015 with 164 hits. however, when he acquired his 150th of the season, that gave him 4 straight seasons with at least 150 hits (2012-2015). he is the first Tribesman to accomplish this since Grady Sizemore did it from 2005-2008.

Michael also finished the season with 45 doubles, tying his career high from 2014. it marked the first time in his career that he had consecutive seasons with 45 doubles. it also made him the 4th player in franchise history with back-to-back years hitting 45 doubles or more, the other 3 Indians being Lou Boudreau (1940-1941), George Burns (1926-1927), and Tris Speaker (1920-1923).

in addition, Michael led every player in Major League Baseball this season with his 45 doubles, something no Cleveland Indian has done since Lou Boudreau in 1947. and obviously Michael also led the AL in doubles, making him just the 3rd Indians player to do so since 1961.

when Jason Kipnis hit his 40th double of the 2015 season, he and Michael, who already had his 45 doubles at the time, attained another feat. it was the 15th time in Indians history when at least two players had 40+ doubles in one season, and the first time since Coco Crisp and Travis Hafner both hit 42 doubles in 2005.

then when Kipnis hit his 43rd double of the season, it gave the Indians 2 teammates with at least 43 doubles in one season for the first time since 1936. prior to Michael and Kip, the last duo to achieve this was Odell Hale and Hal Trosky.

on top of that, Michael and Kip ranked 1 and 2 in the American League in doubles this year with 45 and 43, respectively. they were the first Indians pair to finish 1 and 2 since Lou Boudreau and Ken Keltner did in 1944.

Michael ended 2015 with 15 steals, a little below average for him. but in light of how much he played hurt, that's not too bad. anyways, his 15th stolen base fulfilled the last piece of the puzzle in order for him to become only the 2nd player in Indians history to boast back-to-back seasons of at least 150 hits, 45 doubles, 15 home runs, and 15 stolen bases! before Michael, the last Indians player with such numbers was Roberto Alomar in 1999 and 2000, and the last player in Major League Baseball with at least these numbers was Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox in 2008 and 2009.

moreover, when Michael officially brought his year to a close with a .310 batting average, he became the 1st player in Major League history to put up back-to-back seasons with a minimum of 150 hits, 45 doubles, 15 home runs, 15 stolen bases, and a .300 batting average! that's extraordinary!

In The Field

Michael spent the majority of his time this year in left field, but he also saw some time in center field, mostly in the middle of the season. because of health restraints, Michael did not play the outfield as much as usual. at times, his back strain seemed to slow down his ability to run in the field and so he was often given extra days off and more games in the limited DH role. regardless of how he was feeling, he always tried his hardest and gave his best effort. he made several brilliant catches and some excellent throws to nail opposing runners. Michael had a combined 212 putouts between left and center field in 2015. he also totaled 7 outfield assists, 2 errors, 1 double play, and a .991 fielding percentage. 

as the left fielder, Michael had 172 putouts, 7 assists, 2 errors, 1 double play, and a .989 fielding percentage this year.

as the center fielder, he had 40 putouts, 1 assist, and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage for 2015.

among all AL left fielders, Michael's 7 assists in left field ranked tied for 4th with Sam Fuld of the Oakland Athletics. Eddie Rosario of the Minnesota Twins had 12, Yoenis Cespedes had 9 while with the Detroit Tigers before being traded to the New York Mets (and his assist total is included in these rankings for reasons i still don't understand), and Melky Cabrera of the Chicago White Sox had 8. bear in mind though, those 3 all had 5 errors compared with Michael's 2.

Michael's 1 double play ranked tied for 5th with 15 other AL left fielders as well.

his (.989) fielding percentage is not ranked among AL left fielders, probably due to the excessive amount of games he played this year as a DH as opposed to the left fielder.

among all MLB left fielders, Michael's 7 assists ranked tied for 7th with Sam Fuld and Scott Van Slyke of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Starling Marte of the Pittsburgh Pirates ranked 1st with 15 assists.

among all AL outfielders, Michael's 8 total assists ranked tied for 14th (with 6 other players). 

among all MLB outfielders, Michael's 8 assists ranked tied for 26th (with 9 other players). Avisail Garcia of the White Sox led everyone with 17 assists.

up next: a blog wrapping up Michael's season, including key moments of 2015, some quotes from Michael, comparing 2015 to his past seasons, my thoughts on his season, and how my preseason predictions did or did not pan out. this blog may take some extra time for me to write up so it probably won't be posted for a few days.

previous blogs:
Brantley's 2015 Game-by-Game Numbers & Notes
Brantley's 2015 Batting Order Position & LF/CF/DH/PH #s

and if you would like to see any of Michael's monthly blogs for 2015, you can refer to them here:
Brantley's April 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's May 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's June 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's July 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's August 2015 #s blog, and
Brantley's September/October 2015 #s blog.

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