One of my favorite ways to rank players overall contribution to an offense when you don’t factor in stolen bases is to look at their OPS. I was curious to see who the top OPS guys were at each spot in the order and by position and decided to try to put together the idea offensive team. To get my results, I only looked at qualified hitters. Here are the results:

Top OPS by batting order spot (Position not important)
1st – Hanley Ramirez (1.001)
2nd – Derrek Jeter (.852)
3rd – David Ortiz (1.070)
4th – Alex Rodriguez (1.081)
5th – Garrett Atkins (.891)
6th – Brad Hawpe (.918)
7th – Robinson Cano (.923)
8th – Jack Wilson (.825)
9th – Tony Pena Jr. (.655)

What I find interesting about this lineup is that the number two hitter, Jeter, has one of the lowest OPS in the lineup. I generally consider the number two guy a high contact guy that gets on base. I also look at him as someone who has more power than the number one guy as well. I was surprised to see Jeter’s OPS as low as it was compared to some of the other spots.

Where did the Cubs finish in the OPS game?

Aramis Ramirez (.915)
Derrek Lee (.913)
Alfonso Soriano (.897)
Mark DeRosa (.792)
Jacque Jones (.735)
Ryan Theriot (.672)

Not qualified, but Daryle Ward had an OPS of .963 in his 110 at bats.

Misc. Notes of Interest

  • The Manager of the Year award results came out and Lou Piniella finished a surprising 4th. Seems to me that when you take a team from last place and one of the worst records in all of baseball to first in the division, you should get more props than that.
  • I ran across a plethora of interesting offseason free agent type posts. From rankings to predictions, all give some interesting tidbits, but should be taken as purely speculation. The longer I do this, the more I realize that predictions are completely worthless. No one knows what will happen, and no one ever revisits the predictions once it’s all said and done. In addition to that, most “analysts” employed by these companies are no different than some of the more intelligent bloggers out there. Enjoy some of these predictions.- Jeff Passan’s ranking of the 144 free agents and grouped by position, complete with small notes – (Source)

    – Chone Smith’s hitter projections for the 2008, though I’m not sure how you can predict that when you don’t know the lineup they will be a part of. Nonetheless, they’re available in a CSV format for you, which will open in Microsoft Excel. – (Source)

    – Keith Law presents a scouting report on the top 50 free agents for this offseason. He put it out last year and it’s part of the ESPN Insider Free Preview. – (Source)

    – Not really offseason related for this year, but Geoff Young, who is a blogger friend of this site took a look back at the wish lists for each team from last year and if they filled them. I was a little disappointed with the Cubs analysis, but oh well. – (Source)

  • If you’ve never taken the time to check out all the things on Baseball Reference, shame on you. They are turning into the authority for accessibility of statistics. Recently, they came up with a list of the minor leaguers that filed for free agency, ranked by their On Base %. It’s an interesting thing to look at, because these are guys that could be had for essentially nothing at all. Here is the complete list, along with a couple I noticed as particularly intriguing for the Cubs to consider.- Mark Johnson had an OBP of .440 playing in the Pacific Coast League (AAA). He’s 31 and plays the corner OF, C, and 1B. You may remember him from the Cubs system just a few years ago. He may be worth taking a shot on for his ability to get on base alone. He’s had chances with the White Sox, A’s and Brewers in the past, but not since 2004.

    Luis Sierra is a 19 year old infielder that fits the Rudy mold at 5’11” and 150lbs. He played his first year with the White Sox farm system and played 1B, SS, & 3B while hitting .301 / .395 / .443. He had 6 HR and 51 RBI in 68 games. That’s some nice power for a 19 year old and great plate discipline.

    Tim Raines Jr. is the son of former White Sox player, Tim ‘Rock’ Raines. He’s a 27 year old OF with speed (21 SB in 23 attempts). Like Johnson, he’s had limited experience in the Majors, but didn’t fair well with Baltimore.

    Richal Acosta is not a hitter, but a pitcher. I picked him out for a couple reasons. First, he had a K/9 ratio of 13.86, which was head and shoulders above the next person at 9.2. He’s a tiny little guy at 6’1″ but 145 lbs., which has to be an typo. From what I see, he didn’t pitch in 2005 or 2006 and suddenly came back on the scene in a big way with the Pirates. I’m going to shoot an E-mail to a fellow blogger and see what I can scout on this kid.

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    Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail