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The site was down today. We couldn’t publish a thing. And so, AJC columnist Mark Bradley was granted a brief reprieve. But now we’re back in business, and now Bradley’s gonna get it. And I’m gonna give it to him.

In his column today , Bradley says the Braves won’t win unless Frenchy and Teixeira hit:

"Mark Teixeira has had tremendous seasons, but this isn’t yet one of them…"

Yes it is. Tex is on pace for his second best season ever. Anyone who thinks he’s under-performing obviously wasn’t paying attention last year, or the year before that, or the year before that. Other than his crazy 2004 season (43 HR, 144 RBI), this is as good as Teixeira has ever been.

Mark Teixeira

I’m gonna go ahead and assume that Bradley, when he complains about Tex’s lack of production, isn’t looking at semi-sophisticated stats like OPS or runs created, but is instead focusing on homers and RBIs. And that makes his argument even crazier, since this season Tex is on pace for 30 HR and 120 RBI, which is the same number of homers and 15 more RBI than he hit last season. Moreover, 120 RBI would be Tex’s second highest total ever.

If there’s any concern whatsoever, it’s that Tex is hitting more ground balls than he should be, which is affecting his Isolated Power, which is down a bit from his norms. But his line drive percentage is right around where it should be.

Why would Bradley expect more from Teixeira? The first baseman mashed last year after he was traded to Atlanta. Maybe Bradley thought that was sustainable. But anybody who thinks a .500 average with runners in scoring position is sustainable should have his head examined.

I’m not saying this is as good as Tex gets. I think he’ll improve in the second half. His BABiP is usually well over .300, but so far this year he’s at .287. So that’s going to go up. And when it does, his batting average should go up, too.

But even if Teixeira simply continues doing what he’s been doing, that’s still pretty good. And if thus far the Braves’ first baseman has failed to meet your expectations, then your expectations were too high.

NOTE: Paul Moro contributed to this post. But most of the really serious thinking was done by yours truly. Spelling mistakes, typos, gaps in logic – that was all Paul.

10 Responses to “Mark Teixeira is not a god”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    TINSTAAPP

  2. Nick Kapur says:

    Do you really believe that, Paul?

  3. Sarah Green says:

    Let’s first be clear on what that means.

  4. Paul Moro says:

    Depends on how literally you’re going to take it. Yes, some pitching prospects do pan out. But really, how many of them actually even win 50 games over their career?

    Mark Prior, Kurt Ainsworth, Juan Cruz, Ryan Anderson, Nick Neugebauer, Jon Rauch, Dennis Tankersley and Carlos Hernandez were the top arms a few years ago. Hasn’t exactly worked out for them. The only guy among this crop who has succeeded up to expectations is Josh Beckett.

    No matter how good Kershaw appears to be, the odds are simply against him to win 50 games in his career.

  5. Nick Kapur says:

    Well, I definitely see what you are saying, and I agree, but I guess my counterpoint would be that there’s no reason not to be excited about these prospects when they do come up, and that there’s no reason why we shouldn’t enjoy what games they do win before the inevitable arm injury. I mean, Kershaw’s curveball really is a thing of beauty:

    http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200805252772678

  6. Sarah Green says:

    But it seems like the acronym has perhaps lost its original meaning—thus I’m a little surprised/confused about what you guys mean. Do you mean “there is no such thing as a pitching prospect” because big league hitters know how to hit breaking balls and make adjustments and because pitchers are fragile, or do you mean it in the sense that Nate Silver talks about it, as in, “there are no pitching prospects, only pitchers”—that a good pitcher who is 20 years old is a good pitcher, period, and not a prospect? It sounds like you mean it in the former (and newer) sense.

  7. Paul Moro says:

    I mean it in the sense that pitching has way too many variables and therefore, it’s nearly impossible to predict that any young pitcher is going to succeed, individually speaking. If you took the top 20 pitching prospects in baseball, chances are that a couple of them go on to have nice careers. Maybe one of them becomes an All-Star. But the vast majority of them is not going to win 50 games, either due to injury or ineffectiveness. And not even the best scouts or most brilliant stat heads can figure out who those are going to be beyond simple guessing. Pitching is such a violent and unnatural motion that most arms just can’t handle it or can’t repeat it.

  8. Paul Moro says:

    And Nick, you’re right. Didn’t mean to crash the party. If you were a Dodger fan and NOT excited at the prospect of Kershaw, then you probably do need to get your arteries checked.

  9. “Maybe Bradley thought that was sustainable. But anybody who thinks a .500 average with runners in scoring position is sustainable should have his head examined.”

    I believe there is plenty of evidence that Bradley does, in fact, need his head examined.

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