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.
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.