The M’s were terrible at scoring runs again in 2012. Their 619 runs scored was dead last in the American League. Again. One of the chief reasons why is nobody could get on base. Seattle’s OBP was a league low .292. One of my keys to some offensive improvement was to increase on-base-percentage.
So far Seattle has managed some improvement. As a team, the M’s increased their OBP to .304, good enough for next to last in the American League. That’s a load ahead of the White Sox’s .279, and one point behind Houston’s .305 and two points behind Toronto’s .306. The league average for on base percentage is .321.
While an increase in 12 points isn’t a lot to cheer about, there are some individual averages that are encouraging. In 2012, the team leader in OBP was John Jaso, with an excellent .394. Of the remaining regulars, only Kyle Seager (.316) and Michael Saunders (.306) had a percentage over over .300. The rest were terrible. League average in 2012 was.320. Though it is a small sample size, some players this year are actually doing quite well. Michael Saunders leads the team with .362. Kendrys Morales is at .342. Kyle Seager has shown progress from last year and is at .336. For all intents and purposes Jason Bay is a starter and is at .357. Kelly Shoppach is taking the majority of catching reps, and is at .362. Justin Smoak leads the team in higher expectations and walks and is a respectable .344.
Then there is the magical shortstop duo of Brendan Ryan at .220 and Robert Andino at .222. Jesus Montero is .250. Dustin Ackley is .277. Michael Morse is .286. The M’s rank next to last in runs scored with 120, or 3.4 runs per game. Some of the guys who are struggling are really struggling. Morse is near his historical averages, but Ryan and Andino continue to demonstrate their days in the majors may be near an end.
Though there is progress, a great deal more needs to be done if the M’s are going to significantly increase the number of runs scored. Hitting solo homers doesn’t make one a winner. A player can hit his way on base, or walk his way on base, but without baserunners, it’s pretty tough to score.