Kelly Johnson Statistics –

Streaky; alternates between being one of the better players in baseball and being worse than Francoeur. This is a real phenomenon, and essentially inexplicable. It doesn’t look like he’s hurt when this happens, or like his swing gets out of whack. OPS by month is a rough measure in two ways, but gives you some idea:

March/April .726
May .973
June .723
July .661
August .577
Sept/Oct .1.071

Maybe it’s the weather. On the average, KJ is an above-average player, a decent second baseman who hits a little above the league average and doesn’t have any real weaknesses. Of course, as they say, if you have a foot in a bucket of ice and a foot in a bucket of fire, on average you’re comfortable. I am getting a little frustrated, if you couldn’t tell. Everybody slumps, but Kelly goes between carrying the team and killing it, and the nature of baseball (where every hitter fails the majority of the time) means that the slumps always seem deeper than the peaks seem high.

Last year he hit for a higher average against lefthanders than righthanders, but this is a fluke, caused by a .398 batting average on balls in play. As he walks less and hits with far less power against lefthanders (isolated power was .281 against righthanders, .100 against lefties) a closer look at the stats indicates that in isolation a platoon arrangement may have been justified. At the same time, there were a lot of other weaknesses that could have been better addressed this way… Led the team in doubles and triples, second in stolen bases, and grounded into only three double plays. The latter is partially because Bobby had him bunt so much, but not entirely, and is a huge hidden success.

KJ’s secondary average last year was almost as high as his batting average; the year before, it was higher. This is still relatively rare among second basemen and a reason why he is — on average — a valuable player. Best secondary averages for major league second basemen (min. 1000 PA) the last two years:


1 Rickie Weeks .393
2 Dan Uggla .374
3 Chase Utley .360
4 Brian Roberts .360
5 Ian Kinsler .345
6 Kelly Johnson .311
7 Mark DeRosa .295
8 Brandon Phillips .294
9 Orlando Hudson .280
10 Mark Ellis .271