Opening day is wonderful. It might be my favorite day of the year, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that feeling. And it certainly hurt that the Reds lost on Monday. But something happened, and if it keeps happening, this will be a good year for the Reds.
In my mind, there are four players whose offensive contributions I’m really paying attention to. Votto and Bruce will hit. I’m not worried about them. Cozart won’t. I’m not worried about him. Mes might, but it doesn’t matter so much if he does. No, the ones I’m watching are Hamilton, Ludwick, Phillips, and Frazier. That group, collectively, managed a .375 OBP on Monday. If that happens over the season, this will be a great year to be a Reds fan.
Sure, all that came from just two of the four players. But you know as well as I do that one game doesn’t really mean anything. Even that .375 OBP is almost certainly an illusion.
Still, as I go through the early part of the season, this column is likely to frequently focus on those four players over and over. The deeper we get, the more meaningful our information will be as we start to see Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) stabilize and batted-ball data come in and Isolated Power (ISO) find it’s level. These are the kinds of numbers I’l often jump into when doing deep analysis.
But there’s nothing deep you can do about one game. Neither you nor I nor anyone else can tell anything about hitter from a single game. No matter how much it might mean to us, Opening Day is just one game and one game tells us nothing about how these guys will hit this year. For that we have to wait for next week and the next and the next and the next.
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.