Too many players with same weakness spells trouble

Bill James wrote in the 1988 Baseball Abstract:

"It is dangerous for a baseball team to have too many players with the same weakness, no matter what the weakness. . .So in building a ballclub, you have to be aware of the weaknesses of your stalwart players, and avoid duplicating those weaknesses among the replaceable players."

Here is a list of teams that had the most players with over 20% Strikeout rate and over 100 PA's

After the jump lets take a look at the "top" 14 teams, with 9 or more players with over a 20% K rate

l Our darling D backs had the second most players ever with over a 20% K rate. No shock there

l The 2008 Padres top the list and the 2009 Padres are tied or 7th This probably helps explain why Kevin Towers was so militant in getting contact guys.

l There are only 2 teams in the top 14 that had winning records, the 09 Mariners, thanks to great defense, and the 2000 Cardinals, who were the only team to make the playoffs in this group

l The avg W/L record of this group is 71-91, and none of the top 6 even won 70 games

l The avg rank in runs scored was 10th but there are a handful of teams with 9 players meeting criteria that finished in the top half of runs scored.

l When you get to 8 players or more over 20% there are actually plenty of good teams, and playoff teams in that group.


I've said in other posts that the problem with the D Backs wasn't so much the K's that were produced by the top power/walk guys on the roster. The problem was too many K's from the "replaceable players" James refers to. In this case, guys that seldom walked or hit homers. That included bench guys like Abreu, Gillespie, Hester, & Ryal. But of course MOST of the starting lineup K'd in over 20% of their at bats as well. And Parra, who NEVER walks or homers, was at 19.3%. Even Drew was at 17.1%

I think ultimately Kevin Towers was right to try to add a couple more contact guys to the roster. I just don't think he added the right guys. Hope I'm wrong.