Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Klim for All-Ivy: More Evidence

A breakdown of the Ivy season stats uncovers more evidence for why the Crimson's reigning Athlete of the Week not only deserves First Team honors at first base, but also should be the favorite for Player of the Year (POY).

For starters, here are the top POY candidates' numbers in Red Rolfe Division play ONLY. This is where it counted the most (click for an enlarged view):

In the league's toughest division, Klim has arguably the best overall numbers. Others (Sawyer, Bashelor) kept pace or slightly edged him in some of the raw-number categories (H, RBI, TB), but they played three more games than Klimkiewicz. Adjusted for games played, Klimkiewicz would be the leader in nearly every category across the board. Plus, even with the missed games, Klimkiewicz sits at the top of the group in average, HR, and walks, and his separation from the rest of the field in the OPS category is pretty significant.

Also noteworthy, with regard to the POY chase: Look at how Kaufman's stats wilt compared to the padded largesse of his overall league stats. If you needed proof that his stats were grossly inflated by the awful pitching staffs of Penn and Columbia, there it is. In fact, when you line up the list's Rolfe numbers alongside their overall league stats, most every player's production value declines sharply. (Christian in particular is made to look rather ordinary.) Only Deitz and Klimkiewicz see their OPS totals RISE when you zero in on their intra-division stats. In the games that mattered most, against the league's best pitching, Klimkiewicz was one of just two players who not only matched his usual production, he bettered it.

Also on the topic of clutchness, here are a couple more feathers in Klim's cap:

He's SECOND among top POY contenders in go-ahead or game-tying RBI (Ivy only):
Deitz - 8
Kaufman - 6
Bashelor - 6
Christian - 5
Sawyer - 5
Wilson - 4
Tews - 4

And he's FIRST in game-winning RBI (Ivy only)
Bashelor - 3
Wilson - 1
Kaufman - 1
Deitz - 1
Tews - 1
Christian - 1
Sawyer - 1

And lastly, if you need any more evidence of who the most feared hitter in the league was this season, consider that in Ivy play, Klimkiewicz drew four intentional walks. That's most among the POY contenders. Sawyer, meanwhile, didn't scare opposing managers into a single one. Just as interstingly, of Klim's four free passes, three came against Yale. Add in the three other walks Klim drew in that series that might as well have also been intentional, and John Stuper pitched around Klimkiewicz a ridiculous six times in four games! There's no way Stuper can make a case for his player over Klim during this week's coaches' conference call with a straight face.

Bottom line: Had Klim not missed the three games against Brown, and making the modest assumption that his production in those three games at all would have resembled what he showed during the rest of the league season, the decision over First Team honors at first base wouldn't even be worth a debate. Player of the Year would be less an open question, as well. Sawyer is a tremendous player, but if Klim--the top performer on the league's top team--doesn't get the nod, the league coaches will essentially be punishing him for getting injured.


Anonymous said...

Cool to see those stats. The intentional walk argument seems a little dramatic though. Most of the guys on that list batted 3rd or 4th for their teams. Klimkiewicz was always at the end of the Salsgiver-Wilson-Klim chain and there was a significant dropoff after that. That could contribute to the walks som e, but granted it is worth considering.

Anonymous said...

Bashelor's stats stack up better than I expected, and especially when you add in his added speed and defense vs. Klimkiewicz's, it seems like he should be considered the top contender for P.O.Y. along with Klim and Sawyer.

Anonymous said...

Klim's baseball stats are secondary to the clutch game he's played, arguably for 4 years. He's been pitched around and thrown at, but has reliably delivered in RBI situations when pitchers had to pitch to him. Witness the 0-8 he posted against Dartmouth on Saturday. Included in the 0'fer was a HR wind-blown foul, a web-gem rob of a double heading to the right-center gap, and a laser singer on one hop to the RF who threw Klim out at first; a case of hitting the ball too hard. Also was the inexplicable bases-loaded squeeze bunt he was asked to drop down. Letting him swing away there could have produced another game-winner. His stats this weekend would have been rediculous with a little luck on Saturday. Add 3-4 more hits to his stats and see what you get. The bigger point is he overcame his unlucky Saturday, and delivered in the clutch on Sunday, most evident when he drove in Harvard's first run of the day in the first inning rally of game 2. He and the rest of the team went nuts on Dartmouth from there...

Anonymous said...

Someone should send this stuff to "All the Ivy League Coaches" and the Ivy League Baseball Officials so if they are going to ignore Klim as Player of the Year and First Team, both of which he deserves......they do it with the information at hand and openly ignore the facts.
Walsh needs to finally do the right thing now ...which he should have done for Klim long before this.
By the way at yesterdays game Klim walked twice, got hit by a pitch, and hit a moon shot shot that was caught by the BC star center fielder proving once again that "no one wants to pitch to him even whwn he has someone behind him. that

Anonymous said...

I think Klim's mother should quit writing to promote him for player of the year...Anyone who watched the games this year knows he is deserving.