At 4-10, the Marlins do not seem to be doing very well in the early going of this new season, but that is not entirely the case. Let’s focus on run production, which is the name of the game.
Through 14 games this season, the Marlins have scored 67 runs. That is 4.79 per contest. That actually puts the Marlins at 28th in total runs scored, but in terms of at bats, the Marlins rank 29th with only 477 ABs.
That is because they have only played 14 games to this point, whereas the Reds, the leaders in runs scored at 107, have played 16 – which figures to be 6.68 runs per game. (To offer some perspective here, the Marlins just took one game from the Reds in that three game series, but also blew a game which could have given them the series. They lost 1-9, but won 12-6 and lost again 8-9 – scoring a total of 21 runs to 24 given up.)
That means, the leaders in runs scored, the Reds, are getting a run 19% of the tame they get up to bat (Rs/ABs). The young Marlins? They swim at 14%.
So, in comparison to the league leader, the Marlins have a little ways to go, but they are treading water right near the middle. Considering that most of these players are in their first year (Uggla, Ramirez, Abercrombie, Reed) and others are getting their first full time duty with the club (Willingham, Hermida, Jacobs), that is not too bad.
But more importantly, how does this year’s club compare to last year’s club?
They are better.
Last year’s Marlins scored 717 runs in 5502 at bats, or at a 13% rate. This year’s Marlins, although it is early, are scoring at 14%.
Based on that percentage, if the Marlins get 5502 at bats this season, the Marlins will score 770 runs this season. That is a figure that is up by 53 runs total.
Now, it is still very early in the season. Yet, this could be a good thing – the Marlins have already had 2 games where they posted double digit runs, and they have the potential to do it much more often than experts may believe. Hanley Ramirez is showing off all his tools, while this young season has already been hampered by an injury to big time prospect, Jeremy Hermida.
Not to mention, Joe Girardi is doing the manger thing for the first time and is still trying to figure out the roster and the best lineup for this club. It seems that Uggla is the missing piece for the #2 spot, as he continues to put the ball in play and displays pretty good power. Miguel is starting to hit again, but is still having some bad at bats. Willingham has been excellent whereas Jacobs can only seem to hit home runs. The race for CF is on, with Aguila having the most experience but Abercrombie has the most sizzle of anyone out there.
There is plenty of potential that could lead to this Marlins unit becoming a more cohesive, offensive machine. If they can manage to work out the kinks and endure through the growing pains, this offense may turn things around – and in a hurry.