At ESPN, Christina Kahrl lists the “most average” hitters at every position on the field using Clay Davenport’s EqA. She found that Rod Barajas is the most average catcher and that Clay Barmes is the most average shortstop. Given that the Pirates will be spending nearly $10 million on the duo in 2012, that certainly seems uninspiring.
Of course, the point of the most isn’t to be “inspiring.” The Pirates got no offensive performance at all from shortstop last year and they got nothing from third base and the got nothing from first base until September and they got nothing from their catcher while Ryan Doumit was hurt. If the Pirates just get average from Barmes and Barajas, they’ll be a better team in 2012.
The real question is whether or not they’ll get “average” from those two. EqA, like any offensive stat, is park-adjusted, but park adjustments don’t take handedness splits into account. In an asymmetrical park like PNC, that can make a difference. Especially when you’re looking at two aging right-handed hitters whose main offensive value is wrapped up in the ability to hit the ball over the left/left-center field fence.