Eric Byrnes: April-to-April Comparison
(photo by David Zalubowski/AP)
Here’s what Byrnesie did in April of this year. Last year’s stats are in parentheses:
BA .276 (.237), OBP .347
(.318), SLG .429 (.373), 3 HRs (1), 7
Doubles (3), 15 RBI (5), 13 Runs (7), BB 12
(7), Stolen Bases 6 (1), K/BB 1.33 (1.43).
On the whole, a much better start to the season than he had last year. Areas where he did not improve were triples (0 this year, 1 last year), absolute number of Ks (16 this year, 10 last year), XBH/H (.345 this year, .357 last year), and CS (2 this year, 0 last year).
But triples, unless you are Jose Reyes or Carl Crawford, are nice but not terribly important. Eric is on a pace to finish with 80 Ks, which is better than the 88 he had last year, and his K/BB ratio month-over-month is slightly better. The lower XBH/H reflects the higher batting average, i.e. he is getting singles where last year he made outs. We’ll take that trade-off hands down. The 2 CS are the result of a busted hit-and-run and Byrnes’ belief that a hit-and-run was on when it really wasn’t. His success rate might not be as high this year than last (.892) because he plans to be more aggressive this year. But on the straight steal, Byrnesie is still a smart and careful baserunner. So we don’t expect him to get thrown out at the rate Alfonso Soriano does.
Best of all: 105 ABs (last year 59) putting him on pace to get over 600 ABs for the first time in his major league career. And it’s about time, too! We Byrnes fans know that consistent results come with consistent playing time for him. The best thing BoMel can do for him (and the team) is to pencil him in the lineup just about every day. A day or two (at most!) off a month, for rest purposes, is OK. But too much bench time because BoMel wants to play THE MATCH GAME will only hurt Byrnes’ effectiveness.
Now onto May, historically Eric’s best month. He’ll have to do a lot to top last year’s May, when he went .364/.404/.717, but in certain ways he isn’t far off from his May ’06 numbers now. He had 16 RBIs and 5 stolen bases then. We just need to see a little more power from him. He had 8 homers and 11 doubles last May. If he can end May with a batting average of .295 or better, I’m sure team and fans will be pleased.
BYRNES, BABY, BYRNES!