Baseball by the Numbers: Hitting second is where it’s at these days

Since moving into the No. 2 spot of the Cubs’ lineup, Willson Contreras has a .951 OPS and eight of his 12 homers.

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No. 2 hitters are on the rise in Major League Baseball, but the Cubs and White Sox find themselves at different points.

Led by Willson Contreras, Cubs second-spot hitters have a .795 OPS through Sunday, topping all positions in the lineup.

That’s right in line with trends in the majors. Second-place hitters lead baseball with a .776 OPS, while also leading in batting average (.266), on-base percentage (.339) and slugging percentage (.437).

Ten of the 30 major-league teams have their highest OPS at No. 2. That includes the Yankees (Aaron Judge has a 1.043 OPS and 22 of his majors-leading 25 home runs batting second) and the Angels (Mike Trout has a 1.143 OPS and 18 of his 21 homers hitting second).

Since moving into the second spot, Contreras has a .951 OPS in 142 plate appearances and eight of his 12 homers.

The injury-laden Sox have had to use a mix of No. 2 hitters, with Andrew Vaughn the best and most frequent, followed by Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada. The second-spot collection has a .670 OPS, fourth among Sox lineup spots.

Vaughn has hit well in the second spot with an .871 OPS in 122 plate appearances. Robert is at .727 in 70 plate appearances and Moncada at .458 in 52 plate appearances.

Since 2000, OPS by No. 2 hitters has been among the top three in the majors only six times before this season. All have been since 2015. Second-spot hitters were third with …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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