Lyle Overbay: 2008 Season Preview


Lyle Overbay: 2008 Season Preview

Overbay 8x10.jpg

While I don’t think the Jays success will be dictated by Overbay’s 2008 season, I did do a little digging into this past season. By now we’re all aware of his injury & increasing age. Now what about his actual on-field production? Can this give us a little insight? Let’s find out.

First off we’ll use home hit charts. Why only home hit charts? Easy answer to that one, it’s all I could get my hands on. MLB.com breaks down their spray charts by parks. Still, a 50% sampling of data can still give us what we need.

Lyle Overbay’s 2006 Home Hit Chart

2006OverbayHomeChart.png

Lyle Overbay’s 2007 Home Hit Chart

2007OverbayHomeChart.png
Injury aside, it looks like Overbay became pull happy in 2007. His HR were sprayed across the field in 2006, while all of the HR & the majority of his doubles were right down the right field line in 2007.

Is this a sign of a slowing bat or an injury? I don’t think so.

Moving on we’ll now take a quick look at some of the Pitch F/X data. Pitch F/X was added in 2007 to the mlb.com gameday offerings and tracks all pitches, speeds, locations, results, etc. Since 2007 was the first year of F/X we can’t go back to Overbay’s successful 2006.

Courtesy of the From Small Ball to Long Ball Blog is a series of data collected from the XML fillings of the Pitch F/X data.

OverbayPitchF:X2007Type.png

The chart itself for fastballs is a mess, with data points everywhere. I can’t really make out what’s going on. The other two main type of pitches that Overbay faced were Sliders (14.65%) & Change-Ups (16.24%).

overbayslider2007.png

overbaychange2007.png

We once again see some data pointing towards the original opposite field theory. Down and out pitches are hard enough to handle, but even more so when your trying to pull everything. Many of the swinging strikes (red triangles) are on the low & away pitches. We also see that very few extra base hits came via outside pitches.

Back to the Home Hit Chart for 2007, this time using only extra base hits

overbayextrabase2007chart.png

I feel that if Lyle goes back to his historical spray, “all fields” style of hitting instead of the homer happy “I’m going to improve on my 22 HR” style that he used in 2007, that he should improve statistically across the board.

I would be remised to exclude one more interesting piece of Overbay data. Dude gets tired.

Lyle Overbay Career Month to Month Splits

overbaycareersplits.png

The rehab for his hand may help or hinder his overall endurance. Hopefully the Jays are aware of this as well and look to give Overbay some increased endurance training and a few days off over at first.

Without taking up more time & space with BABIP & hit type data (which can be misleading due to the hand injury) I’d be inclined to see Overbay putting up numbers similar to that of his 2004 season in Milwaukee, namely a .300 average, .370 OBP, .475 SLG, 45 Doubles, & 15 – 18 HR with around 90 RBI.



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  • From the Jays’ website:

    “After resting in October, Overbay began lifting weights again in mid-November and started a light hitting program toward the end of the month. During his workouts this offseason, Overbay has teamed up with 24-year-old Twins Minor Leaguer Brock Peterson, who is also from Centralia.

    “He pushes me and then I can kind of help him,” Overbay said. “We push each other and it’s nice to have that. We’ve got a personal trainer we go to a couple times a week, and he kind of works on the speed and balance — all that stuff that I wouldn’t do if I wasn’t paying anybody”

    All the stuff he wouldn’t do if he wasn’t paying somebody?!!? What does that say about his work ethic? Lyle definitely needs to pay someone to keep his ass in shape so he doesn’t fade during the latter months.