Revere had an OBP of .340 in the 2-Hole. That would have been 4th overall in AL team comparisons.
The Twins led the AL in Stolen Bases in the 1 & 2 spots combined with 72- finishing #1 in the 2-hole and #5 at Leadoff. Their percentages were high, too, around an 80% success rate.
Span and Revere provided $32.6M worth of value to the Twins. Mastro turns 28 this year and has never played significantly in the majors until last year's 77 games played. Carroll turns 39 next month. Hicks has played only AA ball and historically has taken time to adjust at each level of progression. You think he will get a cup of coffee at Rochester and then come in right away and produce numbers like Span? Again, expecting a drop-off to Mariner-type numbers (.281 OBP leadoff/ .286 OBP in the 2-hole) might be too harsh a prediction as Carroll produced a .327 OBP in the #1 and #2 spots, combined. But there's no doubt there's going to be a significant drop-off, regardless, unless Hicks and Mastroianni miraculously defy the odds. Don't forget that Gardy will experiment with Dozier, Flori and Esco up at the top of the order, too.
Yeah, we're gonna take a hit in the one and two spot, Mauer would likely have a dropoff of RISP situation, but it's not gonna be a third.
I am still flabbergasted that anyone thinks Mauer should bat third. It just seems like such a preposterous thing. Oh well.
From Fangraphs when talking about an offensive comparison for the MVP:
This metric is called RE24. It’s been on the site for years, and is available as part of our Win Probability section. We don’t use it a lot, because in general we prefer to talk about players from a context-neutral perspective, but for the purpose of this discussion, it might just be the perfect metric. RE24 is essentially the difference between the run expectancy when a hitter comes to the plate and when his at-bat ends. For example, September 16th, Cabrera came to the plate against Joe Smith with runners at first and second and two outs, a situation where the Tigers would be expected to score 0.33 runs on average. Cabrera hit a three run home run, so they actually scored three runs, and RE24 gives Cabrera credit for +2.67 runs, the gap between what they were expected to score and what they actually scored.
Unlike with context-neutral statistics like wRC+, RE24 takes the number of outs and number of baserunners into account. It does not assume that all home runs are equal, nor does it treat a strikeout with a man on third base and one out as just another out. The rewards for performing with men on base are higher, and the blame for failing in those same situations is steeper as well. This is a metric that essentially quantifies the total offensive value of a player based on the situations that he actually faced.
This is not a theoretical metric. If you hit a three run home run, you get more credit than if you hit a solo home run. If you are consistently getting hits with two outs to drive in runs, you get more credit than if those hits come with no outs and the bases empty. And, of course, it’s only an offensive metric, so there’s no defensive component, no position adjustments, and no replacement level. This is just straight up offense, adjusted for the context of the situations that they faced.
Mauer finished 6th in the AL.
Of course, that's SABR stuff, so if we look at normal stats...
He had an OPS over 1.000 with RISP. He hit better than WIllingham did with RISP. And you are surprised some think that on this team, he should bat third?
Example: Tampa Bay's primary #3 hitter, Ben Zobrist got only 100 RISP opportunities with the Rays- with their right around 10th or 11th best OBP numbers- in the 9,1 & 2 slots.
Zobrist had 142 plate appearances with RISP and only had 40% of his overall plate appearances were in the 3 spot. He also had 144 PAs combined between 1 and 2 spots...
So, you're saying if Mauer gets roughly the same amount of plate appearances (641) as he did last year, he's only going to have, at MOST, 128 plate appearances with RISP...in the 3 spot. That would be 'at least one-third' of a dropoff, which is what you had said. Something to watch for that's for sure. He had more than that in 2007 when he only played 109 games and had 170 less plate appearances.
Especially if you're going to lead off with a rookie you want Mauer and Morneau immediately behind him so he see plenty of fastballs.
Here is the thing, a PA with no outs and nobody on base is twice as important as a PA with 2 outs and nobody on base, and 50% more important than a PA with 1 out and nobody on base. So, if you want to argue that your best OBP guy should be hitting anywhere other than leadoff, you need to prove that he will produce enough times with enough men on base to justify forfeiting all those no out-no men on, 1st inning PAs.