By Joe Christensen
We’re making improvements to startribune.com all the time, but sometimes our online-only community misses some of our most important stuff. In today’s print edition, for example, we ran a cool spread with La Velle’s story on the science of choosing the right bat for a major league ballplayer. There’s a great photo (by our Jeff Wheeler) of Nick Punto looking almost hypnotic as he weighs his bat down to the nearest tenth of an ounce in the clubhouse mail room. It’s juxtaposed with a classic photo of Ted Williams surrounded by his lumber in 1941, when he hit .406.
Punto won’t be confused with Teddy Ballgame statistically, of course. Inside the sports section, I have a story about Punto’s frustrating season. My point here is that we ran a chart comparing Punto to other third basemen around the league. It looks fine in print today, but it didn’t reproduce very well online. For our purposes here, I’m going to send you to an ESPN.com stats page, and you’ll see that Punto certainly isn’t the only third baseman struggling at the plate.
There have been pleas here in the comments section to trade for the likes of Edwin Encarnacion or Morgan Ensberg. Would you believe that Punto has been better than those two this year, if you factor in errors? Those two haven’t hit much and they have six errors apiece. Punto has none.