The VORG 2012 World Series Preview

Here’s some things you probably didn’t know about each member of the World Series teams (based on presumed rosters as of Tuesday afternoon). First up, the Tigers:

Pitchers 
Al Alburquerque : Has not allowed a homerun in his 56.2 inning MLB career (regular season).  Only player in MLB history with two “Qs” in his name.
Joaquin Benoit : Yielded 14 homers in his 71 innings of relief, 2nd-most round-trippers of all relievers. Hadn’t yielded more than six in any of the five prior seasons.
Phil Coke : WHIP has increased each season in the bigs (0.682 in 2008, 1.067, 1.438, 1.454 and 1.648 in 2012). 2nd-highest WAR (1.6) of anyone from San Joaquin Delta College (Eddie Guadardo leads at 12.2).
Octavio Dotel : Pitching for his 13th different team, has appeared in 39 different stadia (includes same team in new parks) and faced 935 different batters.
Doug Fister : Only player in MLB history with the middle name (or last or first name for that matter) of Wildes.  Highest WAR of any of the Mariners’ 2006 draftees (9.7).
Rick Porcello : Has alternated 14-9 seasons (2009, 2011) with 10-12 seasons (2010, 2012).  Tied for AL lead in errors by pitcher (5).
Anibal Sanchez : First “Anibal” to make the Majors.  The Giants’ Aubrey Huff is 0-13 with 3 Ks lifetime versus Sanchez.
Max Scherzer : His middle name is, apparently “M.” . . . there seems to be no easily-obtainable record of a full middle name.  Led the Majors in Ks/9 (11.08).  He and Justin Verlander finished 1/2 in Majors in strikeouts . . first teammates to do that since Kerry Wood and Mark Prior in 2003.
Drew Smyly : Born on June 13th of 1989.  Only two players born on June 13th have ever made an All-Star team.  First Smyly to make the Majors.
Jose Valverde : Ks/9 have decreased every year since 2006: 12.6, 10.9, 10.4, 9.3, 9.0, 8.6, 6.3.  Career post-season ERA: 8.79 in 14.1 innings.
Justin Verlander : You could make a pretty good rotation out of the best starting pitchers taken in the 1st round of the 2004 draft: Verlander, Jered Weaver, Gio Gonzalez, Phil Hughes and Homer Bailey.  One of only three active pitchers with over 1,550 innings and a WHIP under 1.175 (Halladay, Johan Santana).
Catchers 
Alex Avila : A little bad . . . a little good . . . led the AL in passed balls (10) and total caught stealing (34).  Went to same high school as Tigers’ 1st round pick in 2010, Nick Castellanos.
Gerald Laird : Was member of 2011 World Series champion Cardinals.  Hit .382/.420/.408 vs. lefties and .204/.275/.347 vs. righties in 2012.
Infielders 
Miguel Cabrera : 12th-most homers through their age-29 season (321).  In 2012 became only 37th player to strike out fewer than 100 times while hitting at least 44 homers and only 25th player with 40+ doubles and 40+ homers in same season.
Prince Fielder : Has appeared in a Majors-best 1,121 games since beginning of 2006 season.  Has hit an even number of homers in each of his eight seasons (2, 28, 50, 34, 46, 32, 38, 30).
Omar Infante : Name anagrams to “Faint moaner”.  Third-fewest walks (21) of any batting title qualifier in 2012.
Jhonny Peralta : Career .297/.349/.525 post-season hitter.  BABIP vs. LHP/RHP in 2012: .237/.289.
Ramon Santiago : Compiled 2nd-lowest OPS+ (53) of anyone with at least 250 PAs in 2012.
Danny Worth : First “Worth” in pro ball since 1872 (Herb Worth).
Outfielders 
Quintin Berry : Set an AL record for most SBs without getting caught in a season (21 for 21) in 2012.  First “Quintin” in the Majors.
Andy Dirks : Don’t go bonkers over his .322 average in 2012.  It was buoyed by a .365 BABIP.  He slugged .517 with the bases empty, hitting seven of his eight homers in those circumstances.
Avisail Garcia : Not surprisingly, he’s the first “Avisail” ever in pro ball.  Third-most plate appearances without an extra-base hit in 2012 (51) as well as most hits with none being for extra bases (15).
Austin Jackson : He’s the first player to amass at least ten triples in each of his first three seasons since Joe DiMaggio (1936-1938).  Name anagrams to “No jackass unit”.
Don Kelly : Only 2nd grad from Point Park University to make the Majors.  As of 2011 he was the only player to appear at every position (including pitcher) in a major league game.
Delmon Young : A career mark of 4.32 Ks/BB (MLB avg. is 2.13 over that period).  Slugged .388 as DH and .518 as left fielder for Tigers in 2012.

And here are the Giants:

Pitchers
Jeremy Affeldt : In four years with Giants, he’s appeared in 261 games, pitching 237.1 innings with a 1.281 WHIP and a 2.73 ERA.  In his relief appearances from 2002-2008, he compiled a 4.01 ERA and a 1.390 WHIP for the Royals, Rockies and Reds.
Madison Bumgarner : Has compiled the 4th-highest WAR (7.3) of those taken in 1st round of 2007 draft (behind Price, Heyward and Wieters). Drove in six runs during 2012 (in 75 PAs), more than 17 position players in at least that many PAs.
Matt Cain : You could argue whether he’s been the best pitcher in the NL over the last four years, but there is no question he is the most consistent.  As a batter, he struck out 11 times in 13 career at-bats against Greg Maddux.
Santiago Casilla : Casilla has played only for the franchises on either end of the “Bay Bridge”.  Others who have played only Oakland and San Francisco include Kelly Downs, Brian Kingman and current teammate Barry Zito
George Kontos : Kontos briefly pitched for the Yankees in 2011.  He and manager Joe Girardi were both drafted out of Northwestern University, 20 years apart.
Tim Lincecum : Lincecum’s winning percentage has dropped in each full season in the Majors (.783 in 2008, then .682, .615, .481 and then .400 in 2012).  Despite this, his 79 wins to date place him only 140 behind Pedro Martinez for most by a pitcher no taller than 5’11” and no heavier than 175.
Javier Lopez : Was only able to retire the similarly-named Javy Lopez once in three career at-bats.  Has only yielded six homers in the last seven years (275 innings).
Jose Mijares : Thanks to pitching on two different teams this season (released by the Royals first), Mijares had five different catchers to throw to in 2012.
Guillermo Mota : Mota was traded five teams in a six-year period from 2002 to 2007 and has been a free agent on six different occasions.  He’s appeared in 743 games over his 14-year career and has never led his league in any category, or been named to an All-Star team.
Sergio Romo : Of all relievers with at least 275 appearances, Romo leads in ERA and WHIP.
Ryan Vogelsong : He has played for 10 different minor league teams across four organizations as well as two teams in Japan.  He’s appeared in at least one minor league game in 13 different seasons.
Barry Zito : Currently sits in eighth place for most starts by an active pitcher (394). He managed to win 15 games thanks in large part to the best run support given to any Giants starting pitcher (5.7 runs per 9 based on innings he pitched).
Catchers
Buster Posey : Has a higher WAR (12.4) than all other picks in the top 15 of the 1st round of the 2008 draft combined.  A career .355/.415/.571 when playing first base.
Hector Sanchez : Has walked in only 3.1% of plate appearances in his career (8 in 261).  Committed seven errors in only 383 chances in 2012, finishing tied for fourth-most in NL.
Infielders
Joaquin Arias : “I was part of something big … once”: Was sent by Yankees to Texas as part of the deal for Alex Rodriguez in 2004, and six years later was sent by Texas to the Mets for Jeff Francoeur.
Brandon Belt : Belt is the first and only Giants draftee from the 2009 class to make it to the Majors.  Yes, this is Brandon Belt, at least based on his nickname.
Brandon Crawford : Crawford has a mere seven homers in his career to date, but two of them were grand slams.  In fact, he’s hit .300/.304/.700 with the bases loaded in his brief time in the Majors.
Aubrey Huff : Only the third player with the first name “Aubrey” to make the Majors and the first since 1963.  Huff has two “Transformers” tattoos on his shoulder blades.
Pablo Sandoval : Panda’s OPS by year since 2009: .943, .732, .909, .789.  You might be surprised to find out he led all NL third baseman in Range Factor in 2012.
Marco Scutaro : Finished 2012 with a 20-game hitting streak (.436/.458/.538). His name anagrams to “Actor or a scum”.
Ryan Theriot : In the six full seasons from 2007-2012, he’s compiled a 81 OPS+.  He’s been involved in two different trades for players named “Blake” (Hawksworth, DeWitt).
Outfielders
Gregor Blanco : Stole as many bases (26) in 2012 as he had in his career prior to 2012.  13th-lowest ISO (.078) of all active players with as many plate appearances as he has (1289).
Xavier Nady : The most interesting thing I can say about him, I said 14 months ago.
Angel Pagan : Finished sixth amongst center fielders with 61 extra-base hits in 2012.  At a 79% success rate, is 17th amongst active players with at least 150 stolen base attempts.
Hunter Pence : Only one of six Texas at Arlington players to make the Majors.  He’s hit at least 22 homers in each of his five full seasons in the Majors.
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