Monday, July 05, 2004

Willie Harris - The Rash

I've called Willie Harris the Rash before, because he seems to flare up and get hot, only to quickly subside as if he was never there. His month by month stats show you how inconsistent Willie's been:

But he's been even streakier than that. In his hottest month (May), Willie was 28 for 73. But 17 of those hits came in two short stretches (a 9 for 12 stretch May 8, 9, 11 and a 8 for 19 from May 27-30). That's 17 of 31 in an overall 29 for 73 month, leaving him 12 for 42 (.285).

Here's the bottom line. Willie Harris often is asked to hit in the leadoff spot, which demands consistentcy. I've never been a big Willie Harris fan (I was a big Ray Durham fan, and Willie had the unfortunate position of trying to replace him), and this kind of performance isn't going to win me over. Even though, in the aggregate, his .345 OBP is not bad, his ability to get on base is so erratic as to demand that he not hit in the leadoff spot. Until he gets on base more consistently (and at a higher rate), Willie can't be considered a long term solution at 2B or CF.

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