101 Biggest Hits of 2016! #80-71

Welcome back to the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016! On today’s menu, I will reveal songs 80 through 71 on the countdown. If you missed any previous installment, here’s where you can catch up:

Let’s get things started with song #80!

#80: Back To Sleep by Chris Brown
Peak: #20     2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 1107
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 89

Whatever your opinion of Chris Brown, there’s no denying how consistent his chart success has been. With the exception of 2009, Brown has placed at least one song in my countdown since debuting with “Run It!” in 2005. “Back To Sleep” never crossed over to mainstream pop radio, but was an early-year staple on R&B stations, giving it more than enough momentum to continue his streak.

#79: White Iverson by Post Malone
Peak: #14      2016 Weeks on Chart: 16         Points: 1117
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 65

With “White Iverson,” Post Malone joined the surprisingly long list of Hot 100 hits to name-check NBA stars. Some fun examples include Steve Nash in Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous,” Tracy McGrady in Rae Sremmurd’s “This Could Be Us,” and of course Aaron Carter’s all-timer “That’s How I Beat Shaq.” Post Malone’s debut single likely sets the record for most named players however, as the titular Allen Iverson is joined by references to James Harden and Anthony Davis.

#78: Say It by Tory Lanez
Peak: #23       2016 Weeks on Chart: 16       Points: 1132
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 74

Another newcomer to the hip-hop and R&B charts this year was Canadian artist Tory Lanez, who scored a pair of Top 40 hits from his debut studio album. In what appears to be a rite of passage for successful hip-hop artists, Lanez became the presumed subject of yet another Drake feud this year.

#77: The Greatest by Sia f/Kendrick Lamar
Peak: #18            2016 Weeks on Chart: 15         Points: 1136
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

While many songs from the past 12 months have embraced (perhaps too much) the tropical vibe that has swept through most genres, Sia’s “The Greatest” was one of the best at utilizing the trend subtly and effectively. Since its run didn’t begin until the end of September, “The Greatest” was not recognized by Billboard on it’s year-end chart, making it the highest-ranked song on my list to not be on both lists.

#76: Middle by DJ Snake f/Bipolar Sunshine
Peak: #20            2016 Weeks on Chart: 21         Points: 1173
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 80

One of the more impressive chart consistency streaks belongs to Frenchman DJ Snake. Since first reaching the Hot 100 in 2014 with “Turn Down For What,” each of his charting singles have made an appearance in my year-end countdown. His first of two entries this year, “Middle” featured vocals from British singer Bipolar Sunshine. The featured artist on DJ Snake’s other countdown entry may be a bit more familiar…

#75: 679 by Fetty Wap f/Remy Boyz
Peak: #11 (#4 in 2015)     2016 Weeks on Chart: 16      Points: 1176
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 54

Nearly equaling the success of “Trap Queen,” “679” served admirably as a followup, reaching the Top 5 in the fall of 2015. Extending its chart run into April, it accrued well over 3,000 total points, more than enough to place in the Top 10 were its run contained within one calendar year.

#74: In The Night by The Weeknd
Peak: #12         2016 Weeks on Chart: 15       Points: 1184
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 61

As the final single from Beauty Behind The Madness, “In The Night” had its work cut out for it in following the smash hits “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” While it failed to reach the Top 10, the single helped to assure that The Weeknd’s chart footprint would not be limited to his breakout 2015.

#72 (tie): Tiimmy Turner by Desiigner
Peak: #34            2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 1218
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 98

I may have to do a little more research on this, but I’m fairly certain that Desiigner is the first artist to reach the Hot 100 with a Nickelodeon-inspired title. “Tiimmy Turner” became the young rapper’s second straight Top 40 hit and put to bed any one-hit wonder talks.

P.S. If you count lyrics, Spongebob and Squidward are mentioned in the R3j3ctz’s 2011 hit “Cat Daddy,” so I do suppose that a precedent exists.

#72 (tie): Sit Still, Look Pretty by Daya
Peak: #28            2016 Weeks on Chart: 24         Points: 1218
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 78

Daya makes her second appearance on this countdown with the title track off her debut album Sit Still, Look Pretty. Through this, “Hide Away,” and her featured appearance on the Chainsmokers’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” the teen singer pulled off an impressive feat for her first full year on the charts. Namely, she was present with at least one song on all 53 2016 editions of the Hot 100, a feat usually reserved for well-established pop stars.

#71: Like I’m Gonna Lose You by Meghan Trainor f/John Legend
Peak: #9 (#8 in 2015)     2016 Weeks on Chart: 16         Points: 1222
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 42

“Like I’m Gonna Lose You” is a perfect analogue to The Weeknd’s “In The Night,” in that it was a successful (but not dominant) final single from the singer’s respective album. As Meghan Trainor recorded her 2016 album Thank You, this duet with John Legend reached the Top 10 at the end of 2015 and extended its run into April. As  the 30-place difference between my rankings and those of Billboard underscores, Billboard’s rankings for 2016 began before January 1st, allowing songs like this one to get a head start on the actual 2016 releases.

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That’s all for today! The song will keep getting bigger and bigger as the subsequent parts of the countdown come around, so be sure to keep checking in over the next week or so. A big thanks to everyone for joining me for songs 80-71 of the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016, and I’ll see you here tomorrow for songs 70-61!

Until then,

Ryan

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101 Biggest Hits of 2016! #90-81

Welcome back to the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016! On today’s menu, I will reveal songs 90 through 81 on the countdown. If you missed any previous installment, here’s where you can catch up:

Let’s get things started with song #90!

#90: Scars To Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara
Peak: #13     2016 Weeks on Chart: 16         Points: 993
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

After “Here” became a huge sleeper hit this winter, Alessia Cara proceeded to have a busy 2016. Official followup single “Wild Things” reached a #50 peak but came up 10 places short of a spot in this countdown. Current single “Scars To Your Beautiful” failed to crack the Top 10 but has come much closer to equaling the runaway success of “Here.” Cara was also recently tapped to sing the end credits version of “How Far I’ll Go” from the Disney film Moana, which peaked at #88 earlier this month.

#88 (tie): OOOUUU by Young M.A
Peak: #19      2016 Weeks on Chart: 16         Points: 1011
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

I’ve always considered 1,000 points the threshold for a bona fide year-end hit, and 89 songs fit that bill in 2016. Starting us off beyond the threshold is newcomer Young M.A, who began the year in obscurity but finished it sharing screentime with Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled, and others in a much-seen Beats by Dre commercial. “OOOUUU” was a critically-acclaimed debut single, checking in at #11 on Rolling Stone’s best-of-the-year list.

#88 (tie): No Limit by Usher f/Young Thug
Peak: #32     2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 1011
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 90

Pop music’s iron man, Usher increased his span of countdown appearances to a whopping 20 years with “No Limit.” Featuring Young Thug, “No Limit” furthers Usher’s late-career progression deeper into the niched adult hip-hop and R&B market. His megahit “DJ Got Us Fallin In Love” days may be over, but his remarkable consistency continues on tracks like this and last year’s “I Don’t Mind.”

#87: In The Name Of Love by Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha
Peak: #24            2016 Weeks on Chart: 18         Points: 1021
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

A prime candidate for one-hit wonderdom could easily have been teen Dutch DJ Martin Garrix, who stormed the charts in 2014 with the brilliantly strange “Animals.” However, along with the rest of the EDM genre, Garrix was able to soften his trademark sound in 2016, and the end result netted him another Top 40 hit with “In The Name Of Love.” Where “Animals” was essentially an instrumental, this new single features vocals from popular choice Bebe Rexha.

#86: Chill Bill by Rob $tone f/J.Davis & Spooks
Peak: #29            2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 1028
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

Three newcomers teamed up to create one of the year’s most unlikely hits. As its play-on-words title might suggest, “Chill Bill” utilizes a whistling sample from “Twisted Nerve,” a song made famous from its use in Kill Bill, Vol. 1.

#85: Hide Away by Daya
Peak: #23            2016 Weeks on Chart: 15         Points: 1030
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 84

Certainly one of the candidates for 2016’s Rookie Of The Year, Pittsburgh teen Daya scores three entries on this year’s countdown. Her debut single “Hide Away” began its chart run late last year, which ultimately siphoned away the points necessary to catch up with her other entries in the rankings.

#84: Ex’s & Oh’s by Elle King
Peak: #14 (#10 in 2015)     2016 Weeks on Chart: 15       Points: 1044
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 63

One of 2015’s biggest sleeper hits, “Ex’s & Oh’s” continued its strong run through the first four months of 2016. Elle King had a relatively quiet 2016 after her smash hit faded off the charts, as her contribution to the Ghostbusters soundtrack failed to reach the Hot 100. However, on country radio she helped Dierks Bentley score a solid hit on the duet “Different For Girls.”

#83: Pop Style by Drake f/The Throne
Peak: #16            2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 1061
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 82

Drake had an immensely successful 2016, between every song on Views charting to several standalone releases and featuring on several massive hits. In fact, he placed no fewer than 8 songs in this countdown, leaving him one shy of the all-time record (Lil Wayne showed up 9 times in 2008). “Pop Style” was one of the promotional singles which eventually turned up on Views, and if your 2011-12 rap tastes are still intact, it shouldn’t take long to realize that The Throne is the de facto name assumed by the pairing of Kanye West and Jay Z.

#82: When We Were Young by Adele
Peak: #14            2016 Weeks on Chart: 17         Points: 1071
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 83

Though its first-week sales were truly gargantuan, Adele’s 25 album will likely go down in history as a slightly less successful album than 21. That didn’t stop it from having a slew of successful singles, but its tracklist failed to generate the three #1 hits from 21. Of all of them, my personal favorite was “When We Were Young,” which built slowly and steadily to an excellent final chorus.

#81: Black Beatles by Rae Sremmurd f/Gucci Mane
Peak: #1 (for 6 weeks)     2016 Weeks on Chart: 14         Points: 1076
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

The definitive viral hit of 2016 belonged to none other than the boys behind “No Flex Zone” and “No Type.” As the fortuitous backdrop for the ubiquitous Mannequin Challenge, “Black Beatles” helped Rae Sremmurd defy expectations and garner their first career #1 hit. Since its reign at the top began in November, Billboard’s early cutoff for year-end consideration precluded the track from appearing on its own list. As such, “Black Beatles” is the highest-ranked song on my countdown to not have a comparable Billboard year-end ranking.

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That’s all for today! The song will keep getting bigger and bigger as the subsequent parts of the countdown come around, so be sure to keep checking in over the next week or so. A big thanks to everyone for joining me for songs 90-81 of the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016, and I’ll see you here tomorrow for songs 80-71!

Until then,

Ryan

101 Biggest Hits of 2016! #101-91

The Hot 100 chart released by Billboard this morning was dated December 31, so that means another year of chart research has come to a conclusion! If you are new this year to my Hot 100 chart rankings, here’s a quick primer on my project.

To rank each year’s most popular songs objectively without any genre bias or favoritism towards the earlier months of the year, I devised a point system back in 2011 which grades and orders songs as fairly as possible. This is a basic rundown of how it all works:

  • Every week, Billboard releases the Hot 100, cataloging the most popular songs based on airplay, digital sales, YouTube presence, and online streaming.
  • When the new chart comes out every Tuesday, I analyze the chart and update my running totals for each song that has charted in 2016.
  • A week at #1 on the chart gains a song 100 points, a week at #2 gets 99 points, and so on down to 1 point for a week at #100.

2016 brought extreme parity to the Hot 100, and a bunched-up crowd at the top brought several changes to the year-end rankings in the year’s final weeks. To put things in perspective, 2013’s winner “Radioactive” held a 1,037 point lead over the second-place finisher. This year, 16 songs finished inside that margin of victory. The big takeaway? Points were at a premium this year, and the winning total is the lowest in nearly 10 years according to my research.

Today I will reveal songs 101-91, with another 10 songs being unveiled each day. Before we get started though, here are some of the songs you won’t be seeing in this countdown. First, here are the songs which reached the Top 10 in 2016, but were unable to accrue enough points to secure a spot:

  • Don’t Wanna Know by Maroon 5 f/Kendrick Lamar (866 points, #106)
  • Summer Sixteen by Drake (836 points, #108)
  • Fake Love by Drake (698 points, #132)
  • Bad Things by MGK & Camila Cabello (439 points, #181)
  • Piece By Piece by Kelly Clarkson (406 points, #189)
  • Formation by Beyoncé (323 points, #218)
  • I Don’t Wanna Live Forever by Zayn & Taylor Swift (95 points, #327)
  • Deja Vu by J. Cole (94 points, #328)

There is a bit of difference between the way Billboard itself tabulates its Top 100 songs of the year and the calculations I make. For this second list, here’s a quick look at the songs Billboard included in its list that didn’t make my countdown. Each song’s placement on my own year-end rankings will show up in parentheses.

  • #79: Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift (#118)
  • #81: On My Mind by Ellie Goulding (#121)
  • #85: Lean On by Major Lazer & DJ Snake f/MØ (#119)
  • #86: I Know What You Did Last Summer by Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello (#102)
  • #88: Watch Me by Silento (#146)
  • #95: Adventure Of A Lifetime by Coldplay (#110)
  • #97: Wicked by Future (#103)
  • #99: See You Again by Wiz Khalifa f/Charlie Puth (#127)
  • #100: Perfect by One Direction (#149)

Without further ado, let’s begin the countdown with #101!

#101: Antidote by Travis Scott
Peak: #16            2016 Weeks on Chart: 12         Points: 902
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 75

Getting us started this year is Travis Scott, who I first learned of when he was arrested for inciting panic at 2015’s Lollapalooza. He’s recovered nicely since then, scoring his first career Top 40 hit with the enigmatic “Antidote.” A slew of feature credits has ensued, and his current single “Pick Up The Phone” with Young Thug is finishing up a more than satisfactory followup run.

#100: Really Really by Kevin Gates
Peak: #46     2016 Weeks on Chart: 26         Points: 923
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 92

Kevin Gates had put out no fewer than 13 mixtapes prior to his breakout in 2016 with debut album Islah. Lead single “2 Phones” will be seen later in the countdown, but “Really Really” was a noteworthy chart achievement in its own right. Showing remarkable longevity despite a middling peak of 46, it became the lowest-peaking song to ever reach my year-end Top 100.

#99: All In My Head (Flex) by Fifth Harmony f/Fetty Wap
Peak: #24      2016 Weeks on Chart: 18         Points: 936
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 93

“All In My Head” served as a followup effort for both the girls from Fifth Harmony (fresh off their massive success with “Worth It” and “Work From Home”) and Fetty Wap (2015’s breakout artist with four appearances in last year’s countdown). Unfortunately for both parties, this tropical song started fast but was unable to gain sturdy footing, failing to reach the 20-week threshold closely associated with a lasting chart hit.

#98: Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd
Peak: #15 (#1 in 2015)     2016 Weeks on Chart: 14         Points: 948
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 72

Finishing in the year-end Top 20 last year, “Can’t Feel My Face” continued its mighty chart run well into 2016. In joining the elite fraternity of two-time countdown appearances, along with concurrent hit “The Hills,” The Weeknd’s smash effectively bridged the gap between Beauty Behind The Madness and Starboy.

#97: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Peak: #4            2016 Weeks on Chart: 10         Points: 957
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

The lead single from the album of the same name, Bruno Mars’ solo return to the charts was extremely efficient with its paucity of 2016 chart weeks. In fact, “24K Magic” became the first song to reach my year-end Top 100 with just 10 weeks logged since Pink’s #1 smash “Raise Your Glass” did the same in 2010. Currently stalling at its peak of #4, “Magic” is at risk of becoming the first Bruno Mars lead album single to fail to reach #1 on the charts.

#96: Cut It by O.T. Genasis f/Young Dolph
Peak: #35            2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 959
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 91

Last year in my analysis of “CoCo,” I wrote that O.T. Genasis was destined to become a one-hit wonder. It seemed a safe bet at the time, but he went and proved me wrong in a big way with “Cut It.” Featuring an enormously catchy piano riff and another swath of double meanings, O.T. scored his second Top 40 hit in as many tries. We’ll have to see if he can make it a three-peat in 2017.

#95: Humble And Kind by Tim McGraw
Peak: #30            2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 962
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 96

Arguably the most successful and consistent crossover county artist in Hot 100 history, Tim McGraw extended his remarkable chart record in 2016 with the critically-acclaimed “Humble And Kind.” Since first hitting the charts with “Indian Outlaw” in 1994, McGraw has logged 14 entries in my yearly Top 100, a highly impressive feat for someone in the country genre.

#94: All The Way Up by Fat Joe, Remy Ma & Jay Z f/French Montana & Infared
Peak: #27            2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 978
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 87

It’s been twelve long years since Fat Joe and Remy Ma graced this countdown. As co-members of Terror Squad, their #1 hit “Lean Back” was one of the biggest hits of 2004. Fat Joe had a slew of hits before 2004, most notably the Ashanti-featuring “What’s Luv?,” but hadn’t had a Top 40 hit since 2008. That all changed with “All The Way Up,” one of the most irresistible hip-hop tracks of the year. In any other year, this would have been the most unlikely comeback song, but there are amazingly several more contenders scattered throughout this countdown.

#93: Juju On Dat Beat (TZ Anthem) by Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall
Peak: #5            2016 Weeks on Chart: 12         Points: 984
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

Much like gunslingers in the Old West, there typically isn’t room for two viral hits on the charts at once. However, this fall proved to be a massive exception, as “Juju On Dat Beat” held court simultaneously with the Mannequin Challenge-fed “Black Beatles.” Ultimately, this debut single for Zay and Zayion fell just shy of the pace set by Rae Sremmurd, but a #5 peak and an extended stay in the Top 10 is a more than enjoyable fate.

#92: Caroline by Aminé
Peak: #12            2016 Weeks on Chart: 15         Points: 988
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

One of 2016’s dozens of newcomers (more research on that forthcoming), Aminé struck gold with his debut single inspired partially by the lyrical target of Outkast’s 2004 hit “Roses.” “Caroline” is one of many examples of a changing tide in Hot 100 metrics, as songs driven by going viral on streaming providers like Spotify are starting to excel without mainstream radio exposure.

#91: Setting The World On Fire by Kenny Chesney f/Pink
Peak: #29            2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 989
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

Throughout her nearly 20-year career, Pink has paired up with a wide variety of recording artists, from Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim and Mya on 2001’s “Lady Marmalade” to Fun frontman Nate Ruess on 2013’s “Just Give Me A Reason.” As she continues the adult contemporary radio phase of her career, she lent a hand to country superstar Kenny Chesney on “Setting The World On Fire.” The end result was probably the most centrist single to date for either artist. While this gave it a lasting home on adult radio stations, it prevented a prolonged run on either the country or pop charts.

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That’s all for today! The song will keep getting bigger and bigger as the subsequent parts of the countdown come around, so be sure to keep checking in over the next week or so. A big thanks to everyone for joining me for songs 101-91 of the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016, and I’ll see you here tomorrow for songs 90-81!

Until then,

Ryan

10 Best Songs Of 2016

Image result for maren morris my church video

My countdown of the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016 will begin after Billboard publishes their final Hot 100 of the year tomorrow morning. In anticipation of that, I decided that today was a good time to throw my objective research to the wayside and share my choices for the best songs of 2016.

Narrowing my list down to just 10 songs was an arduous effort, as my shortlist playlist was well over 50 this year. As always, my list was constrained by one song per artist, in order to keep this countdown fresh. Here are some honorable mentions (alphabetical by artist) that came up just short of full recognition this year:

In no way do I claim this to be a perfect or completely defensible ranking. The whole practice of best-of lists is to foster debate, disagreement, and ultimately hearty conversation on the year that was, and my aim is to represent the impact 2016 had on my own music taste. As I am a vehement pop apologist striving to find the perfect beat, you can expect this list to reflect my uptempo desires. So with that disclaimer aside, let’s take a look at my Top 10!

#10: Hummingbird by Kyla La Grange

I first learned of English siren Kyla La Grange when Kygo’s 2014 remix of her single “Cut Your Teeth” gave both artists their first international hits. La Grange crafted a wonderful slice of synthpop heaven sans remix in April with “Hummingbird,” boasting a punchy chorus with her breathy vocal delivery.

#9: Cold Water by Major Lazer f/Justin Bieber & MØ

I for one thought that “Lean On” would be a difficult act to follow for everyone’s favorite EDM collective Major Lazer. However, beginning with “Light It Up” late last year, the trio has been refining their craft and subtly improving their output. On “Cold Water,” MØ reprises her role from “Lean On” in tandem with Justin Bieber to sing around a momentous drop which is much more melodic than its counterparts. If “Lean On” evoked the sonic qualities of Middle Eastern music, “Cold Water” gives off a distinctly Caribbean vibe.

#8: True Disaster by Tove Lo

The trend of 80s influenced synthpop has been extremely welcome for my musical palate, and Tove Lo is one of the latest to give the style a try. Like Taylor Swift’s “Style,” “True Disaster” features a driving synth line which serves as a sturdy backbone. However, Tove Lo’s track is a darker, more melancholy take on the perils of falling in love, and the lyrics mesh perfectly with the minor key of the backing track.

#7: On Your Side by The Veronicas

Yes folks, these are the same Veronicas who had the 2008 hit “Untouched.” The Aussie duo has been out of the spotlight for quite some time now, but they had a resurgent 2016. “In My Blood” became a #1 hit in Australia this year and is a fantastic song in its own right, but its followup “On Your Side” edges it out by a nose. It charted lower than its predecessor, but features a more nuanced melody which swells effectively to an immaculate post-chorus.

#6: This Girl by Kungs & Cookin’ On 3 Burners

The best banger of the year belonged to a teenage French DJ.  “This Girl” takes the typical guitar+beat Robin Schulz formula and adds a boisterous horn section to create an inescapable hook. An absolute blast from start to finish, “This Girl” easily took home my award for the song that featured most frequently on my workout playlist.

#5: Starving by Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f/Zedd

It’s been quite a year for Hailee Steinfeld, earning a Golden Globe nomination for The Edge Of Seventeen and reaching the Top 20 for the first time with “Starving.” The simple acoustic guitar riff that holds court during the verses is a better version of Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” and the the post-chorus interlude is pure Zedd fun. What truly sets “Starving” apart is its effortless flow from measure to measure, best exemplified when Steinfeld turns the turns the last word of the first chorus into the first word of the second verse without missing a step.

#4: Love On The Brain by Rihanna

6/8 is by far the most under-utilized time signature in music today, so there will always be a special place in my heart when an artists takes the plunge. Rihanna’s current single sounds vastly different from anything else on Anti, and for me that’s a very, very good thing. “Love On The Brain” showcases Rihanna’s vocal talents in a way that we haven’t seen for a few albums as she bares her soul on this retro torch song.

#3: The Ocean by Mike Perry f/Shy Martin

Quite simply the easiest listen of the year, Mike Perry’s downtempo tropical masterpiece “The Ocean” was prime summer listening. The interplay between its lilting verses and the jaunty throb of its drop mimicked the tidal effect invoked by its title, and by checking in at a brisk 3:03, the song never threatens to overstay its welcome. As the tropical genre continues to become diluted as it continues to encroach the mainstream, “The Ocean” was a breath of crisp saltwater air which gently kept The Chainsmokers at bay.

#2: False Alarm by The Weeknd

The second single released from The Weeknd’s Starboy was always destined to be my favorite of the bunch. Not even the Romantics-interpolating “Secrets” or the two Daft Punk-featuring tracks could sound as throbbingly unique as “False Alarm.” Blending driving dance-punk with a Drum & Bass breakdown not often heard this side of the Atlantic, The Weeknd practically doubled the beats per minute of his usual output, and it worked magnificently. His typical lyrical content of rampant sex and drug use takes on new meaning with the frenzied desperation the beat provides, creating an exhilarating listening experience quite unlike anything else in 2016.

#1: My Church by Maren Morris

Once I gave Maren Morris’ debut album Hero a first full listen, I had no doubt whatsoever that one of its defiant country-pop tracks would be gracing this countdown. Continued listens further elevated standout tracks like “80s Mercedes” and “Rich,” but in the end I had to go with the song that started it all. A debut single for the ages in a genre which is fiercely resistant to newcomers, “My Church” broke Morris into the country scene in a big way. This ode to a summer drive with the top down and the radio all the way up sounded right at home on country stations. But its pop sensibilities, effortless vocal delivery and effervescent glow made “My Church” a consistent must-listen for me throughout the year. I’m sure some may balk at my tapping a country record for my favorite song of the year, but no song this year felt more familiar while it helped to break down the walls of genre.

Who is the most average player in the MLB?

BY RYAN MILOWICKI

The month following the end of baseball season is usually reserved for the recognition of superlatives. Beginning with the presentation of baseball awards and culminating with the unveiling of the Hall of Fame ballot, this past month has been about honoring the best in the game.

This project bears no such motivation.

When I saw names like Freddy Sanchez and Orlando Cabrera on this year’s ballot, I began wondering, who is the most “average” player in baseball today? I thought this would be a simple enough question to research, but I quickly learned that I needed to properly define and evaluate the multiple meanings of the word “average.”

The wonderful community of sabermetricians has created a beautiful statistic called Wins Above Average (WAA) that serves as a crucial first step in this endeavor. Unlike its more famous big brother, WAR (Wins Above Replacement), WAA compares major leaguers to their peers, not the mythical “replacement player.” Scoring 0.0 in WAR means that you’re a bad player who can easily be replaced with a minor leaguer, while scoring 0.0 on WAA means roughly that you are an average MLB-caliber player. For the purposes of this project, WAA is going to be our initial guide.

INITIAL FINDINGS

As is the case with any statistical study, sample size is key. To ensure that all the players I studied have accrued enough playing time to merit observation, I limited my research to active players who have appeared in at least 400 career games. For simplicity’s sake, I limited my search to position players, since sabermetrics work a little bit different for pitchers. These constraints narrowed down my starting pool to just north of 250 active major leaguers.

I then sorted all of these players according to their career totals in WAA. Unsurprisingly, A-Rod (76.0) and Albert Pujols (68.2) are at the top, and Jeff Francoeur (-11.9) is at the bottom (as Jon Bois expertly recounted). In theory, the player whose career WAA is closest to absolute zero should be the “most average player.” In this case, the player whose career WAA is exactly 0.0 is outfielder Jay Bruce.

Jay Bruce is the most average MLB player in the game today.

That doesn’t sound right, does it? It shouldn’t, because Jay Bruce has had his fair share of excellent seasons, most notably his slew of 30+ HR, 95+ RBI seasons with the Reds early in his career. However, Bruce has also had a number of equally disappointing seasons in his nine-year career. As fate would have it, these two types of Jay Bruce campaigns have essentially cancelled out, leaving his WAA at a perfect 0.0.

Such varied season-by-season inputs don’t exactly click with the type of player we’re seeking. Surely a player good enough to finish in the Top 10 of MVP voting twice does not suddenly become an “average” player thanks to a couple awful seasons.

It’s clear that the simple mean definition of average is not enough for our baseball purposes. However, we will still harvest some of the career WAA data. Moving on to the next round of scrutiny are the 58 active major leaguers whose career WAA is between -2.0 and 2.0 (including Bruce).

A DIFFERENT TYPE OF CONSISTENCY

To put Jay Bruce’s plight into more statistical context, his WAA in 2013 was an impressive 3.2, good for second on the Reds behind only Joey Votto. Yet the very next year, he recorded a career low with a -2.9 WAA, the worst total on the Reds.

Such wild extremes in Jay Bruce’s career gives his career WAA a high standard deviation, a fact masked by his too-perfect-to-be-true overall totals. To start working through this problem, I took a look at the season-by-season totals of each of the 58 finalists to see whose yearly totals were the least random.

I ranked all 58 players in accordance with the overall variance of their year-by-year WAA, with the least scattered players ranking the highest. As expected, Jay Bruce fell to 57th under this scrutiny. The only player ranked lower than Bruce? That honor (?) belongs to shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who slipped to a career-low -4.0 WAA this season after reaching as high as 3.3 in his time with the White Sox.

Were I to end my research with this metric, the title of “most average player” would belong to Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias, immediately followed by Matt Adams, Travis Ishikawa, Shane Robinson, and Eric Sogard. In his five major league seasons, Iglesias has yet to surpass 0.6 in seasonal WAA, but has never fallen below -0.1. This creates a very consistent body of work which grants him the win here.

However, the individual components that comprise value-related statistics like WAA and WAR are have the capability to cancel themselves out in a similar fashion to the aforementioned Jay Bruce debunking.

Players like Jose Iglesias are known as good fielders but pedestrian hitters. So in effect, their above-average fielding metrics cancel out their near-bottom hitting ability to give them the semblance of being a completely “average” MLB player.

ANOTHER TWEAK

In order to level the playing field and remove the final source of “happy accident” imbalance, I dove further into the components that make up WAA.

There are four main areas in play here: runs created from offense, runs created from baserunning, runs created from defense, and the reward/penalty associated with defensive position. The first three are self-explanatory, but the final category is slightly less intuitive. In simplest terms, the average corner outfielder or first baseman is expected to generate offense, so those players must generate more runs to elevate themselves above average. As such, their score in this statistic is typically negative, while positions with lower offensive mandates (catcher, middle infielders) receive a positive bump (i.e. less offense is needed to be above-average for their positition).

With those same 58 finalists, I proceeded to rank them according to their variance among those 4 WAA components. As before, the lowest variance resulted in the highest rankings. Clubhouse leader Jose Iglesias fell to 20th in these rankings, due to the high disparity between his glove and bat.

The winner of “most average” by this metric was Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna, whose career totals in all four WAA components were within just 9 runs of each other. Poor Alexei Ramirez ranked near the bottom in this list as well, surpassed only by Kurt Suzuki, Kendrys Morales, Nick Swisher, and Juan Uribe.

FINAL ADJUSTMENT

Armed with two ranking systems which shook out very differently, I decided to make them work together to create my final rankings. By my utopic definition of “average,” I am looking for a player who shows consistency season-to-season (like Iglesias) while doing so with a balanced assortment of skills (in the vein of Ozuna).

Comparing the two sets of rankings, I averaged each player’s positions together to create one final ranking. As such, a high ranking on one of the two lists is not good enough to make my final cut. For what it’s worth, Jose Iglesias finished 7th in my final rankings, and Ozuna finished 18th.

Before revealing the five players who have earned the honor of “most average” players in today’s MLB, I just want to give a shoutout to Alexei Ramirez. Of the 58 players whose career WAA fall within my boundaries of average, Ramirez sported by far the most erratic statistics. In addition to having the widest gap between his best and worst WAA seasons, he also had one of the five biggest disparities between his offensive and defensive skills. Stay unique, Alexei. Never change.

AND THE WINNERS ARE…

5. Andres Blanco

One of the longest-tenured players that isn’t a household name, Blanco made his major league debut with the Royals in 2004. A situational player for the majority of his career, Blanco registered career highs in games played, home runs, and RBI in his last two seasons with the Phillies. His career slash line of .264/.317/.388 is far from awe-inspiring, but par for the course for a utility infielder.

Career WAA: -1.1
Season-to-season variance ranking: 9th
Tool set variance ranking: 10th

4. Travis Ishikawa

Best known for his walkoff home run that won the 2014 NLCS for the Giants, Ishikawa floundered in AAA throughout 2016 but has been a prototypical platoon first baseman since making his MLB debut in 2006. He had the lowest career WAA of all players I studied, but his better-than-average glove kept him afloat.

Career WAA: -2.0
Season-to-season variance ranking: 3rd
Tool set variance ranking: 15th

3. Marwin Gonzalez

The first placing player to be an everyday starter, Gonzalez recently finished his fifth season with the Astros. His positional bonus/penalty was offset by his recent switch from the left side of the infield to first base, aiding in his high ranking here. However, should he remain at first base in future seasons, the balance will begin to turn against him unless his power numbers increase beyond 12-15 homers a year.

Career WAA: -0.7
Season-to-season variance ranking: 7th
Tool set variance ranking: 11th

2. Lonnie Chisenhall

Similar to Gonzalez, Lonnie Chisenhall benefited from a recent position switch after finding a new home in right field halfway through the 2015 season. The cornerstone in Chisenhall’s “most average” campaign was his impressive balance of skills, trailing only Ozuna, Stephen Vogt, and Scooter Gennett in that ranking. In his six year career, Chisenhall has lost just 8 runs of generated offense to the average, compared to +5 in fielding and +4 in baserunning. This parity makes Chisenhall the only of these five players to register their best ranking in the tool set category, as well as the only listed player with a positive career WAA.

Career WAA: 0.6
Season-to-season variance ranking: 12th
Tool set variance ranking: 4th

1. Matt Adams

I for one was quite surprised to see a full-time first baseman top these rankings. The positional penalty associated with first base is the highest of any, but Adams‘ season-to-season consistency is what puts him over the top. In his five seasons with the Cardinals, he has never strayed further than four-tenths of a win from absolute zero. As Albert Pujols’ replacement in St. Louis, his power numbers have been fair, not great, but his batting average has occasionally placed near the top of his position (especially in 2013 and 2014).

If it sounds like I’m stretching to find superlatives for a middling player, that’s exactly my intent, because by my metrics, Matt Adams is the most middling player in today’s MLB.

Career WAA: -0.4
Season-to-season variance ranking: 2nd
Tool set variance ranking: 12th

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in 12 days for the beginning of my countdown of the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016!

 

 

 

The wild, crazy, impossible, and 100% true story of “All Summer Long”

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BY RYAN MILOWICKI

For the first decade of his popularity, Kid Rock (née Robert Ritchie) had been known as an artist with a fairly niche fan base. The wonderfully anonymous horde of the internet has dubbed him the musical equivalent of an above-ground pool, and the types of folks most inclined to own one are a good approximation of those shelling out money to own his records. With the exception of the dentist-office-fodder “Picture,” Kid Rock had been a fairly insular act.

But in the summer of 2008, something extremely strange happened. Kid Rock was everywhere. Much like the latter-day Nickelback hits (e.g. “Rockstar”), “All Summer Long” was one of those songs that you knew was not only horrible in its own time, but would age like an uncooked steak in mid-July heat.

Its two-pronged sampling of “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Werewolves Of London” seemed to be a pandering attempt to craft crossover potential, and lyrics like “we were smoking funny things” hurt to ponder. As you heard it for the first time, a little bile crept into your throat as you thought to yourself, “Please don’t let this work.”

But it did. Somehow, someway, it did.

Now we’ve all experienced that feeling of helplessness when a song you strongly dislike comes on the radio and you switch to another station, only to hear the exact same song playing half a verse behind. That phenomenon came true to an unparalleled degree with “All Summer Long.”

I’m going to use the radio stations of Cleveland as an example, so bear with me. Here’s a quick rundown of all the stations on which I have heard “All Summer Long” over the years (in dial order):

  • 94.9 (country station)
  • 96.5 (KISS FM, the hits station)
  • 97.5 (modern rock, i.e. a whole lot of Seether back in the day)
  • 98.5 (classic rock, the one that plays “Born To Run” at 5:00 every day)
  • 99.5 (another country station, welcome to Ohio)
  • 100.7 (slightly edgier modern rock, where every other Kid Rock song lives)
  • 102.1 (lite rock/adult contemporary radio, lovechild of The Fray and Buble)
  • 104.1 (another hits station, albeit more “family-friendly,” so no rap)
  • 106.5 (“80s, 90s, and NOW!”, also known as Bon Jovi then John Mayer)

That’s nine (9!) radio stations with clear signal strength in the Cleveland metropolitan area which carried “All Summer Long” within six months of its release. It was inescapable. Never in my life had I heard a classic rock station play contemporary music by artists who weren’t AARP eligible (AC/DC’s Black Ice and Guns N’ Roses Chinese Democracy leap to mind). But selling out to the tune of history’s most frustrating sample broke a system designed to let fans embrace their guilty pleasures in a safe, enclosed community.

But that’s only half of the perplexing story of “All Summer Long.”

When a song has this much crossover success, chart domination typically ensues. Remember how long “Cruise” was on the charts a few years ago?  “All Summer Long” was a global hit, no two ways about it. The man behind “Bawitdaba” took “All Summer Long” to Number One in the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, and Australia. It reached the Top 5 in Norway, New Zealand, Belgium, and Israel (!).

Now I want you all to close your eyes and guess how high it charted here in America?

Got your guess?

Ok, here goes…

23.

You read that right. 23.

How is that even possible? What’s about to ensue is without a doubt the most befuddling story in the history of music charts.

Years before Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify, years before “Tidal exclusives,” there was this thing called “not having your music on iTunes.” For those of you too young to remember, we used to have these things called iPods, and we paid 99 cents on iTunes to put these songs on our iPods. Artists like The Beatles and AC/DC took a long time to release their music on iTunes, but the vast, vast majority of contemporary artists were there.

But not our buddy Kid Rock. Nope, for some reason, he thought “digital sales” was some yuppie talk, and so “All Summer Long” was not on iTunes. Its chart position could not be helped by airplay, and since Billboard changed the rules about this sort of thing in 1998, a song needs the right mixture of airplay and digital sales to rise to the top of the chart.

But what were suburbanites supposed to do to get their Kid Rock fix if they weren’t near a radio? Well here’s another thing that’s gone the way of the dinosaur. If you search Spotify or iTunes for songs that aren’t there, you are sure to be bombarded with a slew of horrific monstrosities known as “karaoke versions.” Now I’m not talking about Kidz Bop or bad covers. What I’m talking about is glorified Muzak (we call it elevator music, millennials), lacking vocal parts and only occasional “boasting” atrocious backing vocals. The identities of who makes these “songs” is as mysterious as their existence, as they go by cryptic names.

Two such purveyors of disgusting karaoke versions were Hit Masters and The Rock Heroes, who dutifully made their own versions of “All Summer Long” once it started getting airplay. Here’s the best image the internet has of these groups (I was unable to find a picture pertaining to The Rock Heroes):

I did not make this image, it is an honest-to-goodness digital album cover.

Those aforementioned suburbanites searched for “All Summer Long” in droves, and all they found were these horrendous instrumentals. Now any rational consumer would utilize iTunes’ 30-second sample feature to determine that this drivel is not worth 99 cents. But this was the golden age of the iPod! People really needed “All Summer Long,” no matter how diluted, and so they actually bought these versions.

Remember what I said earlier about the modern Hot 100 being a two-way street? In 2008, you needed a two-pronged base of airplay and digital sales in order to chart highly, as clearly shown by the fate of the real “All Summer Long.” But in September, smack dab in the middle of Kid Rock’s run, something completely unprecedented happened. For the first and only time in Hot 100 history, an instrumental karaoke version of a song reached the chart. Both the Rock Heroes and Hit Masters renditions found their way onto the Hot 100, America’s standard-bearer for popularity and success.

This would be a fittingly bizarre end to this story, but that’s not the end. Not even close.

Not only did these two versions simultaneously make the chart, but they both made the Top 40. THE TOP 40! The Rock Heroes version of “All Summer Long” wound up peaking at #29, while the Hit Masters version made its way up to #19.

Hold on one second.

Where did I say the real, bona fide, can’t escape it, hear it everywhere “All Summer Long” peaked?

Oh that’s right. #23.

A MUZAK VERSION OF “ALL SUMMER LONG” PEAKED FOUR SPOTS HIGHER THAN THE REAL THING!!!!

I can say with absolute certainty that a karaoke version of a popular song will never again reach the Hot 100, let alone outrank its inspiration. But for one shining month in 2008, Kid Rock’s tone-deaf lack of digital availability cost him a real chance at a Number One hit. A terrible song somehow generated enough demand across every conceivable radio genre to create a airplay juggernaut, and millions of rabid fans and newcomers alike decided that their love and need of “All Summer Long” was urgent enough to merit spending real money on Muzak.

If that’s not the most 2008/confused adults learning how to use iTunes story of all time, then I’d love to know what is.

A Fool’s Errand, Chapter 2: The Long And Winding Road

IMG_1832

BY RYAN MILOWICKI

For the prologue of this series, read here.
For Chapter 1 of this series, read here.

The Royals are back in business! It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated you on the travails of the semi-fictional 2005 Kansas City Royals, but I assure you that I have been slowly but surely plugging away. At the time of publication, I have just finished my 100th game at the helm of the Royals, and they are sitting at a middling 49-51. It has been extraordinarily difficult to stay consistent with a team this untalented (don’t tell them I said that), and the best adjective I can use to describe the squad is streaky. Just last week, I had an 8-1 stretch bookended by a pair of 5-game losing streaks. The Royals have not been over .500 since a loss to the Tigers dropped them to 20-20. On paper, this would sound like my endeavor to take the game’s worst team to the World Series is irreparably ill-fated.

But the AL Central is having a mighty struggle in this iteration of the 2005 MLB. The would-be world champion White Sox are 18 games under .500, and the division is becoming a dogfight between my Royals and the Minnesota Twins. Currently sitting just a game and a half back, the Royals still have a great opportunity to win the division. Under the old Wild Card rules, no Al Central team has a realistic chance at snagging the extra spot, so it is a war of attrition to make the playoffs.

I consider it a proud accomplishment that the team is this close to .500, given that an already-lean squad has been routinely depleted by injuries. Captain Mike Sweeney, Tony Clark, David DeJesus and Angel Berroa have all spent time on the Disabled List, forcing various bench players and AAA help to contribute. Some (Ken Harvey) have, most (Abraham Nunez, Ruben Mateo, Mendy Lopez) have not. On the whole, the team is struggling mightily offensively, with several players’ averages hovering well below .200. Compared to my Blue Jays team last year, this is a much weaker offense, with approximately half of the home runs and even lower averages.

To add another bat and a set of wheels to the Royals, I traded surprise power threat Ruben Gotay and benchwarmer Donnie Murphy to the Yankees for Tony Womack, and he is almost solely responsible for the team’s stabilization. His 21 homers and 10 steals have cemented him at the top of the Royals order, and has helped Angel Berroa ease back into the lineup.

With a struggling lineup, the only way to keep the team in games is via stellar pitching. Thankfully, my pitchers have been up to the task and have the lowest ERA in the majors. The rotation has been as of yet unaffected (knock on wood) by injury, and none of my five starters has missed a start yet. Their records might not show it, but they are performing much better than their real-life counterparts. In the bullpen, my boys have been greatly overachieving. Jeremy Affeldt has been a great choice as closer, with 22 saves in 23 opportunities. The 7th and 8th innings have been locked down as well, with setup man Jaime Cerda’s ERA hovering around 2.00 and righty Scott Sullivan dazzling with a 1.05 ERA.

It won’t be easy to try and scrounge up a playoff spot, but with my spring classes completed, I am certainly game for the challenge. MVP willing, my roster is finally returning to full strength and with it my confidence in the team. Stay tuned for further updates as the playoff race heats up, I hope the Royals will be a part of it!

Until then,

Ryan

STATS THROUGH 100 GAMES

Record: 49-51 (2nd Place in AL Central, 1.5 GB)

Batting Average Leaders (Qualified): Ken Harvey (.243), Mike Sweeney (.241)
Home Runs Leaders: Matt Stairs (22), Tony Womack (21), Mike Sweeney (20)
RBI Leaders: Tony Womack (43), Matt Stairs (40), Mike Sweeney (38)

Team Runs Scored: 304 (30th in Majors)
Team Runs Allowed: 318 (1st in Majors)

APPENDIX

Complete Batting Stats

KEY: Pos. Player: Games,  AVG/OBP/SLG,  HR, RBI, SO, BB, OPS

LF Matt Stairs: 99 G,  .201/.221/.414, 22 HR, 40 RBI, 58 SO, 10 BB, .635 OPS
2B Tony Womack: 97 G,  .225/.267/.459, 21 HR, 43 RBI, 83 SO, 22 BB, .726 OPS
1B/DH Ken Harvey: 96 G, .243/.265/,463, 18 HR, 33 RBI, 30 SO, 10 BB, .728 OPS
RF Terrence Long: 92 G, .185/.210/.375, 19 HR, 34 RBI, 64 SO, 12 BB, .585 OPS
C John Buck: 83 G, .188/.246/.333, 11 HR, 22 RBI, 44 SO, 22 BB, .579 OPS
RF/3B Eli Marrero: 79 G, .192/.227/.355, 14 HR, 23 RBI, 37 SO, 13 BB, .582 OPS
1B/DH Mike Sweeney: 78 G, .241/.266/.479, 20 HR, 38 RBI, 41 SO, 10 BB, .745 OPS
CF David DeJesus: 77 G, .215/.233/.407, 16 HR, 21 RBI, 45 SO, 7 BB, .640 OPS
3B Tony Graffanino: 67 G, .199/.206/.283, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 27 SO, 2 BB, .489 OPS
SS Angel Berroa: 59 G, .195/.208/.270, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 41 SO, 4 BB, .478 OPS
SS Mendy Lopez: 39 G, .194/.232/.313, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 19 SO, 7 BB, .545 OPS
RF Abraham Nunez: 22 G, .085/.085/.136, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 7 SO, 0 BB, .221 OPS
C Paul Phillips: 17 G, .182/.224/.200, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3 SO, 3 BB, .424 OPS
RF Ruben Mateo: 9 G, .042/.115/.042, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 6 SO, 2 BB, .157 OPS

1B Tony Clark: 15 G, .294/.294/.725, 7 HR, 8 RBI, 7 SO, 0 BB, 1.019 OPS
(Currently on 60-Day DL)

Complete Pitching Stats

KEY: Pos. Player: W-L, ERA, Games, Innings, K, BB, WHIP, K/9, BB/9

SP Zack Greinke: 8-9, 2.58 ERA, 20 G, 150.0 IP, 65 K, 0 BB, 0.93 WHIP, 3.90 K/9, 0 BB/9,
SP Brian Anderson: 6-7, 2.97 ERA, 20 G, 142.1 IP, 40 K, 1 BB, 1.05 WHIP, 2.53 K/9, 0.06 BB/9
SP Mike Wood: 8-8, 2.67 ERA, 20 G, 138.1 IP, 53 K, 2 BB, 0.92 WHIP, 3.45 K/9, 0.13 BB/9
SP Jose Lima: 5-6, 3.52 ERA, 20 G, 125.1 IP, 27 K, 1 BB, 1.26 WHIP, 1.94 K/9, 0.07 BB/9
SP Jimmy Gobble: 6-9, 3.16 ERA, 20 G, 122.1 IP, 34 K, 1 BB, 1.19 WHIP, 2.50 K/9, 0.07 BB/9

MRP Scott Sullivan: 4-0, 1.05 ERA, 32 G, 51.2 IP, 19 K, 1 BB, 0.64 WHIP, 3.31 K/9, 0.17 BB/9
SU Jaime Cerda: 4-0, 2.05 ERA, 39 G, 48.1 IP, 17 K, 0 BB, 0.87 WHIP, 3.17 K/9, 0 BB/9
LRP Dennis Tankersley: 1-5, 4.69 ERA, 21 G, 40.1 IP, 20 K, 1 BB, 1.36 WHIP, 4.46 K/9, 0.22 BB/9
CL Jeremy Affeldt: 1-2, 1.96 ERA, 33 G, 36.2 IP, 19 K, 0 BB, 0.68 WHIP, 4.66 K/9, 0 BB/9, .200 BAA (22 SAVES)
LRP Shawn Camp: 3-3, 2.10 ERA, 15 G, 30.0 IP, 14 K, 2 BB, 1.10 WHIP, 4.20 K/9, 0.60 BB/9
MRP Nate Field: 1-1, 5.73 ERA, 13 G, 22.0 IP, 6 K, 2 BB, 1.64 WHIP, 2.46 K/9, 0.82 BB/9
MRP D.J. Carrasco: 2-1, 3.00 ERA, 17 G, 21.0 IP, 5 K, 0 BB, 1.14 WHIP, 2.14 K/9, 0 BB/9