Rate stats are everything in analysis, I feel.
I regularly throw a triple-slash of a hitter's average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage and expect you, my dearest reader, to know exactly what type of performer they are.
However, I am not made of stathead blogger stone. It's a lot easier to have a real grasp on a season's impact with big, familiar counting stats. In early August, the only way to have those is to see what a player is "on pace" for, even if we have to grit our teeth, knowing that things like home runs and RBI (which are situation-dependent to the point of being really hard to use) come in clumps and streaks, and anyone can get injured at any time and throw everything off.
A.J. Pierzynski is on pace for 32 home runs
Pierzynski is set to make his career-bests in RBI and walks too, but the home run stuff is too nuts for words. He hit 30 home runs from 2009-2011. A three-year span!
He's also set to finish with a career-low in doubles, which is your tell-tale stat. Last year's doubles are clearing the fence, but will likely start rattling into the wall again when he regresses back into an above-average hitting catcher. That regression can wait, though.
Adam Dunn is on pace for 45 home runs
That's pretty astounding since he's been barely above-average since the end of May and dead in the water so far in August. The big power of the early months and his patience will keep his three true outcomes up, but his contact is down in troubling ways across the board.
He'd be set to mark full-season lows in hits and doubles if not for.../sucks in teeth...last year
Jake Peavy is on pace for 225.2 IP
Peavy's workload pace is down from 230 IP due to the day off, and will likely go down a bit more if Robin has any say, but it's still an enormous sum from a guy who's spent the last three seasons derided for his lack of durability. It's no doubt a source of pride for Jake, and an asset for his end-of-year negotiations.
Thanks to his usage, he's also on pace to have the first 200 strikeout season for a White Sox pitcher since 2008. Of course, the pitcher who recorded that season was Javier Vazquez, and 6th innings in 2006, Game 1 of the 2008 ALDS and all the memories come flooding back.
Matt Thornton is on pace for a career-high 78 appearances
I know everyone resents him now because he's not like he used to be, but he's also being ridden like a horse in a year where Robin has had few tested options to choose from.
Alejandro De Aza is on pace for 101 runs scored
The century-mark in runs scored--the traditional and flawed benchmark for a successful leadoff hitter. He has it, and he deserves the respect it brings.
The White Sox are on pace for 88 wins
Do what you will with that information.