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Alejandro De Aza’s stats tell the tale of productivity

The wins-above-replacement statistic says Alejandro De Azis baseball’s fifth-best center fielder. | Getty Images

The wins-above-replacement statistic says Alejandro De Aza is baseball’s fifth-best center fielder. | Getty Images

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White Sox
at Dodgers

The facts: 3:10, CSN, 670-AM.

The pitchers: Jose Quintana (2-1, 1.98 ERA) vs. Chris Capuano (8-2, 2.87 ERA).

Updated: July 18, 2012 6:49AM

LOS ANGELES — There’s no sense talking to White Sox center fielder and leadoff man Alejandro De Aza about sabermetrics. De Aza doesn’t even know his basic statistics beyond his batting average, let alone the complex figures, and that’s because “they show it on the scoreboard’’ when he comes to bat.

“I don’t even look at stats because I don’t like to think about it,’’ De Aza said. “On the last day of the season, I will worry about it. There is such a long way to go.’’

In his first season as an everyday player, De Aza’s numbers stand tall among the best outfielders in the American League. His defense has been solid as well.

In the Sox’ 5-4 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night, De Aza was retired for the sixth and seventh consecutive times in the series before he reached base on a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning. The roller to second scored Alexei Ramirez and gave the Sox that 5-4 lead, giving De Aza 28 RBI. In the seventh, he reached on a bunt single, and in the ninth, he put down a sacrifice bunt.

For De Aza, 28 RBI is just another nice number. Based on wins above replacement, a metric statistic that shows how many more victories a player would give a team as opposed to a replacement level (bench player, minor leaguer) at that position, De Aza is the fifth-best overall center fielder in baseball behind Michael Bourn (Braves), Adam Jones (Orioles), Josh Hamilton (Rangers) and Andrew McCutchen (Pirates). Going into the Sox’ game at Dodgers Stadium on Saturday night, De Aza was batting .301 with a .375 on-base percentage and .418 slugging percentage.

Among all AL outfielders, De Aza ranked second in runs (45), fourth in average and sixth in on-base percentage. He was fourth in the AL in stolen bases with 13, running successfully at a 73 percent clip.

Good stuff for a leadoff man.

“He’s the perfect guy for us to put there,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s a smart player. He has a great sense of what’s going on.’’

De Aza hasn’t played two games in a row without getting a hit since May 17-18. Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw was a tough matchup for De Aza, who struck out three times against him Friday on an 0-for-5 night. His bunt single in the seventh kept that streak alive.

So there are some stats for you, Alejandro. Not that you want to know.

“Yeah, I know in my mind I do some good stuff, but my only thought about that is to keep going, keep going, keep going,’’ he said.

“To help the team win is the first thing. Try to get a hit every day.’’

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