In this series, Tyler Wasserman takes a look at the players most affected by luck in 2011. In the final part of this 4 Part series, he examines which pitchers should see significant declines in 2012 due to exceptional luck in 2011. Each player’s stats shown are 2011 (ERA/FIP/xFIP).
When Hellickson was in the minors, his K/9 was consistently above 9. In 2011, his first full major league season, it fell to 5.57, with 3.43 BB/9, leading to a terrible 1.63 K/BB ratio. His GB % was a very low 35 %. So how did Hellickson post such a great ERA? The answer lies in a .223 BABIP, the lowest of any pitcher last year. He benefited from having good defense behind him, and many balls in play simply did not fall in for hits. His HR/FB rate was also low at 8.1 %, another sign of luck. His BABIP is very likely to rise in 2012, and if his strikeout and walk numbers don’t improve dramatically, his numbers will be very mediocre.
In this series, Tyler Wasserman takes a look at the players most affected by luck in 2011. In Part 3 of this 4 Part series, he examines which pitchers should see significant improvement in 2012 due to poor luck in 2011. Each player’s stats shown are 2011 (ERA/FIP/xFIP).
Believe it or not, Burnett was very unlucky last year, due to having the highest HR/FB rate in all of baseball at 17 %. It is generally accepted that pitchers can impact whether their pitches are hit on the ground or in the air, but how many home runs come of those fly balls is not nearly as controllable. Burnett’s K/9, BB/9, BABIP, and GB in 2011 were all very close to his career averages, yet his ERA was over a full run higher than his career 4.10 ERA. Many will respond by asking, what about 2010? It is unlikely that a player should fall victim to such bad luck for two full consecutive seasons. However, this isn’t the case, as demonstrated in 2010; Burnett was awful. His K/9 fell to 6.99 and his GB % fell to 44.9 % whereas in 2011 his K/9 returned to 8.18 and his GB % rose to 49.2 %.
In this series, Tyler Wasserman takes a look at which players were most affected by luck in 2011. In Part 2 of this 4 Part series, he examines which hitters should see significant declines in 2012 due to exceptional luck in 2011. Each player’s stats shown are 2011 (AVG/OBP/SLG/wRC).
As we saw in the first part of this series, the main stat for luck is BABIP, and Bonifacio had the 3rd highest BABIP in all of baseball last year at .372. While he does have a very nice .339 career BABIP, .372 is simply unsustainable. This is especially true given the fact that he’s had a ground ball rate above 50% every season. Look for his BABIP to regress to around his career number, with his batting average and OBP following towards his career marks of .269 and .328 respectively.
In this series, Tyler Wasserman takes a look at the players most affected by luck in 2011. In Part 1 of this 4 Part series, he’ll examine which hitters should see significant improvement in 2012 due to poor luck in 2011. Each player’s stats shown are 2011 (AVG/OBP/SLG/wRC).
In 2011, Teixeira fell victim to a measly .239 BABIP compared to a .296 career BABIP. His batted ball percentages were in line with his career averages, with a slightly higher FB % and lower GB % than usual for him. This is a good sign, as it means the higher number of ground balls is not the cause of the horrid BABIP, which was the 3rd worst in all of baseball. His 11.1 BB % is virtually the same as his career 11.5 BB %, and his K % was actually better than his career numbers. His power is still there, shown by 39 HRs, .494 SLG %, and .246 ISO. The only thing that wasn’t there last year was the hits falling in. Look for Teixeira to get back to his previous numbers of 120+ wRC with an uptick in his entire slash line.
Over the course of about an hour, the Yankees completely changed 40% of their starting rotation. They shocked the baseball world by trading penciled-in DH Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to Seattle for starting pitcher Michael Pineda and prospect Jose Campos. Pineda will slide into the #2 spot in the Yankees rotation, while Campos will likely begin the season in either the A or AA level. Then, about an hour later, news broke that the Yankees had also signed Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $10 million contract.
Let’s start with the two main players of the trade with the Mariners: Jesus Montero and Michael Pineda. Montero is widely considered to be one of the top, if not the best hitting prospect in all of baseball. However, the Yankees clearly did not feel he would be an adequate catcher, as they’ve tried to deal him before and were very hesitant to put him behind the plate during his September call-up last year. With Mark Teixeira holding down 1B for the foreseeable future, that would leave Montero as strictly a DH with the Yankees for years to come.
Pineda, on the other hand, has the potential to be a number one starter. He finished 2011 with 9.11 K/9 and only 2.89 BB/9, both extremely impressive numbers for a 22-year-old rookie pitcher. The main concern with Pineda is his 5.12 post All-Star break ERA. While it’s never good to see pitchers fade that much in the second half of the season, I don’t think there’s cause for concern with Pineda.
“All I can say is I gave it all on the field.” That was Jorge Posada’s comment during his interview after the Yankees had just been eliminated from the ALDS. Shortly after, he teared up and apologized for not being able to answer more questions. At that time, we all knew that he had played his last game as a Yankee. Recently, we learned that was in fact the last game of his career.
Posada was always described as a fiery team leader. While Jeter is the captain, Jorge was the player who would be willing to get in another player’s face from time to time. As his career progressed, he learned to effectively handle pitching staffs, and was always a favorite of both his teammates and Yankees fans everywhere.
I could go on and on about memories and moments of Posada’s career, but let’s take time for an analytical look at it. He was always a consistent power threat, a rarity coming from behind the plate, averaging 95 wRC from 2000-2007. This is very impressive as a catcher with less plate appearances than most other position players. In 2007, Posada had a career year, creating 116 runs and earning himself a 4-year contract, which expired after this past season.
This is the third part of our nine-part series entitled Set You Free, which takes a position-by-position look at this offseason’s free agency market. Today, Tyler Wasserman asks a simple question: who’s on first?
Last week, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim took the baseball world by storm by signing Albert Pujols to a massive 10-year $254 million contract. In doing so, they secured themselves not only the best first baseman on the free agent market, but also arguably the best player in the game today. Let’s take a look at what remains for teams looking for free agent first basemen:
During the Winter Meetings, we saw both Heath Bell and Frank Francisco sign free agent deals to close games in new cities, although these moves were overshadowed by the Pujols and Reyes signings. Let’s take a look at the overall condition of the relief pitcher market.
Obviously, closers are being paid quite a large premium over setup men. But is this warranted? It seems as if many GMs are paying for saves; a very misleading stat. Rafael Soriano got a three-year deal in excess of $30 million last year because he had the brand name of an elite closer. However, as the Yankees experienced in 2011, relievers are very volatile, and even “elite closers” like Soriano tend to have sub-par years. Francisco Rodriguez, who recently accepted arbitration from the Brewers, will also be paid at least $12 million to be a setup man in 2012.
Analysts have already been dissecting Reyes’ numbers to see if this is a good deal for the Miami Marlins. But let’s take a look at this from another perspective: how do the Mets replace him?
Last year, Reyes produced 98 wRC in 586 plate appearances. He did this with a career high .353 BABIP. This demonstrates a certain amount of luck, as a much higher percentage of the balls that he put in play fell in for hits. However, his line drive percentage also increased by 3.5 percentage points over his 2010 numbers, evidence that it wasn’t all luck; Reyes, in fact, was hitting the ball harder. So let’s call 95 wRC in 600 PA a reasonable estimate of Reyes’ 2012 production.
In Episode 138 of Listen Up! hosts Jesse Kass & Scott Heineman reunite as Scott returns from a three absence while in Europe. Jesse & Scott discuss the ongoing NBA Finals and how the Spurs have jumped out to a 2-1 lead over the Heat and who will end up winning the series. The hosts then discuss same of the new NBA coaching hires, whether Jason Kidd w […]