Posted tagged ‘Ben Zobrist’

Tampa Bay Rays sign Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez

January 22, 2011

The Damon deal is 1/$5.25mil and the Manny deal is 1/$2mil.

I like it. Especially the Manny deal.

Manny can still hit. In 320 PA last season, his line was .298/.409/.460/.382/141. That’s good. He had a 1.6 fWAR, which means he was worth over $6mil. The Rays might be getting the STEAL of the off-season right here. The Yankees signed Andruw Jones for $2mil to be a part-time outfielder. Manny will be paid the same to be a full-time DH and hit a lot better than Jones will. I see no downside to this acquisition. The Rays didn’t have a DH, now they do.

I’m iffy on the Damon. He should be worth 1-2 WAR, so technically he will be “worth it”. But with the Manny signing, Damon will be the left fielder. At this stage in his career, he is a poor fielder. To me, it would make a lot more sense to stick Desmond Jennings there. He is ready and he is a top,big-time prospect. Even if Jennings struggles to hit, his defense should make him an equal player or superior player to Damon- at a cheaper price. Jennings could still patrol the outfielder if Ben Zobrist is moved to the second. While I think Sean Rodriguez should get a chance to start, a Damon-Upton-Jennings outfield with Zobrist at second might be a better lineup. Also, the Damon signing might open up the possibility of an Upton trade, a trade which could further stock the farm system or get ML talent to make the club better. So I’m neutral on the signing. It might work, it might not.

A letter to MLB coaches and managers

November 13, 2009

Dear MLB coaches and managers,

About an hour ago, the AL and NL Silver Slugger Awards were announced. The winner of the Silver Slugger for second base in the AL was Aaron Hill. This angers me deeply. Aaron Hill had a good season, but he was not the best hitting second basemen in the AL. That title, for 2009, belongs to either Robinson Cano or Ben Zobrist.

Before I make the case for Cano or Zobrist, let’s take a look at where Hill ranks among AL second basemen. Aaron Hill was 6/10 in BA, 8/10 in OBP, 3/10 in SLG, 4/10 in wOBA, 4/10 in wRAA, and 3/10 in EqA. He had a good power season, which is why he was middle of the pack in terms of wOBA and wRAA, but he has a below average OBP which kills a lot of his offensive value. For his OBP alone he shouldn’t be able to win the Silver Slugger.

Robinson Cano was 1/10 in BA, 5/10 in OBP, 2/10 in SLG, 2/10 in wOBA, 2/10 in wRAA, and 2/10 in EqA. He was BETTER than Hill in every category. Just look at them head to head:

Hill: .286/.330/.499/.357wOBA with 17.0 wRAA and .277 EqA
Cano: .320/.352/.530/.370wOBA with 23.1 wRAA and .287 EqA

There is no comparison. Cano was clearly better in BA, OBP, SLG, wOBA, wRAA, and EqA. And if you look at statcorner’s wOBA and wRAA calculations, the difference is even more pronounced. Hill’s wOBA and wRAA according to them was .361 (106 wOBA+) and 12.5 bringing his hitting WAR to 3.3. Meanwhile, Cano’s wOBA and wRAA were .381 (112 wOBA+) and 22.9 bringing his hitting WAR to 4.2.

There is only one AL second baseman that can challenge Cano for best hitter and that is Ben Zobrist. Zobrist was the second most valuable player in the AL on a per 150 games basis according to WAR and his line was:

Zobrist: .297/.405/.543/.408wOBA with 39.3 wRAA and .317 EqA.

However, he only started 81 games at second and only played in 91 games at second. So if he won the award, he would clearly be deserving. But since he only started 53% of his games at second, then the only other choice for AL Silver Slugger at second base this year is Robinson Cano.

Please coaches and managers, get your facts straight. You just deprived a good, young player of an award he can put on his resume, that bogus writers in the BBWAA will check at the end of his career.

With love,

PS- Other AL second basemen who had a better or nearly identical offensive season compared to Hill:
>Dustin Pedroia
>Brian Roberts
>Ian Kinsler
>Alberto Collaspo

EDIT: In our awards post I did vote for Zobrist as the Silver Slugger. Either Zobrist or Cano deserved it, depending on if you don’t want to vote for Zobrist because he only started 53% of his games at second base.

4PARL end of season awards

October 8, 2009

It’s that time of the year again where people start mentioning their official votes for MLB season awards. If we had a vote, this is how it’d go down:


Disco- Joe Mauer

Bballer- Zack Greinke

Trekker- Joe Mauer

Twaco- Joe Mauer


Disco- Albert Pujols

Bballer- Albert Pujols

Trekker- Albert Pujols

Twaco- Albert Pujols

AL Cy Young:

Disco- Zack Greinke

Bballer- Zack Greinke

Trekker- Zack Greinke

Twaco- Zack Greinke

NL Cy Young:

Disco- Tim Lincecum

Bballer- Tim Lincecum

Trekker- Chris Carpenter

Twaco- Tim Lincecum

AL Rookie of Year:

Disco- Brett Anderson

Bballer- Elvis Andrus

Trekker- Jeff Niemann

Twaco- Brett Anderson

NL Rookie of Year:

Disco- Andrew McCutchen

Bballer- Garret Jones

Trekker- Andrew McCutchen

Twaco- Andrew McCutchen

AL DHL Delivery Man of Year:

Disco- Mariano Rivera

Bballer- Andrew Bailey

Trekker- Mariano Rivera

Twaco- Mariano Rivera

NL DHL Delivery Man of Year:

Disco- Jon Broxton

Bballer- Jon Broxton

Trekker- Jon Broxton

Twaco- Jon Broxton

Disco’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Miguel Cabrera; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3b- Alex Rodriguez; Pablo Sandoval

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, JD Drew, Shin-soo Choo; Ryan Braun, Adam Dunn, Justin Upton

DH- Adam Lind

*Kevin Youkilis deserves props. He split between 1b/3b so I didn’t give him the benefit at 1b or 3b.

Bballer’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Miguel Cabrera; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3b- Kevin Youkilis; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, JD Drew, Adam Lind; Justin Upton, Jayson Werth, Ryan Braun

DH- Hideki Matsui

Trekker’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Miguel Cabrera; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3b- Alex Rodriguez; Pablo Sandoval

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, Adam Lind, Shin-Soo Choo; Justin Upton, Adam Dunn, Ryan Braun

DH- Jason Kubel

Twaco’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Kevin Youkilis; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3B- Alex Rodriguez; Pablo Sandoval

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, Adam Lind, JD Drew; Justin Upton, Ryan Braun, Adam Dunn

DH- Hideki Matsui

Disco’s Gold Gloves:

C- Kurt Suzuki; Yadier Molina

1b- Mark Teixeira; James Loney

2b- Chase Utley; Dustin Pedroia

3B- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Elvis Andrus; Troy Tulowitzki

OF- Franklin Guitierez, Ryan Sweeney, David DeJesus; Nyjer Morgan, Mike Cameron, Randy Winn

Bballer’s Gold Glovers:

C- Joe Mauer; Yadier Molina

1b- Kevin Youkilis; Adrian Gonzalez

2b- Placido Polanco; Chase Utley

3b- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Jason Bartlett; JJ Hardy

OF- Franklin Guitierez, Carl Crawford, BJ Upton; Mike Cameron, Colby Rasmus, Raul Ibanez

Trekker’s Gold Glovers:

C- Joe Mauer; Yadier Molina

1b- Mark Teixeira; Adrian Gonzalez

2b- Dustin Pedroia; Chase Utley

3b- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Elvis Andrus; Rafael Furcal

OF- Ichiro, Franklin Guitierez, Carl Crawford; Nyjer Morgan, Mike Cameron, Colby Rasmus

Twaco’s Gold Glovers:

C- Joe Mauer; Yadier Molina

1b- Mark Teixeira; Albert Pujols

2b- Dustin Pedroia; Chase Utley

3B- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Elvis Andrus; Rafael Furcal

OF- Nelson Cruz, Franklin Guitierez, David DeJesus; Justin Upton, Mike Cameron, Raul Ibanez

Discussion question: What is your current top 5 in the AL MVP voting?

August 27, 2009

Here is an opinion i recently posted after glancin at a couple of stats…

Joe Mauer
Zack Greinke
Ben Zobrist
Justin Verlander
Derek Jeter

HM Evan Longoria, Marco Scutaro, Roy Halladay, Miguel Cabrera,

Also, Mark Teixera may, or may not be in my top 10, i’d need to look much more in depth.

Handicapping the Awards – AL MVP Version

July 16, 2009

Every single baseball season from the end of April to last day of the season debates over who the MVPs, Cy Young’s, and Rookies of the Years of each league should be arise. Over the next few days we’ll take a look at the rest of season projections and attempt to handicap each race.

Starting with the American League MVP race in which there seems to be a clear favorite, 2 or 3 on the next tier and a few guys who could push themselves into the mix.

The Favorite:

Joe Mauer – C – Minnesota Twins (4.1 WAR)

Even after missing a month of the season, Mauer has put together a historically good 1st half and supplanted all other challengers as the leader in the clubhouse for his first MVP. With his typical high OBP and the added power Mauer has compiled a line of .373/.447/.622/187+ and an American League best .451 OBA all while being a catcher. It’s hard to think that Mauer can sustain this level of dominance for the 2nd half of the season as his career numbers show a dip of .115 points in OPS from 1st half to second half. ZIPS projections have Mauer finishing at .350/.431/.556 with a .425 WOBA. If that line doesn’t bring Mauer home his first of hopefully many MVP’s I would be surprised to say the least.

The 2nd Tier:

Evan Longoria – 3B – Tamp Bay Rays (3.8 WAR)

The super sophomore of the young talented Tampa Bay Rays has lived up to all expectations and is on his way to posting an MVP worthy season. Posting a line of .285/.362/.535 and a Woba of .380 which is first among AL 3B. Although Longoria has made a name for himself with his powerful bat it’s his glove that separates him from the pack. After posting a 14.9 UZR in 2008, Longoria has followed it up with an 8.7 UZR through 78 games. ZIPS has Longoria finishing the season at .279/.357/.521 with 30 homeruns and 111 RBI numbers that when attached to the young superstars glove will get his name on many of the writers ballots.

Kevin Youkilis – 1B – Boston Red Sox (3.1 WAR)

Some might read this and think Youkilis isn’t even the best MVP candidate on his own when Jason Bay leads the league in RBI (the fallacies in those thoughts would need to be explained some other time). However it is now impossible to ignore how good Youkilis has come love him or loath him, the Greek God of Walks has continued his dominance at the plate with a line of .298/.419/.566 and .421 Woba. With a projected final line of .294/.408/.535 and .410 Woba and playing in that lineup its hard to picture any more worthy MVP player from the Boston Red Sox in ’09.

The Upstart and the Written off Short Stop

Ben Zobrist – Utility – Tampa Bay Rays (4.6 WAR)

No, I did not forget to put Zobrist and his American League leading 4.6 WAR in ’09 as the favorite for this award and yes I intentionally left him behind his own team mate. Baseball award voting is a fickle thing to say the least, every person has a different definition of most valuable and as a result I find it hard to believe that unless Zobrist replicates his first half and Mauer slows down that he will have much of a shot at landing this award.

None the less while posting a line .297/.414/.598 with 17 home runs and 11 SB and playing 10.0 UZR defense all over the field, Ben Zobrist is having a season to remember and one that should garner support on the final ballot. However what really puts Zobrist this far down the ballot is his rest of the year projections of .263/.365/.462 leading to a final line of .283/.394/.542. Better numbers then Longoria at the end of the year but as most educated baseball fans know it’s not always the guy with the better slash statistics who takes home the award.

Derek Jeter – SS – New York Yankees (3.5 WAR)

Just a year ago it seemed as if we had seen the beginning of the downward slope of Derek Jeters career and perhaps those signs will show up once again in the second half of the 2009 season but for now the SS who has been almost .30 OPS points better in the 2nd half for his career is a real threat to finish near the top of the MVP ballot once again. Posting a first half line of .321/.396/.461 has been the best short stop in the American league through the all-star break on a team that seems headed for a 90+ win season. Neither of those last facts should have any bearing on the MVP race but as with the problems with voting for Zobrist we know these factors could help Jeter. Second half projects of .307/.377/.428 leading a final line of .314/.387/.445 and a .374 Woba and homeruns approaching 20 and stolen bases around 30 along should keep Jeter in the minds of voters come the final day of the season.