Posted tagged ‘Kevin Kouzmanoff’

Oakland A’s trade for David DeJesus

November 11, 2010

One of the bigger baseball stories of the day is the trade that sent David DeJesus from Kansas City to Oakland in exchange for Vin Mazzarro and a minor league pitcher.

I have to say, I like the trade for both teams.

For Oakland, this move makes so much sense. They have a loaded rotation, especially with the recent acquisition of Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwamura. Along with Iwamura, the rotation boasts Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, and Gio Gonzalez. Mazzarro didn’t have an immediate spot in the rotation, and considering how young that rotation is, it didn’t look like he was going to have a major role on the team barring an injury. So to the A’s, Mazzarro was expendable. In return, they picked up a quality outfielder who fits into their defensive shtick, as well as a quality bat. DeJesus isn’t a feared slugger and will probably regress from his career high .363 wOBA (394 PA) last season, but he instantly becomes one of Oakland’s best hitters, if not their best hitter. For a price tag of $6mil, he should be a bargain for Oakland as he almost definitely will post a 2+ WAR like he has done in all but one full season at the ML level.

I think Oakland will be a decent team again in 2011 and depending on how the off-season goes for other teams in the AL West, the A’s could be contenders again. So adding DeJesus to the roster is an improvement. However, chances are Los Angeles or Texas will run away from Oakland. In that case, there will be plenty of suitors for DeJesus come July, where the A’s will probably get more in return than what they are giving up now in Mazzarro and a minor leaguer. Should DeJesus remain an A all season, he should fetch the team a draft pick or two. Either way, DeJesus is bringing a substantial amount of value to Oakland. Good job Billy Beane.

As for Kansas City, I like the trade, but not totally. DeJesus is not going to be a Royal in 2012, so they figured they should get something for him. In a trade, they would theoretically get more now than in July, because the other team would be trading for a full season of DeJesus. Vin Mazzarro is a young, cost-controlled pitcher who instantly will have a spot in the rotation. He has potential and just needs to be a decent pitcher to be fair value in return for DeJesus. HOWEVER, I am not the biggest fan of Mazzarro. He is one of my favorite players because he is Italian and from New Jersey. But he doesn’t miss bats, walks a fair share of batters, and gives up a lot of hard hit balls- he has a career 1.31 HR/9 pitching in Oakland(!) and a 20.8 LD%. Eeesh. Moreover, a sinker-slider pitcher, he has a poor GB% of 41.2 in his career. If he is not going to miss bats, he needs to generate ground balls, something he has not done thus far. Mazzarro does have the potential though, so if he can become a ground ball pitcher, we will probably also see a decline in the number of hard hit balls against him. If that happens, Kansas City will have a good pitcher on their hands. All at the cost of one season of David DeJesus. I like the chance KC is taking.

Kansas City possibly could have held onto DeJesus and taken a draft pick, but  he might only be a type B FA. KC might have thought about that and figured they liked Mazzarro better than a potential pick in the upcoming draft.

So overall, I give thumbs up to both sides.

Real fast I also just want to again mention the sleeper potential of Oakland. I know Texas will be great again and LA will be revamped after they sign a ton of free agents, but Oakland is just solid. Their outfield will consist of DeJesus, Ryan Sweeney, and Coco Crisp. Average offense, great defense. The DH could be top prospect Chris Carter. The infield, consisting of Daric Barton, Mark Ellis, Cliff Pennington and Kevin Kouzmanoff, will not allow a single ball through the infield. Kurt Suzuki is a good catcher and the pitching will be a major strength again (even with some regression they should get a full year from Brett Anderson). And if shit blows up, DeJesus and Crisp could fetch some decent players in return.

Shout out to David DeJesus, a Rutgers alum (well, he didn’t graduate, but so what?)

Players WAR values that are being plagued by poor hitting.

July 29, 2010

A couple of days ago I wrote about players WAR values that are being plagued by poor defense. Today, we will see players that are at the opposite end of the spectrum. These players are like outstanding or good defensively but below average or worse offensively. Again, to get an accurate reading on their defensive abilities, we will take the last three years of fielding runs, as well as batting runs and WAR data.

Franklin Gutierrez: Past three seasons, -3.4 batting RAA, 56.9 fielding RAA, 10.3 WAR
Gutierrez has been one of the best, if not the best, defensive player in baseball over the past three seasons. Remember that he is playing most of his innings in CF which makes it that much more impressive. As evidenced by last season, when Gutierrez is above average on the offensive end he can put together a 6.1 WAR season. His increase in offensive value equaled about 1 extra win due to the increase in replacement and batting runs. Gutierrez walk rates have improved this season but he still has below average power for an OF’er. His lack of power is ultimately hurting his wOBA which is adjusted for park to create batting runs above average. On the bright side, Gutierrez is just 27 years old so he could develop some power in the near future to help his overall value.

Kevin Kouzmanoff: Past three seasons, -6.3 batting RAA, 17.9 fielding RAA, 7.2 WAR
Adjusting for park and using batting runs above average is especially important in this case because he has spent his whole career in PETCO and in the old Oakland Coliseum. That doesn’t change the fact that hes been a below average offensive player. He walks only 4.6% of the time for his career. His slugging and ISO are in line with the league average so his failure to walk is hurting his overall value. Kouzmanoff’s non-walk wOBA over the last three seasons (this does not include IBB’s and HBP’s) is .324 and the league average non-walk wOBA is around .318. So once Kouzmanoff gets the bat on the ball and in play, his production is above average. If Kouzmanoff walked at the league average rate of 8.6%, his wOBA over the last three seasons would be roughly .370! He could legitimately be a 3-4 WAR player consistently if he only showed more patience at the plate.

Michael Bourne: Past three seasons, -18.7 batting RAA, 19.3 fielding RAA, 6 WAR
I think that Bourne is becoming one of the leagues most under-appreciated players. If you look at the WAR leaderboard you won’t see his name, but remember that wOBA and batting runs DO NOT CONSIDER STOLEN BASES! He is extremely efficient on the bases with a CS% of 18%. So that’s why he doesn’t appear any even remotely close to the top. He also showed that he could put up a 4+ WAR season in 2009 when he is playing above average offensively by putting up a .342 wOBA in 2009. He has been great defensively over the past three years in CF but he is not a great hitter and thus has given almost all of his value back in WAR. However, Bourne’s walk rate is above league average and he could use his speed to his advantage by legging out XBH to increase his wOBA and batting value. Just by being league average in the hitting department, he could probably net an extra win in value this year.

Carlos Gomez: Past three seasons, -37 batting RAA, 26.1 fielding RAA, 3.4 WAR
Gomez is probably the most extreme case that we have looked at. It doesn’t even really matter that hes a good fielder because he gives all of his value back AND more due to his atrocious hitting. He only has a positive WAR over the past three seasons due to replacement runs and the positional adjustment. Gomez is still just 24 years old so he might he a guy who could eventually be a league average hitter during his prime years. However, at the moment he isn’t even close to being league average and you wouldn’t be incorrect in saying that he doesn’t even deserve a starting job due to his horrible offensive numbers.

Overall, I noticed that these guys that are being plagued by poor offense are the speedy, young, and low caliber power, CF guys (except for Kouzmanoff). This makes sense because poor power numbers are not going to equate to a high wOBA. However, guys like Gutierrez and Gomez have room to grow offensively. The only question is, will their defense still be in top form once/if they become more polished offensively? Again, im sure that I could have dug deeper so please feel free to add or talk about any more examples.