Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An In-Depth Look at Aaron Hill

Looking at Aaron Hill's stats from a glance will tell you this. The man was brutal with the bat last year. With an average barely hovering above the mendoza line, an OBP below .300 and a slugging bellow 400, he really blew. Now you have to be thinking, "really? he cant be that bad, I mean his OPS was .835 just a season ago". You would have a point, Hill had a league low babip of .196. That's insane, but there has to be something fuelling that incredibly low babip, right? If you take a look at Hill's advanced batted ball profile via fangraphs you'll see that his GB/Fb last year was 0.65, .32 points below his career average of 0.97, his line-drive rate was 10.6% this year as apposed to a 18.5% career average. He had a flyball% over 50% for the first time in his career. It appears that the only thing on Hill's mind this year was hitting homeruns. Although he did hit 26 he had to sacrifice everything that made him a decent hitter. I think if he dials back his approach and just tries to hit the ball hard, he could rejuvinate himself as a .270/.320/.450 player. If he doesnt i believe Hill won't be a Jay for long

Quickly on Adam Lind though, recently on Drunk Jays Fans I read that Lind was 5-167 against lefties or something fucktarded like that. Could that be a part of the 'pull everything approach' that Cito and Dwayne implemented, and Lind was opening up to early against lefties causing him to be more susceptible to the breaking ball? just a thought.

On Base Percentage and the Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays struggle to get on base. There is no way to get around that fact, sure the home runs are badass, but their OBP is atrocious. Here are a few quick and easy ways to address that problem

B. Emaus > Edwin Encarnacion

Sure, you'll probably have to trade E5's 30 home run power for Emaus' 10-15 bombs, but the Jays don't really need those extra 15 homers. Emaus walks a ton, having never dipped below 10% since his rookie year, and peaking at 18% last year in AA (compared to a 14% strikeout rate). If he were to avoid the struggles many rookies face, his OBP in the bigs would probably be around .380. Imagine Bautista having a baserunner to hit with 38% of the time. Consider the fact that Bautista had a baserunner on roughly 30% of the time, and he still compiled 124 RBI's. 

Anyone > Aaron Hill

Johnny Mac had a higher OBP than Hill this year. JOHNNY. FUCKING. MAC. While Hill had good power numbers (.189 ISO) that is still massively unacceptable. Emaus can play second, but he's already being used at third, so for the sake of this article we'll consider him gone from this argument.The Jays were rumoured to be after Kelly Johnson last off-season, and although I'm too lazy to look up his contract situation, he could still probably be had for a package of Hill+B level prospect. His career OBP is .352 and his career ISO is .178, so his numbers are much better than Hill's. He's also an above average fielder. Mark Ellis and Omar Infante are also potentially available, with OBP's of .358 and .319 respectively. 

JP Arencibia = John Buck

I'm really not quite sure why i included this one. My gut tells me Jp will put up OBP's of .310 or so at the major league level, so not that much better than Buck, but I still thought I would include him here. 

Adam Lind < Manny Ramirez

Adam Lind had a terrible year. We all know that, and I for one believe he can bounce back. Signing Ramirez is not a long term move, it would be a 'hey, we have Manny, come to our games!' thing for the Jays. He can still provide value though. Move LInd's career OBP of .322 to 1B, and have Manny's carer OBP of .411 DH. Easy as that.

Cito Gaston <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< John Farrell

Adam Lind's BB% went from 8.9% to 6.2% this year. His K% went from 18.7% to 25.3%. I'm not saying Cito is wholly responsible, but i am hinting at it very strongly, with his 'Swing for the fences every single pitch' regime finally over in T.O I expect a lot of players to bounce back. Namely Hill and Lind.

The Case for Trading Shaun Marcum

I believe that the Jays should trade Shaun Marcum.

Before you pour a steaming vat of liquidized hatred into my cold dead corpse, hear me out. 

The Jays (with Marcum) would have this rotation

1 Morrow
2 Romero
3 Marcum
4 Cecil
5 Drabek/ Stewart/ R-Zep/Hill

And without Marcum

1 Morrow
2 Romero
3 Cecil
4 Drabek
5 Stewart/ R-Zep/ Hill

Do we really lose much in way of talent? or Production?

Morrow's FIP= 3.16
Ricky Romero's FIP= 3.64
Brett Cecil's FIP=4.03
Kyle Drabek's FIP AA/MLB=3.87/4.08

Shaun MArcum's FIP= 3.74

Morrow and Romero are clearly better pitchers than Marcum, stuff-wise, and production wise. Cecil will likely come close to Macum production wise next year, and i believe Drabek's FIP will end up around 3.50 or so (his xFIP was 3.59 in the MLB). The fifth starter would probably produce a FIP of about 4.30. If i were AA i would also want Stewart to pitch as little as possible in AAA So you could maybe have him start the year there, then come up in May, ala BrettCecil. You would lose value with Marcum, but not an inexplicable amount

The return for Marcum would have to be very good as well. I have no idea if the rumours were true, but he was hinted to be involved in a Brett Lawrie deal (MLBTR) close to the trade deadline. If they were able to get LAwrie, that would allow the Jays to trade A.HIll, but I'm getting ahead of myself there. I read a suggestion via the blog PIne Tar and Pocket Protectors that suggested packaging him and a prospect for Colby Rasmus, That would move Wells to DH (keeping him fresh all year), Lind to first and allow for Gose and Marisnick to take their time developing.

There is something to be said for the fact that Marcum has emerged as the off-field leader of the staff, and if I were AA I would consult with the other pitchers thoroughly before pulling the trigger on a deal.

All stats are courtesy of Fangraphs