Saturday, March 5, 2011

Brett Lawrie: Toronto Blue Jay?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want Lawrie to start opening day with Toronto. I think it would be harmful to his development, as a fielder, and as a hitter. He’s making it awfully hard not to consider him though. There’s a bunch of factors that play into it, and I’m going to try to see if him starting the year here is really a bad idea.

A)   A) The conditions at AAA Las Vegas.
-The field conditions in Las Vegas are hard, rough and not the environment you want to put a guy learning a brand new position.  And while I know Rogers Centre wouldn’t necessarily be any better, at least he would have consistent access to Brian Butterfield, and I don’t think sending him back to AA is a great idea because…

B)  B) He’s too good to go back to New Hampshire
-He put up a .361 wOBA at Huntsville last year. He had a respectable BB% of 7.7, and his K% was 21.3, which is really quite good for a 21 year old with just over 1000 pro at-bats. And some of those triples and doubles are going to start turning into tater tots. I don’t think it would be good for his development, or psyche, to go back to New Hampshire and hit .300/.380/.500. He seems like the kind of guy who would let that go to his head.

C)  C) Speaking of his personality…
-Do you really want Brett ‘Doctored Eminem Tattoos’ Lawrie going to sin city? I’ll let you answer this one.

D)  D) Our line-up would improve
Without Lawrie:

C Arencibia
1B Lind
2B Hill
3B Bautista
SS Escobar
LF Snider
CF Davis
RF Thames/Podsednik/Patterson*
DH Encarnacion

With Lawrie:

C Arencibia
1B Lind
2B Hill
3B Lawrie
SS Escobar
LF Snider
CF Davis
RF Bautista
DH Encarnacion

…Uh, yeah, Podsednik or J-Bau…your call.

E)  E) He had a double and a homerun today, and Ashby liked his D
-This is a completely reactionary post. I listened to the Jays game today on the ol’ Fan 960 here in Calgary, and when I heard Ashby gushing about Lawrie pickup on the one double play…well, got me thinking about his defensive readiness, I mean, he has been playing second for a year or two now, hasn’t he? Weren’t we all asking for Hill to go play third earlier this year? Can’t be too hard of a transition. And then ‘The Law’ hit his homer and…well, this post was spawned.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Travis Snider, Oh How I Weep

All right. Sorry I took so long to get back into this. Have had some stuff going on that consumed a rather large chunk of my time, and with so much (unequivocally better) analysis out there, four seam fastball wasn’t really a priority. My schedules cleared up for the time being though, so i'm going to aim for at least one post a week.

Any who, onto the actual post.

The other day while surfing the interweb, I stumbled across Travis Snider’s fangraphs page. I decided, being the egregious baseball nerd that I am, to look to see if I could find any factors that helped turn his season around before his injury. When I looked down to his month-by-month splits, this is what greeted my eyes.

May/April BB%            14.5%
May                           4.3%
August                       5.6%
Sept/Oct                     2.0%

Is it just me, or does that scare the shit out of anyone? His k% remained in the mid to high 20s, but his BB% took a huge dip. Could this be another GODDAMN IT CITO!!!!! Moment, or was Snider just pressing? In his first month, he had some awful fucking luck. We’re talking about Henry Ziegland unlucky here. His LD rates were above average, his GB% was just fine, and he didn’t hit an exorbitant amount of fly balls. Yet his BABIP for April was .157.  Then, he decided to start swinging at everything, and his BABIP skyrocketed to .467, the lone reason he had any success at all in May. His BB% fell into the abyss, and his K% rose (and would continue too till the end of the year). I can’t get month-by-month splits for it, but almost all of Snider’s Swing% rates increased compared to his 2009 season. So far his career BB% and K% look like this:

8.1% BB
29.4% K

Mystery Players Third year in MLB

6.0% BB
20.1% K

Can you guess who the player is?

Jeff. Fucking. Francoeur.

Have a look at this nifty BB/K graph

Or maybe their OBP comparison will be more to your liking.

…. Goddamnit.
If you’re like me, you thought Travis Snider was a god. That he would single handedly deliver the Jays mountains and mountains of championships. Well…uh yeah. Not feeling so sure about that anymore. Don’t get me wrong, he could rub off the Cito-stain and return to his minor league levels, but after looking at this stuff, right now I see him as a .260/.320/.450 guy until he figures out how to balance taking a walk and swinging with reckless abandon.