Sunday, March 6, 2011
Looking Ahead To 2011 - Nick Swisher
Nick Swisher had a nice bounce-back year in 2009 following a horrendous 2008, and he built on that in 2010, having another good season. He even made his first trip to the All Star Game by winning the fan vote for the last player, although he probably didn’t deserve it over some of the other candidates.
Swisher went from a line of .249/.371/.498 in 2009 to a line of .288/.359/.511 in 2010. Here’s something interesting though.
br: Linear weights batting runs
br/out: br per outs made (AB - H + SH + SF + GDP + CS)
Can you guess which of those lines represents 2009 and which of those represents 2010?
Swisher basically traded 40 BB for singles last season. On a rate basis, his 2009 was actually slightly better in terms batting runs per outs made. This appears to be at least partially due to a change in his approach.
Pit: Pitches seen
Pit/PA: Pitches per Plate Appearance
Str%: Strike Percentage
L/Str: Strikes Looking / Strikes
S/Str: Swinging Strike Percentage
F/Str: Foul Ball Strikes Percentage
I/Str: Ball In Play Percentage
AS/Str: Swung at Strikes Percentage
AS/Pit: Percentage of Pitches Swung At
Con: Contact Percentage
1stS: First Pitch Swinging Percentage
First Pitch Swinging / PA.:
L/SO: Strikeout Looking Percentage
Swisher saw fewer pitcher per plate appearance, and took a lot fewer called strikes, going from 37% in 2009 to 27% in 2010. Every other indicator here shows evidence of a more aggressive approach. His contact rate on a per pitch basis was effectively the same, but since he swung more often he struck out more often.
His BABIP(Batting Average on Balls in Play)” was .272 in 2009 and shot up to .335 in 2010, compared to .286 in his career.
It’s doubtful he can sustain a .335 BABIP going forward, so the question is going to be if he walks a bit more to compensate for that. Here’s what the projections say.
wOBA: Weighted on-base average (does not include SB/CS)
BR: Linear weights batting runs
BR/650: BR pro-rated to 650 PA
BRAA: BR above an average player in projected playing time (adjusted for park, but not for position)
BRAR: BR above a replacement level player (adjusted for park and position)
2010: Un-adjusted 2010 performance
*average does not include bill_james or fans
There is not a statistic that projections regress more heavily than BABIP, so they’re expecting him to drop to around a BABIP of .291 in 2011 on average. With that comes an estimated drop of somewhere in the area of about eight runs of value.
Here are Swisher’s CAIRO percentile forecasts.
While I wouldn’t be surprised to see him around that 65% forecast, I think he’ll be closer to the baseline. At age 31, it’s more likely than not that Swisher isn’t going to be better than he was last season.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a projection that puts him at 2.5-3 wins better than replacement level.
ga_opps: opportunities to advance on grounders
ga_r: run value of advances on grounders
aa_opps: opportunites to advance on air outs
aa_r: run value of advances on air outs
ha_opps: opportunites to advance on hits
ha_r: run value of advances on hits
oa_opps: opportunites to adance on other (wild pitches, passed balls, etc.,)
oa_r: run value of advances on other
total_opps: ga + aa + ha + ao opportunities
total_r: total run value of non-SB base running, compared to average
Last season was Swisher’s worst in terms of base running, but based on the prior data he should be a bit closer to average. Hopefully he’s not studying at Professor Posada’s School of Base Running. Or hand conditioning.
DRS: Defensive runs saved compared to average using John Dewan’s plus/minus system
zRS: Runs saved compared to average using Chris Dial’s zone rating system
uRS: Runs saved compared to average using UZR
tRS: Runs saved compared to average using Total Zone
rARM: Runs saved with arm compared to average (OF only)
avg: average from 2006-2010
w_avg: weighted average from 2006-2010 (5/4/3/2/1 weight)
The net on Swisher’s defense is about average, which seems right. He doesn’t make any spectacular plays but he doesn’t show Sheffieldian indifference either, and his arm is probably not a very good one for RF.
I’ll talk about it more when I get to Curtis Granderson, but I think that Brian Cashman deserves credit for the outfield he’s put together. For all the kvetching about the Yankees’ buying pennants, Cashman put this outfield together without using the team’s financial advantage to do it. Swisher doesn’t get as much hype as the Yankee infielders, but he’s an integral part of the team and I find his enthusiasm endearing.
Next entry: Looking Ahead To 2011 - Curtis Granderson
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