The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Looking Ahead to 2012 - Alex Rodriguez

You can make the case that no player is going to be more important to the Yankees’ chance of winning the World Series this year than Alex Rodriguez.  His health and his performance could be the difference between a great season for the team and a bad one.

2011
Last year Rodriguez had a strong spring training, hitting .388/.444/.898 with six homers.  He looked healthy and carried that into the regular season, where he hit .321/.452/.696 through his first 17 games.  Unfortunately, it was not sustainable as he proceeded to hit .289/.343/.438 until July 7, at which point it was determined that he needed knee surgery and he was placed on the DL.  Rodriguez returned on August 21 and finished up the year by hitting a WOE-ful .191/.345/.353.

It was a disappointing season, particularly when compared to his 2010 and his 2011 projections entering the season.

projection PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB HBP SO AVG OBP SLG wOBA BR BR/650
2010 595 522 141 29 2 30 59 3 98 .270 .341 .506 .360 88 96
avg 2011 proj 428 368 101 18 1 23 50 6 78 .274 .365 .511 .377 67 102
2011 428 373 103 21 0 16 47 5 80 .276 .362 .461 .360 61 92
delta 5 2 3 -1 -7 -3 -1 2 .002 -.003 -.050 -.016 -7 -10

By pro-rating his average projection to his actual 2011 PA we can see that the primary problem was the lower home run rate.  Most of his other stats were right around where they projected to be on a rate basis.

There was some good news in 2011.  Rodriguez had what might have been his best defensive season at 3B.  Zone rating had him at about 10 runs saved compared to average, UZR had him around 8, Plus/Minus had him around 9 and Totalzone had him around 7.  Rodriguez is more valuable if he can play a good 3B, although given the ongoing concerns with his health it may not be the best way to maximize his availability.

So what might be in store for 2012?  Funny you should ask…

Offensive Projections

Projection PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO GDP HBP avg obp slg wOBA BR BR/650 BRAR
cairo 459 398 65 109 21 1 19 78 6 2 53 82 10 5 .273 .364 .474 .365 67 95 30
davenport 476 418 62 113 22 1 21 72 5 3 55 86 10 4 .270 .361 .478 .367 69 95 29
marcel 474 412 63 110 21 1 20 78 7 2 51 86 10 5 .267 .350 .468 .355 67 92 29
oliver 523 457 66 121 23 1 22 73 5 2 56 91 12 5 .265 .348 .464 .353 72 90 30
pecota 572 499 80 137 24 1 30 84 9 2 67 112 12 6 .275 .368 .507 .379 90 102 44
zips 466 405 61 107 20 1 21 81 7 2 51 89 11 5 .264 .350 .474 .357 66 93 29
average 495 429 70 117 22 1 22 78 6 2 55 91 11 5 .273 .359 .481 .362 73 96 33
2011 428 373 67 103 21 0 16 62 4 1 47 80 13 5 .276 .362 .461 .360 61 92 26
2011 AL 428 384 50 99 20 2 11 48 8 3 35 77 9 4 .258 .323 .408 .319 49 75

For more information about the projections above, you can read the first post in this series.

BR: Linear weights batting runs
BR/650: BR pro-rated to 650 PA
BRAR: BR above replacement level, adjusted for position
wOBA: Weighted on-base average

I’ve included his 2011 and the league average line for his 2011 PA as frames of reference.  I haven’t adjusted league average for DNYS, so mentally adjust that upwards to account for the way it boosts offense.

Geez, PECOTA loves it some A-Rod, huh?  Most of the other projections are bunched together pretty closely and are probably more realistic as a baseline.  Even if that’s the case, they’re good projections on a rate basis.  The larger concern is going to be how often he can play.  I don’t think an Eric Chavez/Eduardo Nunez contingency plan will be much better than replacement level, so if you look at his average offensive projection pro-rated to different amounts of playing time you can get a feel for the impact.

100 PA: 7 BRAR
200 PA: 13 BRAR
300 PA: 20 BRAR
400 PA: 27 BRAR
500 PA: 33 BRAR
600 PA: 40 BRAR
700 PA: 46 BRAR

CAIRO Percentiles Forecast
I can’t stomach the fact that PECOTA changed it’s underlying components and assumptions in a bunch of ways to make Rodriguez look better than CAIRO, so here’s where I can fix that.

% PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO GDP HBP avg obp slg wOBA BR BR/650 BRAR
80% 597 517 95 155 33 2 31 113 11 1 78 95 10 10 .299 .420 .550 .415 109 119 61
65% 528 457 80 131 27 1 25 95 8 1 65 89 9 7 .286 .398 .512 .390 87 107 44
Baseline 459 398 65 109 21 1 19 78 6 2 53 82 10 5 .273 .375 .474 .365 67 95 30
35% 413 358 55 93 17 0 15 66 4 2 44 78 11 6 .260 .358 .437 .344 54 84 20
20% 367 318 46 79 13 0 12 56 3 3 37 73 11 6 .247 .341 .399 .322 41 73 12

I have a hunch that a healthy Rodriguez just might hit somewhere between that 65% and 80% forecast.  What I don’t have a hunch on is whether a healthy Alex Rodriguez even exists any more.  But WTH, it’s spring training.  Let’s go with it.  If Rodriguez hits that 80% forecast and gets 700 PA his line would look like this.

% PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO GDP HBP avg obp slg wOBA BR BR/650 BRAR
80% 700 606 112 182 39 3 36 133 13 1 92 112 12 11 .299 .420 .550 .415 128 119 71

That probably makes him the AL MVP.

Base Running

Year gaR aaR haR oaR SBR BRR
2008 0.6 0.1 1.2 0.2 -0.12 1.9
2009 2.7 -1.0 -1.7 0.0 1.15 1.1
2010 0.9 0.3 -1.6 0.0 -0.03 -0.5
2011 0.8 1.5 -0.3 -0.2 -0.06 1.8
Projection 1.2 0.5 -0.8 0.0 0.2 1.0

Rodriguez doesn’t steal bases much any more, which is probably prudent since it reduces his injury risk.  He still runs the bases pretty well overall though.

gaR:base running runs above average on ground ball outs
aaR:base running runs above average on fly ball outs
haR:base running runs above average on hits
oaR:base running runs above average on wild pitches/passed balls
SBR: stolen base runs above average

Defense

pos Inn DRS UZR TZ ZR avg
3B 967 0 1 -1 1 0

DRS: John Dewan’s defensive runs saved
UZR: Ultimate Zone Rating
TZ: Total Zone
ZR: Zone Rating

Rodriguez’s great defensive season in 2012 doesn’t quite make up for the fact that he was below average for the prior four seasons, but it has improved his projection to about average.  For comparison’s sake, he projected at around -4 heading into 2011.

Value

Projection RAA Rep Pos RAR BRR Def WAR
cairo 14 14 2 30 0.8 0 3.1
marcel 12 15 2 29 0.8 0 3.0
oliver 12 16 2 30 0.8 0 3.1
pecota 24 18 2 44 0.8 0 4.5
zips 12 15 2 29 0.8 0 3.0
average 16 16 2 33 0.8 0 3.4
2011 11 13 2 26 1.9 9 3.7

Rep: Replacement level adjustment (22 runs per 700 PA pro-rated to projected PA)
Pos: Position-adjustment
RAR: Runs above replacement (Rep + Pos)
BRR: Base running runs (does not include SB)
Def: Projected runs saved defensively
WAR: Wins above replacement (RAR + BRR + Def) divided by 10

I realize I sound like a broken record, or should I say a corrupted MP3 file, at this point, but it really all comes down to how often Rodriguez can play this year.  He’s not what he used to be, but he still projects as one of the Yankees’ top three offensive players.  If the Raul Ibanez experiment doesn’t work, Rodriguez as the DH vs. RHP with Eric Chavez at 3B might be the best alignment the Yankees can use vs. RHP since Rodriguez has a pretty small projected platoon split (wOBA of .371 vs. LHP and .363 RHP).

I was contemplating what kind of contract Rodriguez would have gotten if he were a free agent this past offseason?  If I project Rodriguez out through the end of his contract in CAIRO, here’s how it looks.

edit: Updated Table

Year Age PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO GDP HBP AVG OBP SLG wOBA BR BRAR
2012 37 459 398 65 109 21 1 19 78 6 2 53 82 10 5 .274 .364 .475 .365 67 30
2013 38 436 378 54 101 19 1 16 65 6 2 47 80 10 5 .267 .349 .446 .347 59 23
2014 39 414 359 42 94 17 1 12 51 5 2 43 83 9 5 .263 .342 .417 .334 51 18
2015 40 394 341 33 88 15 1 10 40 4 2 39 85 9 4 .259 .334 .393 .321 45 14
2016 41 374 324 26 83 13 1 8 31 3 2 35 88 8 4 .256 .327 .372 .310 40 11
2017 42 355 308 20 78 11 1 6 25 3 2 32 91 8 4 .252 .320 .355 .301 35 8
  2432 2109 356 553 96 5 70 289 26 11 248 508 53 26 .262 .341 .413 .332 296 104

If you use that with an estimated defensive decline of 1.5 runs per season, here’s a look at Rodriguez’s projected WAR, Value (assuming $5M per win) and salary.

edit: Updated table

Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Total
WAR 3.0 2.2 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.1 8.2
Value $15 $11 $8 $5 $2 $0 $41
Salary $29 $28 $25 $21 $20 $20 $143

If this is how the rest of his career plays out, a fair market deal is probably 6 years and $41M.  Is an overpayment of $102M bad?  It’s probably not as bad as a $36M overpayment and a lost draft pick for zero value, speaking hypothetically.  But I digress…

I’ve been negligent in fulfilling my pie chart duties of late, so here’s one that compares the average projected value for all of the remaining seasons to the average salary owed.

If Rodriguez’s career does play out the way this projection says it will, he’ll end up with a career line that looks like this.

edit: Updated table

PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO GDP HBP AVG OBP SLG
10634 9199 1824 2775 495 29 629 1893 305 73 1166 1916 222 157 .302 .385 .567
2432 2109 356 553 96 5 70 289 26 11 248 508 53 26 .262 .341 .413
13066 11308 2180 3328 591 34 699 2182 331 84 1414 2424 275 183 .294 .377 .538

Here’s the same thing, but with two additional scenarios.  In the first one he hits his 65% forecast in 2012 and in the second one he hits his 80% forecast.

edit: Updated table.

2012_% PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO GDP HBP AVG OBP SLG
Baseline 13066 11308 2180 3328 591 34 699 2182 331 84 1414 2424 275 183 .294 .377 .538
65% 13560 11732 2604 3469 622 37 724 2270 341 81 1503 2497 277 197 .296 .381 .540
80% 13826 11962 2834 3565 646 41 742 2325 351 77 1556 2515 271 209 .298 .385 .545

It’s looking less and less likely to me that Rodriguez will catch Hank Aaron or Barry Bonds.  Then again, now that he’s got the scarlet S on his chest I don’t know that passing them would be worth as much as it would have been if he were ‘clean.’

I have to admit that a small part of me still thinks we may see an MVP-caliber season out of Rodriguez this year followed up by a better than expected decline through the end of his contract.  It’s not likely, but it’s possible.

--Posted at 11:03 pm by SG / 42 Comments | - (0)

Comments

Page 1 of 1 pages:

Pecota loves it some Yankees this year.  Any way to guess what they do differently, SG?

I wouldn’t have guessed he’d have almost 3x as many HBP as GDP.

That pie chart looks just like pac-man!

Your epitaph is going to read “Here lies SG, who could have done a lot with, oh, about $36M and a draft pick…”

Also, Kobe has declined pretty significantly in shooting ability and turnovers/game (two very important stats) from last year.

Pecota loves it some Yankees this year.  Any way to guess what they do differently, SG?

No need to guess.  They are not weighing recent performance more heavily than earlier performance.  I’m not sure that’s the way to go, but apparently they tested it and it worked for them.  Seems like that will overrate older players which is going to help the Yankees more than a lot of other teams.

I wouldn’t have guessed he’d have almost 3x as many HBP as GDP.

He won’t.  I messed something up.  He has 222 GDP in his career and 157 HBP.

Ok, so I’ll abandon my hypothesis that there will be 117 NYY-RS games/year until he retires.

You have A-rod listed as scoring 2303 runs over the projected remainder of his contract. That’ll show PECOTA how to truly change its underlying components and assumptions to make the Yankees look better. I approve.

I was contemplating what kind of contract Rodriguez would have gotten if he were a free agent this past offseason?  If I project Rodriguez out through the end of his contract in CAIRO, here’s how it looks.

Did you do 2013-2018?  Why is 2012 projection in that chart worse than above?

Did you do 2013-2018?  Why is 2012 projection in that chart worse than above?

I screwed up my formulas when I added the career totals thing, so I’m re-working all the tables now.

edit: OK, they should be fixed now.  I didn’t change the pie chart though.

Speaking of pie, twitter is reporting AJ did something to break his skull - orbital bone fracture around his eye. Surgery tomorrow. Ouch. I’m guessing he took a batted ball to the dome, but it may have happened elsewhere. No details yet.

Edit: Reports now say it was a bunt attempt that nailed him. Presumably it was him that was attempting to bunt, but he might have been standing nearby and a bunt went off the end of someone else’s bat.

Why is it so much trouble for them to say so without ambiguity ?

11 - it was a bunting drill gone awry I believe.

Further evidence that having pitchers hit is silly.  Hope he’s not hurt too badly.

[12] With him bunting, or covering bunts ?

Anyway, more evidence of the evils of bunting.

As disappointing as ARod has been in the last few years, that 80% line doesn’t seem all that out of reach.

[15] Definitely.  He’s an historically good player, and they have a habit of hanging on longer.  Sometimes bounceback years late in life happen as well.  Non-Bondsian ones at least.

Out of curiousity SG, what would ARod be “worth” at $5M per WAR, and if he hit the “80%” career-projection?  Wondering if he essentially has the best case scenario, if he’d come close to “earning” his contract…

[15] It’s so much about his health.  He was absolutely crushing last year until his knee went gimpy.  God I hope he’s healthy this year.  I don’t know what it is about his hamfisted jackassery, but I somehow root for him more for how poorly he manages his image.  The centaur gif of him driving in Damon from the 2009 series captures it.  I can’t explain why.

You can get that 80% forecast, but you’ll probably get it in 75% of a season.  The other 25% will be Eric Chavez & Nuney-E.

Out of curiousity SG, what would ARod be “worth” at $5M per WAR, and if he hit the “80%” career-projection?  Wondering if he essentially has the best case scenario, if he’d come close to “earning” his contract…

If we assume he hits his 80% projection each season and averages around 600 PA per season he’d finish up with 3616 PA and a line of .306/.420/.526.  He’d hit around 150 HRs which would put him at 779 for his career and he’d be worth 214
BRAR (assuming he plays 3B the whole time).  Even if you give him average defense for the rest of the time, he’d be worth about 20 WAR.  So he’d still be overpaid relative to the $5M WAR threshold, by about $40M, and that’s ignoring all the incentives he is due to earn when he hits certain milestones.

It’s really a mind-boggingly awful contract.

[17] That made me giggle. I love that gif.

[19] ARod’s contract make the Soriano signing almost seem like a good idea. Almost.

[19] Thanks.  If you add some inflation to the $5M and figure a win costs the Yankees a little more, you might get that $40M back.  However, the incentives eat that away.  And also there’s the $$‘s that have already been lost the past 4 years.  So best case, they probably lose something like $80M over the life of the contract.  Might not be the worst contract ever signed, but it’s up there (Ryan Howard’s will probably be worse).

You have to wonder if Cashman had more control, if he would have maybe signed him to a 6/162 deal or something (slight raise over what he was making).  Still would have been a bad deal, but justifiable given ARod’s age and recent performance.

Thanks for the updates.  It’ll be fun to revisit this post in a few years and see how well Alex’s final line compares.

Is Mike Stanton the next hope for a “clean” HR champion?

Or apparently, Giancarlo!?

[24] Jesus Montero is a lock.

Also thought you guys might enjoy this:

rfZDK.jpg

Yeah, that’s an overpay. At least John Lackey had the decency to blow out his arm and skedaddle.

[27] And there’s the clause in his contract where the Sox get a free year out of him due to his arm injury. Now whether that extra free year is good or not remains to be seen.

I hear the Lackey contract just got voided because the team is breached the beer clause. Read it somewhere on the internet.

The Yankees are apparently ready to offer a 26 y/o Cuban infielder/LF 16 million over 6 years. The kicker? The guy is 5’7” and 180. I’m 5’7” and weigh 140-150, I could maybe gain 10-15 pounds of muscle and remain athletic. That extra 15-30 pounds is mighty worrisome. The guy has to be build like a barrell. In fact, I’m currently imaggining him as a barrell with legs, arms and a head.

Randy Levine is running the team while Cashman deals with cops and lawyers.

[30]  You have painted a vivid portrait of me.

[32] Should you be getting paid 2.5+ million a year to play baseball?

[30] Man, I’m 5’7ish 180ish.  I am not athletic.

Looks like the As out-bid the Yanks.

[34] They have denied making the bid.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/03/adonis-garcia-drawing-interest.html

How come not one of you has ever alerted me to the presence of the Yankees’ summer vacation stadium in the Hamptons?

[36] Invitation only. You thought The Moat was exclusionary, you ain’t seen nothin’.

I weighed 180 once. In grammer school. Gerry Ford was President.

Clubhouse video of Varitek’s farewell. You saw it here first.

[38] So who wears the wicked big C this year?

double post

[30] [34] Maurice Jones Drew is 5’7” and weighs around 210 pounds.  And he’s pretty athletic.  His neck is also wider than his head.

Kirby Puckett’s listed height/weight on BBRef is 5’8”, 178lb.  I’d bet by the late 80’s he was heavier than that - by the mid-90’s he did look kinda like a barrell with arms and legs - and was still athletic.  Though looking at his fielding numbers he definitely slid, he was still a viable CF for several years and likely would have been a plus in the corners most years.

Page 1 of 1 pages:

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