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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

NY Times: Yankees Sign Juan Rivera to Minor League Deal

The Yankees signed the right-handed-hitting outfielder Juan Rivera to a minor league deal, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement. Rivera, a 34-year-old veteran from Venezuela, will compete with Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler for a spot as a reserve outfielder.

I don’t know how much Rivera has left, but on a minor league deal he’s worth a flier I guess.  Here are his CAIRO projections as a Yankee.

% PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO GDP HBP AVG OBP SLG wOBA BR BRAR
80% 316 287 38 81 18 1 14 53 3 0 28 36 6 4 .283 .359 .498 .373 49 12
65% 279 254 30 68 14 1 11 44 2 1 22 35 7 3 .266 .332 .453 .342 37 4
Baseline 243 221 24 55 10 0 8 35 1 1 17 34 8 2 .249 .306 .407 .311 26 -2
35% 219 199 19 46 8 0 6 29 1 2 14 33 8 1 .233 .279 .361 .280 19 -7
20% 194 177 15 38 6 0 4 23 0 2 11 32 8 0 .216 .253 .316 .249 12 -10
Baseline 243 221 24 55 10 0 8 35 1 1 17 34 8 2 .249 .306 .407 .311 26 -2

BR: Linear weights batting runs
BRAR: BR above replacement level, adjusted for position
wOBA: Weighted on-base average

Since he’s likely to be a platoon player if anything, here are his projected wOBA splits.

% wOBA vs L wOBA vs R
80% .373 .348
65% .349 .326
Baseline .326 .304
35% .302 .282
20% .279 .260

So who’s the best choice between Rivera, Canzler and Diaz?  Here’s how their baseline platoon splits compare.

% wOBA vs L wOBA vs R
Rivera .326 .304
Canzler .334 .315
Diaz .321 .288

Canzler’s projection is based more on his MLEs, but given his positional flexibility and relative youth I think he’s the best option.  But we’ll see how it all shakes out.

--Posted at 8:17 am by SG / 16 Comments | - (0)

Comments

Page 1 of 1 pages:

How about Melky Mesa?  If he could only cut down his K rate…

Somebody tell Cashman that 3 scrubs do not equal a major leaguer.

New PED stuff about Arod.  Fun times.

The age aspect of this conversation seems odd to me.  If they play well, there’s nothing in age that would prevent them from being exciting, from winning via comeback, from fighting through difficulties, etc.  Why should the age of a team make them less exciting to watch?
Yes, we’d like the sense that we’re watching a player that could help us not only this year, but for the next five or so years to come, or more.  But that’s not literally what we’re watching.  And Jeter and Mo were that in 2008, as it turns out.

[0] Definitely if you don’t have a clear-cut leader for the role, it makes sense to bring lots of guys to camp.  Injuries happen.  Perhaps a trade later on would require a player like Canzler (or more likely Mesa) to be added.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt - if he’s willing - to stash Rivera in AAA.  The AAA outfield right now (start of season) looks to be Mustelier, one (or both) of the Almontes, and Mesa.  Not sure if Colin Curtis resigned with AAA.  So the AAA OF is…uninspiring for call-ups.  I still like Curtis (if he’s around) as a guy to call up for a couple of weeks if someone is on the 15 day DL, but that’s probably his ceiling any more.  Mustelier may hit enough to earn a bench role on the big league team.  Or he may not.  The Almontes…at best they need some more seasoning before they come up.  At worst they’re minor league filler.  Mesa…there’s some potential there.  Which is also why he may be on the ML roster come April 1st.  So, having Rivera (or any of the 3) in AAA ready to come up in case of injury is probably wise.

If A-Rod was getting PEDs last year, then he should ask for a refund. And Yankees should move to get out of that contract.

[1] I don’t know if Mesa’s K’s are a problem.  Not saying they aren’t.  But he had a .216 isoP and ~23% k-rate in minors.  I think those numbers are OK.  Basically, the difference is if he walked more, or struck out less - with the same other characteristics (power, above average D, decent baserunning), he’d be an above-average starter.  So instead he’s an average starter or 4th OF.

As of right now, I’d expect BOTH Canzler and Mesa to make the team.  Canzler as the everyday DH against lefties, with some ability to play OF corners or 3rd, and Mesa as the righty OF filling in for one of the lefty hitters.

[4] As you know, I agree with all of this.  I admit that - all else equal - it’s MORE exciting watching 23-25 year old players - especially home grown - put up the same numbers as 35-37 year old players on 1 year contracts.  That said, it’s also exciting when a player like Ibanez, or Colon, or Thames - older player we think is washed up - puts together a solid season.

I guess that’s what it comes down to.  Beating expectations is generally more exciting than meeting or (especially) failing to meet expectations.  So when an over-the-hill player you expect to put up .5 WAR puts up 1.5 WAR, it’s exciting.  Ditto for a 24-year old, unheralded rookie.  By the same token, we expect the Yankees to construct a 95 win team every year.  So when they construct an 87 win team, we feel a let down; just like when they pull stuff out to construct a 98-100 win team, we feel enthused.

[6] In addition to there being no proof he used PED’s since 2003, there is also no mechanism for Yankees to get out of contract.

The problem with trying to predict success for Mesa is that K rate is probably the most important stat to look at when trying to gauge how a player’s minor league performance will translate to the majors.  If you can’t make contact against minor league pitchers who don’t have the control or stuff of major league pitchers, it’s not very likely to change in the majors.

I’m not saying he can’t improve on that K rate, but I’m guessing the list of players who struck out 23% of the time in the minors that went on to have any MLB success is pretty small. 

Actually, I should run the numbers on that and see for myself.

[10] Good I really should be working wink

I guess the question is “what is success”?  I mentioned in [8] that the combination probably limits him to average starter or 4th OF.  So like 1.5-2.5 WAR, maybe a bit less.  And that’s only because his D and baserunning is (appears to be) good.  I mean, useful player, and may end up being a great platoon partner with Ichiro next couple of years until the higher ranked talent is ready.  But definitely not a building block.

[10] I’m guessing the list of players who struck out 23% of the time in the minors that went on to have any MLB success is pretty small.

Wasn’t that the alleged weakness of Austin Jackson, and how the Yankees justified trading him at the time?

OK, since 2006, here’s a list of all the players who got at least 1000 PA in the minors and struck out in 20% of them and then got at least 100 PA in the majors (plus Mesa).

This list includes their minor league strikeout rate (mK/PA), their MLB PA and their MLB wRC+.

Greg Halman: 32.5% mK/PA, 121 MLB PA, 49 MLB wRC+
Dallas McPherson: 31.7% mK/PA, 151 MLB PA, 83 MLB wRC+
Carlos Peguero: 30.9% mK/PA, 212 MLB PA, 64 MLB wRC+
Mike Hessman: 29.3% mK/PA, 153 MLB PA, 100 MLB wRC+
Taylor Teagarden: 29.3% mK/PA, 456 MLB PA, 73 MLB wRC+
Victor Diaz: 28.7% mK/PA, 119 MLB PA, 89 MLB wRC+
Reggie Abercrombie: 28.1% mK/PA, 421 MLB PA, 61 MLB wRC+
Melky Mesa: 27.7% mK/PA, 2 MLB PA, 182 MLB wRC+
Chris Dickerson: 26.6% mK/PA, 599 MLB PA, 103 MLB wRC+
Brett Jackson: 26.5% mK/PA, 142 MLB PA, 77 MLB wRC+
Will Middlebrooks: 26.5% mK/PA, 286 MLB PA, 121 MLB wRC+
Giancarlo Stanton: 26.4% mK/PA, 1498 MLB PA, 140 MLB wRC+
Dane Sardinha: 26.3% mK/PA, 166 MLB PA, 38 MLB wRC+
Justin Maxwell: 26.2% mK/PA, 612 MLB PA, 99 MLB wRC+
Justin Ruggiano: 25.1% mK/PA, 527 MLB PA, 115 MLB wRC+
Jack Cust: 24.9% mK/PA, 2415 MLB PA, 125 MLB wRC+
Tyler Greene: 24.9% mK/PA, 689 MLB PA, 76 MLB wRC+
Trayvon Robinson: 24.8% mK/PA, 319 MLB PA, 70 MLB wRC+
Alex Liddi: 24.6% mK/PA, 170 MLB PA, 91 MLB wRC+
Chris Davis: 24.5% mK/PA, 1644 MLB PA, 101 MLB wRC+
Clete Thomas: 24.3% mK/PA, 472 MLB PA, 88 MLB wRC+
Travis Ishikawa: 24.1% mK/PA, 839 MLB PA, 95 MLB wRC+
Brandon Barnes: 24.0% mK/PA, 105 MLB PA, 41 MLB wRC+
Pedro Florimon: 23.9% mK/PA, 160 MLB PA, 57 MLB wRC+
Brian Bixler: 23.8% mK/PA, 356 MLB PA, 35 MLB wRC+
Laynce Nix: 23.8% mK/PA, 1092 MLB PA, 90 MLB wRC+
Ryan Langerhans: 23.7% mK/PA, 1072 MLB PA, 83 MLB wRC+
Mauro Gomez: 23.7% mK/PA, 111 MLB PA, 98 MLB wRC+
Brooks Conrad: 23.7% mK/PA, 481 MLB PA, 82 MLB wRC+
Fernando Perez: 23.6% mK/PA, 107 MLB PA, 76 MLB wRC+
Paul Goldschmidt: 23.6% mK/PA, 764 MLB PA, 121 MLB wRC+
Brandon Wood: 23.6% mK/PA, 751 MLB PA, 36 MLB wRC+
Matt Tuiasosopo: 23.5% mK/PA, 210 MLB PA, 48 MLB wRC+
Tyler Moore: 23.5% mK/PA, 171 MLB PA, 127 MLB wRC+
Casper Wells: 23.5% mK/PA, 656 MLB PA, 109 MLB wRC+
Brandon Boggs: 23.4% mK/PA, 382 MLB PA, 82 MLB wRC+
Chris Carter: 23.4% mK/PA, 384 MLB PA, 103 MLB wRC+
Drew Stubbs: 23.4% mK/PA, 2004 MLB PA, 88 MLB wRC+
Josh Fields: 23.4% mK/PA, 796 MLB PA, 86 MLB wRC+
Cody Ransom: 23.3% mK/PA, 548 MLB PA, 90 MLB wRC+
Tyler Flowers: 23.2% mK/PA, 317 MLB PA, 88 MLB wRC+
Juan Francisco: 23.1% mK/PA, 386 MLB PA, 98 MLB wRC+
Kirk Nieuwenhuis: 23.1% mK/PA, 314 MLB PA, 92 MLB wRC+
Josh Whitesell: 23.1% mK/PA, 142 MLB PA, 74 MLB wRC+
Cameron Maybin: 23.1% mK/PA, 1739 MLB PA, 92 MLB wRC+
Michael Saunders: 23.1% mK/PA, 1188 MLB PA, 82 MLB wRC+
Josh Bell: 23.0% mK/PA, 282 MLB PA, 24 MLB wRC+
Anthony Gose: 23.0% mK/PA, 189 MLB PA, 73 MLB wRC+
Randy Ruiz: 22.9% mK/PA, 238 MLB PA, 115 MLB wRC+
Jack Hannahan: 22.9% mK/PA, 1665 MLB PA, 85 MLB wRC+
Elliot Johnson: 22.9% mK/PA, 531 MLB PA, 75 MLB wRC+
Jeff Larish: 22.9% mK/PA, 276 MLB PA, 84 MLB wRC+
Andy Parrino: 22.9% mK/PA, 193 MLB PA, 62 MLB wRC+
Travis Snider: 22.8% mK/PA, 1062 MLB PA, 93 MLB wRC+
Andrew Brown: 22.8% mK/PA, 148 MLB PA, 72 MLB wRC+
Sean Rodriguez: 22.8% mK/PA, 1372 MLB PA, 84 MLB wRC+
Xavier Avery: 22.8% mK/PA, 107 MLB PA, 77 MLB wRC+
George Kottaras: 22.6% mK/PA, 694 MLB PA, 97 MLB wRC+
Brandon Moss: 22.6% mK/PA, 1045 MLB PA, 101 MLB wRC+
Brandon Crawford: 22.6% mK/PA, 696 MLB PA, 75 MLB wRC+
Brian Barton: 22.5% mK/PA, 179 MLB PA, 103 MLB wRC+
Brandon Allen: 22.5% mK/PA, 389 MLB PA, 75 MLB wRC+
Todd Linden: 22.5% mK/PA, 293 MLB PA, 80 MLB wRC+
Brandon Snyder: 22.4% mK/PA, 106 MLB PA, 99 MLB wRC+
Jay Bruce: 22.3% mK/PA, 2709 MLB PA, 113 MLB wRC+
Joe Borchard: 22.3% mK/PA, 472 MLB PA, 72 MLB wRC+
Josh Phelps: 22.3% mK/PA, 219 MLB PA, 125 MLB wRC+
Derek Norris: 22.3% mK/PA, 232 MLB PA, 73 MLB wRC+
Yan Gomes: 22.1% mK/PA, 111 MLB PA, 69 MLB wRC+
Jose Lobaton: 21.9% mK/PA, 253 MLB PA, 67 MLB wRC+
Wilin Rosario: 21.9% mK/PA, 483 MLB PA, 106 MLB wRC+
Chris Aguila: 21.8% mK/PA, 119 MLB PA, 60 MLB wRC+
Chris Shelton: 21.8% mK/PA, 557 MLB PA, 100 MLB wRC+
Danny Espinosa: 21.7% mK/PA, 1428 MLB PA, 98 MLB wRC+
Eliezer Alfonzo: 21.7% mK/PA, 624 MLB PA, 62 MLB wRC+
Ryan Raburn: 21.6% mK/PA, 1688 MLB PA, 98 MLB wRC+
John Mayberry: 21.5% mK/PA, 848 MLB PA, 105 MLB wRC+
Austin Jackson: 21.5% mK/PA, 1960 MLB PA, 107 MLB wRC+
John Hester: 21.5% mK/PA, 231 MLB PA, 72 MLB wRC+
Bryan LaHair: 21.4% mK/PA, 599 MLB PA, 105 MLB wRC+
Danny Worth: 21.3% mK/PA, 244 MLB PA, 73 MLB wRC+
Mike Rivera: 21.2% mK/PA, 397 MLB PA, 87 MLB wRC+
Andres Torres: 21.2% mK/PA, 1572 MLB PA, 105 MLB wRC+
Russ Canzler: 21.2% mK/PA, 102 MLB PA, 91 MLB wRC+
Max Ramirez: 21.1% mK/PA, 140 MLB PA, 90 MLB wRC+
Welington Castillo: 21.1% mK/PA, 224 MLB PA, 99 MLB wRC+
Wladimir Balentien: 21.1% mK/PA, 559 MLB PA, 72 MLB wRC+
Jordan Schafer: 21.1% mK/PA, 893 MLB PA, 68 MLB wRC+
Scott Moore: 21.0% mK/PA, 430 MLB PA, 88 MLB wRC+
Rene Rivera: 21.0% mK/PA, 220 MLB PA, 11 MLB wRC+
Fred Lewis: 20.9% mK/PA, 1763 MLB PA, 100 MLB wRC+
Eli Whiteside: 20.9% mK/PA, 525 MLB PA, 66 MLB wRC+
Ian Stewart: 20.9% mK/PA, 1620 MLB PA, 84 MLB wRC+
Brett Carroll: 20.8% mK/PA, 324 MLB PA, 55 MLB wRC+
Matt Carson: 20.8% mK/PA, 174 MLB PA, 42 MLB wRC+
Jason Botts: 20.8% mK/PA, 296 MLB PA, 75 MLB wRC+
Ryan Shealy: 20.7% mK/PA, 494 MLB PA, 89 MLB wRC+
Nick Green: 20.7% mK/PA, 490 MLB PA, 56 MLB wRC+
Luis Terrero: 20.6% mK/PA, 181 MLB PA, 81 MLB wRC+
Fernando Martinez: 20.6% mK/PA, 275 MLB PA, 75 MLB wRC+
John Rodriguez: 20.6% mK/PA, 212 MLB PA, 111 MLB wRC+
Jerry Sands: 20.5% mK/PA, 251 MLB PA, 100 MLB wRC+
Chris Parmelee: 20.5% mK/PA, 298 MLB PA, 114 MLB wRC+
Nelson Cruz: 20.5% mK/PA, 2719 MLB PA, 112 MLB wRC+
Juan Miranda: 20.5% mK/PA, 296 MLB PA, 98 MLB wRC+
Luke Hughes: 20.5% mK/PA, 348 MLB PA, 68 MLB wRC+
Donnie Murphy: 20.4% mK/PA, 525 MLB PA, 79 MLB wRC+
Craig Tatum: 20.4% mK/PA, 299 MLB PA, 50 MLB wRC+
Starling Marte: 20.4% mK/PA, 182 MLB PA, 99 MLB wRC+
Travis Metcalf: 20.4% mK/PA, 242 MLB PA, 96 MLB wRC+
Brett Wallace: 20.4% mK/PA, 792 MLB PA, 92 MLB wRC+
Anthony Rizzo: 20.3% mK/PA, 521 MLB PA, 99 MLB wRC+
J.P. Arencibia: 20.3% mK/PA, 895 MLB PA, 88 MLB wRC+
Scott Cousins: 20.3% mK/PA, 188 MLB PA, 35 MLB wRC+
Ryan Lavarnway: 20.3% mK/PA, 209 MLB PA, 34 MLB wRC+
Logan Forsythe: 20.3% mK/PA, 519 MLB PA, 94 MLB wRC+
Landon Powell: 20.2% mK/PA, 406 MLB PA, 68 MLB wRC+
Elian Herrera: 20.1% mK/PA, 214 MLB PA, 93 MLB wRC+
Brent Lillibridge: 20.1% mK/PA, 723 MLB PA, 67 MLB wRC+
Rusty Ryal: 20.1% mK/PA, 290 MLB PA, 88 MLB wRC+
Guillermo Quiroz: 20.0% mK/PA, 186 MLB PA, 45 MLB wRC+
Matt Joyce: 20.0% mK/PA, 1559 MLB PA, 122 MLB wRC+
Xavier Paul: 20.0% mK/PA, 507 MLB PA, 84 MLB wRC+
Alex Gordon: 20.0% mK/PA, 3053 MLB PA, 112 MLB wRC+

[12] He also hadn’t really shown the power many originally thought he would develop.

[14] Definitely.  He was looking like a RH version of Brett Gardner, except maybe not quite as good - didn’t walk as much, struck out a bit more (I think), not quite the SB, note quite the D, and on wrong side of platoon.  Since graduating, he’s improved in every facet.

[13] Thanks SG.  I think looking at this, we have a mix.  There are some very successful players (Stanton, Joyce, Gordon, others), some useful players - at least useful at the plate - such as Maybin, Wells, Kottaras.  And a lot of dreck.  I could see maybe a Casper Wells type player out of Mesa.  Good (but not elite) D, K’s too much, decent power, adds some on the bases.  Maybe a bit less walks and power, and a bit more value on the bases.  Maybe Cameron Maybin (not the 2011 version).

Basically, I think he’s got enough going for him in tools and skills that he could be a useful player.  Perhaps a true 4th OF, perhaps the RH member of a platoon w/ Ichiro for 2 years.  Best case is he can hold down a corner OF spot full time in 2014 while the kids develop, and be an average player for league minimum.

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