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








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Yankees.com: Yankees Stink
(8 Comments - 8/31/2014 11:17:50 pm)

Yankees vs Blue Jays, Sunday August 31, 2014
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Yankees (70-63) @ Blue Jays (67-67), Saturday, August 30, 2014, 1:07pm
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Yankees (69-63) @ Blue Jays (67-66), Friday, August 29, 2014, 7:07pm
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NY Times: In Season of 63 Losses So Far, Yankees Find Few as Agonizing as This One
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Yankees (69-62) @ Tigers (71-60),  Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:08pm
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NYDN: Yankees sign Mets reject Chris Young to minor-league deal
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Yankees.com: Detroit sock city: Yanks hammer Price, gain in WC race
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Yankees (68-62) @ Tigers (71-59), Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 7:08pm
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NYDN: Yankees GM Cashman reveals how the last-minute deal for Martin Prado went down
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Player

Current Projected

Look what people have to say about the RLYW!

CAIRO just takes the Marcels and changes the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better.
-alskor

Wow, two stupid posts in one day. I think you’ve reached your yearly quota.
sabernar

I don’t know if any of you current posters were around for that, but if so, I just can’t understand how you can call yourselves Yankee fans. Pathetic quitters is what you sounded like. Of the lame posts I could stand to read, the only person who had any confidence in the Yankees at that point was a (yeesh) Red Sox fan.
Jeter is King

Quite the attitude you have SG. Maybe you should shitcan this blog and join Steve at WasWatching? Or follow some other stupid team that has made the PS 15 of the last 17 years. Jeez… and some people think Yankee fans are entitled.
OldYanksFan




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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Where Do We Go From Here (Outfield/DH Edition)?

Picking up from the prior post, here’s a look at how the Yankee outfield and DH spots project heading into 2011.

Position Rank Player % PA avg/obp/slg wOBA BR BRAR Def WAR
LF 1 Gardner, Brett 73.3% 550 .270/.358/.372 .329 65 9 13 2.2
2 Curtis, Colin 10.0% 75 .242/.303/.361 .295 7 -1 0 -0.1
3 Russo, Kevin 10.0% 75 .243/.305/.328 .286 6 -1 0 -0.1
4 Mesa, Melky 6.5% 49 .211/.279/.372 .286 4 -1 0 -0.1
5 Golson, Greg 0.1% 1 .231/.272/.351 .272 0 0 0 0.0
Total 750 .264/.346/.366 .321 78 6 13 1.9

 

wOBA: weighted on-base average
BR: Linear weights batting runs
BRAR: Position-adjusted batting runs above replacement level
Def: Projected defense in terms of runs saved above/below average

We start in LF.  One note about wOBA here is I do NOT include SB/CS, so when you compare them to Fangraphs you’ll see a big gap for high SB guys.  I do this because I like to look at platoon splits a lot with wOBA and base running has no impact there.  Figure you should add between .015 and .020 points to any guy who’s likely to steal 30-50 bases at a high success rate.

BR and BRAR do include SB/CS though, so that’s the main thing to look at here.

Anyway, I think Gardner’s offensive projection is a bit pessimistic, but I also think his defensive projection is a bit optimistic.  His MLEs still drag his offensive projections down a bit, but that’s starting to become less of an issue.  He projects to be a bit above average overall as a LF.

The problem the Yankees have right now will become apparent as we move around the OF though, and that’s the fact that they don’t really have any great options for fourth OF.  I’ve listed the non-starting OF on the 40 man roster in this depth chart.  Melky Mesa’s got the tools to be a prospect, but not the performance to this point.  He still strikes out way too much to be an MLB hitter (297 times in 943 AB the past two seasons at Charleston(A) and Tampa(A+).  He’s also 24, which means he’s probably not young enough to expect enough improvement to become an MLB player, although you never know.

How about center field?  Funny you should ask.

Position Rank Player % PA avg/obp/slg wOBA BR BRAR Def WAR
CF 1 Granderson, Curtis 80.0% 600 .252/.335/.462 .346 78 25 3 2.8
2 Golson, Greg 13.3% 100 .231/.272/.351 .272 8 -1 0 -0.1
3 Gardner, Brett 6.7% 50 .270/.358/.372 .329 6 1 0 0.1
4 .000/.000/.000 .000 0 0 0 0.0
5 .000/.000/.000 .000 0 0 0 0.0
Total 750 .251/.328/.441 .335 92 25 3 2.9


Curtis Granderson’s projection combines pretty good offense and defense and makes him almost 3 wins better than a theoretical replacement level CF.  If his hot end to the season was the result of the changes in his swing, he may be able to exceed that projection, but even if he doesn’t that’s plenty good.

Gardner’s the actual #2 CF, but since I already gave him 550 PA in LF I’m only giving him 50 in CF.  Golson is the only other OF on the 40 man roster who has played much CF.  From what I’ve seen and from what the scouting reports say, he definitely has the glove for CF.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t even have the bat for backup catcher.

Then we have right field.

Position Rank Player % PA avg/obp/slg wOBA BR BRAR Def WAR
RF 1 Swisher, Nick 83.3% 625 .260/.354/.470 .357 83 19 2 2.1
2 Curtis, Colin 10.0% 75 .242/.303/.361 .295 7 -1 0 -0.1
3 Russo, Kevin 4.0% 30 .243/.305/.328 .286 2 -1 0 -0.1
4 Mesa, Melky 1.3% 10 .211/.279/.372 .286 1 0 0 0.0
5 Golson, Greg 1.3% 10 .231/.272/.351 .272 1 0 0 0.0
Total 750 .257/.347/.452 .348 92 17 2 1.9


There’s nothing wrong with Nick Swisher in RF, but as with LF we see the problem once you get past him.

So we’ve identified fourth OF as a possible place for an upgrade. So how should the Yankees approach it?

Obviously, the first thing you’d look for is offense.  So what outfielders are available that project to outhit Messrs. Curtis, Russo, Mesa and Golson? 

Name mlbam Bats wOBA Type
Winn, Randy 133160 B .317 NA
Young, Delwyn 434704 B .315 NA
Hawpe, Brad 425547 L .350 B
Damon, Johnny 113028 L .340 B
Edmonds, Jim 113744 L .330 NA
Lewis, Fred 430930 L .330 NA
Nix, Laynce 425556 L .330 NA
Carter, Chris 452080 L .324 NA
Gerut, Jody 425506 L .324 NA
Ankiel, Rick 150449 L .323 NA
Hermida, Jeremy 435181 L .322 NA
Harris, Willie 407483 L .321 NA
Church, Ryan 425508 L .318 NA
Wise, Dewayne 276547 L .316 NA
Gross, Gabe 408212 L .314 NA
Inglett, Joe 446928 L .314 NA
Podsednik, Scott 325392 L .311 B
Sullivan, Cory 430622 L .302 NA
Anderson, Garret 110236 L .300 NA
Patterson, Corey 279913 L .282 NA
Ramirez, Manny 120903 R .395 A
Ordonez, Magglio 120044 R .369 A
Dye, Jermaine 113679 R .346 NA
Hairston, Scott 430668 R .326 NA
Nady, Xavier 294558 R .326 NA
Kearns, Austin 400290 R .326 NA
Kapler, Gabe 137002 R .325 NA
Thames, Marcus 407801 R .324 NA
Milledge, Lastings 451186 R .316 NA
Guillen, Jose 115229 R .316 NA
Jones, Andruw 116662 R .315 NA
Johnson, Reed 407862 R .309 NA
Hall, Bill 407849 R .306 NA
Bloomquist, Willie 217100 R .298 NA


I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Yankees aren’t going to go for Randy Winn 2, Electric Boogaloo.  Delwyn Young is a switch-hitter who can also play bad defense at 2B/3B and corner OF.  He’d probably outhit the other fourth OF candidates on the Yankees, but once you factor in defense I don’t know that he’s much of an upgrade.  I suppose his defensive flexibility makes him useful in an emergency, but I don’t know if it’s enough to make him someone the Yankees should consider.

Brad Hawpe looks like he can hit, but he’s absolutely horrendous defensively and I am very skeptical of trying to figure out how a guy who’s spent most of his career in Colorado will hit elsewhere. 

Hmm, I’m drawing a blank here.  Damon Johnny?  That name sounds familiar for some reason.

Honestly, none of the lefty hitting OF excite me and they don’t really address the platoon issue that I’m going to talk about after I get through this list.

Obviously Manny Ramirez and Magglio Ordonez would be nice additions to any team’s offense, but they’re probably likely to get full-time jobs and as Type A players they’d cost you a draft pick.  I’d ignore Jermaine Dye’s projection since he didn’t play last year, and he’s a bad enough defensive OF that he probably gives away any offensive value.

That brings me to Scott Hairston.  He is a right-handed hitting OF who can play all three OF spots, although he’s primarily been a LF.  Given the construct of the Yankee OF, adding a RHB makes sense.

Player Pos Bats Projected wOBA Vs L Vs R
Brett Gardner LF L .329 .310 .336
Colin Curtis OF L .295 .274 .299
Curtis Granderson CF L .346 .297 .363
Greg Golson OF R .272 .279 .259
Kevin Russo OF R .286 .294 .277
Marcus Thames LF-RF R .327 .340 .318
Nick Swisher LF-RF B .357 .367 .353
Scott Hairston LF R .327 .345 .317


Hairston would project as the second-best Yankee OF vs. LHP, which would allow you to stick him in LF when you want to rest Gardner or Granderson, with Gardner moving to CF on the days you want to rest Granderson.  Over 200 PA, the difference between Hairston and Granderson’s wOBA vs. LHP is about 8.5 runs, which is a bit less than one win.

I wouldn’t be opposed to the Yankees bringing back Marcus Thames if they can’t get another RH outfielder, but he really shouldn’t be in the OF and I don’t know if he’s going to be needed enough at DH to warrant the roster spot.

Speaking of DH.

Position Rank Player % PA avg/obp/slg wOBA BR BRAR Def WAR
DH 1 Posada, Jorge 72.4% 525 .267/.354/.458 .354 69 7 0 0.7
2 Rodriguez, Alex 10.3% 75 .281/.372/.526 .384 12 3 0 0.3
3 Jeter, Derek 10.3% 75 .290/.360/.406 .342 9 0 0 0.0
4 Swisher, Nick 6.9% 50 .260/.354/.470 .357 7 1 0 0.1
5 .000/.000/.000 .000 0 0 0 0.0
Total 725 .271/.357/.460 .356 89 10 0 1.0


I restricted DH to 725 PA because the ludicrous interleague play that still infests MLB means the Yankees will have to allow their pitchers to strike out three times a game for nine games.

Jorge Posada’s bat still projects very well as a catcher.  Unfortunately, as a DH it’s nothing special.  A lot of catchers end up hitting better when not catching so Posada may be able to beat that projection, although I actually think his projection is too optimistic.  Given his contract, the Yankees probably aren’t going to look for someone else to be their primary DH and are probably going to hope Posada can hit reasonably well. I hope he does, especially if this is his swan song.  He’s been criminally underrated and should probably be a Hall of Famer, but I think he’s a long-shot.

The Yankees will also probably use DH to give some of their players a half-day off, so I threw a few of those guys in there.  For the hell of it since I’m sure someone will ask, if the Yankees signed Manny Ramirez here’s how he’d project.

Player ramirez, manny
% PA H 2B 3B HR SB BB SO avg obp slg wOBA BR BRAR Def WAR
80% 455 119 26 1 23 2 63 81 .313 .419 .573 .425 83 32 0 3.2
65% 452 116 25 1 22 2 61 81 .306 .407 .552 .412 78 28 0 2.8
Baseline 450 113 23 1 21 1 59 90 .299 .396 .531 .398 73 24 0 2.4
35% 428 102 20 0 17 1 52 76 .283 .370 .486 .369 62 15 0 1.5
20% 405 91 16 0 14 0 45 71 .268 .345 .441 .339 52 7 0 0.7

I think he’d probably end up closer to that 35% projection but that’s still about a one win upgrade on Posada.  I don’t know if he’s worth the headaches and the drama that will come with him though, and I’m personally not a fan of the guy so I’d rather not see him in pinstripes.

Unless he’d sign for $4M for a year.

So if the Yankees add Scott Hairston they can probably improve by another win.  That probably moves them into about 90 win territory. 

But the real improvements to the team are probably going to have to come from the pitching staff, which will be the subject of the next post in this series. 

--Posted at 11:18 am by SG / 99 Comments | - (0)



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