I don’t mean to dismiss the stats on Kemp’s defense, but I just have to say anecdotal, I’m not seeing the problem. He seems to cover a lot of ground, and unlike last season, he’s not flubbing the ball when he gets to it. I’d love to see someone apply the stats to what we’re seeing and explain how it is that Kemp is failing. He might not be a Gold Glove, but he doesn’t look like the worst CF in the game.
At the same time, I am curious what his numbers would look like as a RF. It does seem crazy that the Dodgers don’t play Gwynn at CF when he starts.
Counting 2009-2011 (term of Ibanez’ contract), he has produced the same WAR as Soriano and .5 WAR more than Dunn.
Comment by Neuter Your Dogma — June 29, 2011 @ 3:02 pm
“…. I don’t think anyone saw this coming when those two signed their contracts….”
I totally disagree. Many people thought giving Lee, a prodding, 32 year old, overweight slugger and poor defender a six year deal. Same with giving a 37 year old ibanez a 3 year deal. Are we really all that surprised that he fell off a cliff in his age 39 season?
If you were six inches taller, that one would have stuck in your forehead.
Comment by Basil Ganglia — June 29, 2011 @ 3:27 pm
Most of you guys probably remember the offseason when Philly signed Raul Ibanez to that three-year contract. Philly completely misread the market that offseason. There were a number of solid but unspectacular veteran outfielders on the market that offseason. It seemed pretty clear that the smart thing to do would be to let the market do its thing and to obtain one of these players, probably Ibanez himself, at a lower price. At least one of these outfielders–I believe the player Ibanez replaced, Pat Burrell, was one of them–had to end up taking what he could get. I believe Burrell signed something like a two-year deal that paid him around $8 mil per year. Burrell did not, on paper, seem to be a lesser player than Ibanez. Tampa Bay allowed the market to do its thing and would up getting what appeared to be a steal at the time with Burrell. Tampa Bay did the same thing this offseason and wound up with Johnny Damon at an excellent price and Manny Ramirez at a price that also seemed like a very reasonable risk-reward deal. Ramirez didn’t work out but Damon obviously has.
Had Ruben Amaro, Jr. been patient that offseason, he would have likely wound up signing Ibanez to a two-year deal rather than this three-year deal, and Ibanez delivered serious bang for Philly’s buck(s) during 2009 and 2010. That would have been an outstanding deal. Having said all that: Ibanez probably earned his entire three years’ worth of pay during the 2009 and 2010 seasons alone.
Ibanez is killing Philly in the field and on the basepaths and, to a lesser extent, at the plate. I would love to see Philly acquire Hunter Pence, or at least Michael Cuddyer, so long as they don’t have to give up a monster prospects package in order to do it. If Philly is unable to acquire such a right-handed slugging outfielder prior to the trade deadline, I would LIKE to think that Philly will DFA Ross Gload, send Raul Ibanez to the bench as its left-handed pinch hitter (and DH if/when Philly makes it to the World Series), call up John Mayberry, Jr., play Ben Francisco every day in LF, and platoon Mayberry with Domonic Brown in RF. That seems like the logical course of action for Philly.
Yeah, I can’t see any reason (besides loyalty and old school thinking on the part of Charlie Manuel) why the Phillies don’t just replace Ibanez with Fransisco post-haste. Fransisco’s offensive production is slightly below league average, but still considerably better than Ibanez’s. Additionally, Fransisco’s BABIP is far below is career mark (although his LD% is down slightly and GB% is up slightly.) And as far as fielding is concerned, I don’t think that even has to be mentioned. It would be nice to acquire an upgrade, but they already have somewhat of an upgrade at LF on the roster.
Well I don’t know how often you’ve watched him this year but there’s a huge difference between Matt Kemp this year and Matt Kemp last year, not just at the plate but in the field. So as one who has watched him in just about every game, it would be nice if this piece took into account Matt Kemp 2011 as opposed to talking about Matt Kemp 2010. I won’t argue he wouldn’t be better as a RF but this “worst fielder” thing says more about UZR than it does about Matt Kemp.
Um, Craigary, the post was quite clear that it took into account 2011 as well as 2010. Moreover, UZR has Kemp at -8.2 runs just so far this season. I think it’s silly to impugn UZR, or any stat for that matter, based on what your eyes have told you about 1 player in “just about every game” this season.
Kemp’s jumps are terrible. He’s my favorite baseball player, along with Kershaw, and watching him bat is exhilarating, but my anecdotal evidence makes me inclined to believe that he is a terrible fielder. I haven’t seen Kemp cover even half the distance McCutchen covers.
I’m not impugning UZR completely, I’m just saying it is, in my opinion (and not just my opinion) overvalued, is all. I take into account other stats, absolutely.
And yes, I shoudl’ve been clearer. I realize this piece was also taking into account this year (though the article above itself wasn’t completely clear), not just the previous years. He’s still below average for CF, I won’t disagree. My point is merely that I don’t agree that he is currently the “Worst Fielder” in baseball. As far as I can tell, his RZR is about average (for OF), no? As his his arm, and his RngR, while still not great, has improved markedly this year from last. He also has already topped his total assists from last year, before a half year is up. My overriding point: he had one undeniably bad year, and has otherwise been a lot closer to average-to-good. It’s a false argument if you use that one bad year to declare him The Worst. Thanks for listening.