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  1. I like how guy who put up a .400+ OBP last year is a breakout “candidate’. What’s he going to break out to, a .500 OBP?

    Comment by RC — August 30, 2011 @ 9:47 am

  2. One thing many people fail to recognize with Santana is how much time he has spent at 1B (roughly 400 innings, or 1/3 of his playing time). If my understanding of WAR is correct and positional adjustments are prorated for guys who play multiple positions, this may underscore how value Santana could be producing at the level he is now. I haven’t run the positional adjustments to see what his WAR would be if he had made only a handful of starts at 1B, but I would suspect it would push him well over the 3 WAR barrier to date. Given Matt LaPorta’s terminal case of sucking, I hope the Indians don’t do something crazy like move Santana out from behind the plate permanently.

    Comment by Jeff — August 30, 2011 @ 9:53 am

  3. Betting that Posey is as good as his rookie numbers could just as easily be a a fools errand. Posey’s wOBA numbers by month
    May 2010 .510(12 PA)
    June 2010 .279
    July 2010 .488
    Aug 2010 .325
    Sept 2010 .343
    Mar 2011 .334
    Apr 2011 .344

    I don’t think he has reached his ceiling by any means, but his numbers last year were certainly inflated by an insane July last year with a .417/.466/.699 line and 7 HR

    Comment by Mr wOBAto — August 30, 2011 @ 10:07 am

  4. First of all, are there really people who were ‘worried’ about Carlos Santana? His 2011 line is excellent for a catcher, especially in the current run environment. What the heck were people expecting?

    If he had a .300 BABIP, his line would be .264/.368/.474/.842 right now. His BABIP’s in the minors: .310 in rookie ball, .242 in A-ball, .304 in AA, .336 in AAA.

    And Santana isn’t in the elite ranks of catcher? His career 124 wRC+ is better than every active catcher except Joe Mauer ($184M) and Mike Napoli (not really a catcher). He’s been better than McCann, V-Mart, Posey, Posada, Avila, Martin, etc.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — August 30, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  5. Aren’t BABIP results in the minors to be discounted? I thought that those numbers are generally dismmised

    Comment by davef — August 30, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  6. Given Santana had less than 200 MLB PAs last year, I assume “breakout” refers to a full season of work at that level of production (i.e. a 6 WAR season).

    Comment by Sean O'Neill — August 30, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  7. Dismissed? No. Discounted? Sure. In the high minors, particularly AAA, you can generally take BABIP numbers as fairly ballpark (the LD and GB rates you get for those levels are accurate enough that you can adjust for luck), but anything below AA needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt. In particular, the FSL is notorious for having miserable ball in play data (LD rates in particular are routinely under reported there for no apparent reason).

    Comment by Sean O'Neill — August 30, 2011 @ 11:04 am

  8. Maybe it’s pitchers adjusting to him, but his K% and BB% are going the wrong way.

    Comment by benjipants — August 30, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  9. Meh, he’s no Casey Blake.

    Comment by D4P — August 30, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

  10. July is just an arbitrary period of time. If his hot streak had happened from July 15th to August 15th, people wouldn’t be making the judgement that the .488 wOBA is an aberration. If he had put up a .410 wOBA in each July and August, it would make him look more consistent but still be the exact same thing.

    Comment by Eli — August 30, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  11. Right it is the fact that it was one hot streak that accounted for a huge portion of his production that make me doubt his leveling off around 380+wOBA

    Comment by Mr wOBAto — August 30, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  12. I like how the “don’t worry about Santana” post came after his bat woke up for an extended period of time.

    Write this when he’s slumping for a while, it has legs. Write it now, the horse is out of the barn. We can’t get him cheap now in our leagues, but 4-6 weeks ago, it was possible.

    Comment by lester bangs — August 30, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

  13. But he also has 100 more PA than the 2nd-place catcher. So, the 1B time is getting him to the plate more, arguably canceling out any lost value from positional adjustment.

    Comment by Sitting Curveball — August 30, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

  14. I would so rather have Casey “Good Guy” Blake

    Comment by Kampfer — August 31, 2011 @ 12:59 am

  15. Yes. For a sophomore catcher with the upside that he has, I love the fact that this season is considered somewhat of a disappointment. And he’s not even having that bad of a year. He will join the top tier soon enough.

    Comment by max — August 31, 2011 @ 1:31 am

  16. The main worry about Santana is he isn’t a good catcher or 1st baseman. It may just be about learning the position, 1b particularly, but he doesn’t seem to handle pitchers as well as Marson does either.

    Even so his future has a lot more hope than worry going on. Fingers crossed, the Indians could use some good fortune.

    Comment by Tom — August 31, 2011 @ 9:11 am

  17. So, breakout means “continue to play at his established level of performance”?

    How’s that for redefining words?

    Comment by RC — August 31, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

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