FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. “After the Jays released him 2008, the Cubs took in the yet-to-be-amazing Johnson”

    Did you completely discount his amazing 2006 season as a starter for the Jays, where he was worth 4.5 WAR? He was really good that year! He had less than 500AB too.

    Later, you go:
    “Johnson started his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, earning a starter’s haul of PAs from 2003 through 2006. During that time, he put together only a single season over 2.0 WAR (the 2006 season) and generally looked unimpressive.”

    Well, yes, as I said before, that single season over 2.0 WAR was really impressive. You could say he also put together a single season above 4.4 WAR, and it sounds a lot better.

    Give Reed his due for the Jays, he was really good for that period of time – it isn’t like he just became useful in 2011. Reed Johnson was pretty much always useful, and the article should state that. I always wondered why he only got one chance.

    Comment by SC2GG — December 22, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

  2. Does a player have to be a Caucasian to be “scrappy”? I have seen many Carribean and American black players who are pretty scrappish.

    Comment by Husker — December 22, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

  3. In addition to Garza and Marshall, who you mentioned, Soto/Soriano/Dempster/Zambrano/Marmol/Byrd are all useful players who are going to be gone in a year or two anyway. If a team is willing to recognize that baseball contracts are sunk costs, they can still turn expensive contracts into prospects.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — December 22, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  4. Wow, in 266 plate appearances last year, he had more than twice as many HBPs as walks (11 to 5). That’s hard to do.

    Comment by werthless — December 22, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

  5. His 2006 4.5 wins come largely on the merit of his outlier UZR data. I’m not convinced his true talent ever was worth 4.5 WAR in a single season, so I didn’t feel the need to emphasize it.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — December 22, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

  6. That is amazing. Good find.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — December 22, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  7. The Carribeans can be scrappy only in a boxing ring. The blacks are never scrappy.

    Comment by Jimmy the Greek — December 22, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  8. Not if you are Reed Johnson. Somehow, he’s always getting plunked.

    Comment by siggian — December 22, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

  9. Would you feel the same way if he had outlier batting statistics that year?

    Comment by Cliff — December 22, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

  10. He stands about 2 inches off the plate. I don’t think the plunking is a coincidence.

    Comment by JohnnyComeLately — December 22, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

  11. Reed mentioned (somewhere) that his work with Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo was a part of his success last year. He apparently really liked working with him.

    Comment by JohnnyComeLately — December 22, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

  12. Well… He did… No, I don’t feel too much differently.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — December 22, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  13. I would say his BABIP played a large role too.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — December 22, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  14. Is he the second coming of Fernando Vina?

    Comment by JS — December 22, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  15. I thought only Scoobie’s nephew was Scrappy.

    Comment by B N — December 23, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

  16. Aren’t defensive wins erratic at times because it’s not as much of an exact science as hitting? It’s not as reliable. So if a guy has like: -0.3, -0.1, 0.1, 1.1, 0.2, you assume the 1.1 is a screw up with the defensive metrics used? Or am I going about it wrong?

    What I’m trying to say is, I always thought that it wasn’t so much an “outlier” but more just a flaw in the measurement. 15HR, 12HR, 35HR, 10HR, the 35 is an outlier, but with defense it’s more like if I wrote 15HR, 12HR, ZYHR, 10HR, a flaw.

    Comment by antonio bananas — December 24, 2011 @ 7:27 am

  17. The white guys can’t be very fit either. Gotta be short and preferably with a scruffy junior-in-high school facial hair thing going on. Black players are athletically gifted. Carribean players are passionate. Asian players are technically sound. Don’t you know the rules?

    Comment by antonio bananas — December 24, 2011 @ 7:30 am

  18. Should the Cubs maybe gamble on signing guys and trading them quickly? Like sign a decent-good free agent, then trade them for prospects as soon as possible? They aren’t going to be very good, but say they sign Oswalt for a 2/18 or something, then trade him mid season, I bet they could get a decent haul for a despirate team.

    I never understood why teams wouldn’t try to trade guys with longer contracts. For example, i think that John Danks, because of the years he’s locked up, and the reasonableness of his contract, is a guy I’d trade more for now than before when he’d become a free agent. So if the Cubs were to sign a real solid workhorse like Edwin Jackson to 5/40 or whatever (just threw something out), if I’m another GM, like the Nats, I might give up more for that than a guy with 1 year remaining.

    Comment by antonio bananas — December 24, 2011 @ 7:34 am

  19. It’s funny. When a high fielding component inflates the value of a sabr-darling like Gardner, Pedrioa or Zobrist, you sing their praises to the mountains. But Johnson’s is inflated or an outlier …

    Comment by Oasis — December 26, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

  20. This is a fair assessment of Reed Johnson. And it appears Theo & Jed are indeed going to try and prop up the 2012 Cubs with an assortment of league-average players like RJ as they continue their attempts to amass positive assets. One minor quibble/question:

    “As a 31-year-old fourth outfielder, Johnson culled together 374 outfield PAs while in a weird timeshare with Mark DeRosa, and Johnson ended the year with a nifty 1.6 WAR.”

    Shouldn’t this read “…while in a fairly sensible center field platoon with Jim Edmonds”…? I seem to recall Jim Hendry plucking both Johnson and Edmonds off the scrap heap in ’08 to create one of the most remarkably productive center field platoons in recent memory.

    Comment by dat cubfan daver — December 27, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

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