FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. Well the Tigs lost probably their best replacement option. That stinks.

    Comment by Colin — January 20, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  2. Seconded.

    Comment by Ian — January 20, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

  3. Who is projected to replace Pena in the lineup against tough LHPs?

    Comment by JE — January 20, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

  4. Another steal of a deal from Friedman.

    Let’s see, coming off a pretty terrible season, Jim Hendry signs Pena for $10 million. Coming off a much stronger offensive year, he gets $7.25m from Friedman.

    Comment by Marty — January 20, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  5. Just to play devil’s advocate, he’s also a year older now, and another season removed from his 39 Home Run campaign, making it less likely he’ll rebound to those power numbers again, which make his poor average harder to stomach. Will his power be hurt by the Trop move?

    Comment by Ben — January 20, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

  6. Not Luke Scott, I guess (.167 avg last year against lefties).

    Comment by Super Shredder — January 20, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

  7. Come on, I am pretty sure Delmon Young will hit twice as many HR as Pena. And Inge is due for a bounce back season, as Rod Allen would say “You know you’re gonna get those numbers on the back of his baseball card”

    Comment by Ronin — January 20, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

  8. The Trop “move?” The Trop is his park. He’s the Trop’s all-time home runs leader, he just took a one year break to mash the NL. He’ll be fine. Silly question.

    Oh and also just in case FanGraphs has forgotten, batting average doesn’t matter. At all. His OBP is phenomenal, as is his ISO. Big deal if he prefers walks to singles.

    Comment by Raymond — January 20, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

  9. Right, but his age is just about the only thing going against him. Every other facet of his game improved last year. He probably isn’t going to go out and hit 35+ HR again, but 25-30 seems to be a guarantee. He also got off to a very slow start last season. I’m not sure whether this holds any weight statistically, but it seems obvious that there are a lot fewer home runs hit in the cold month of April at Wrigley.

    Comment by Marty — January 20, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

  10. The Red Sox appear to be pretty far behind the Yankees and Rays at this point, do they not? Boston’s pitching isn’t great and I am not seeing any obvious candidates among the position players to have better 2012 seasons than they had this past season. And whatever in-house issues contributed to the team’s 2011 collapse have presumably not been addressed since this year’s roster looks awfully similar to last season’s roster. If Toronto’s young starting pitchers can make big strides this season then I can see Boston finishing closer to fourth place in that division than second place.

    When was the last time the AL wild card went to a non-AL East team? Seems like forever. Could happen this season as the Rangers and Angels are both looking awfully good.

    I’m skeptical about both Carlos Pena and Luke Scott but Tampa’s management is so damned good that I’m almost willing to just give it the benefit of the doubt at this point.

    Comment by Robbie G. — January 20, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

  11. I love that we got Carlos back. A great guy who is loved by Rays fans and he can play a little bit. :)

    Comment by Cody — January 20, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

  12. What Raymond says. Using BA makes it an automatic ignore, and is an embarrassment.

    Comment by Al — January 20, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

  13. I think it’s about time someone gave Kotchman his due. He’s not a superstar by any stretch of the imagination, and he doesn’t wow you as a contact hitting firstbaseman, but he’s a good player. Throw out his putrid 2010 with Seattle, and he’s averaged about 2 WAR per year. League average performance at 3.5 mil ain’t half bad. A competing team Texas might have some use for him as a veteran backup.

    I also want to make a point about BABIP.I understand that it’s not usually a repeatable skill, but I still think its a bit naive to chalk it all up to luck. For example, a guy might adjust his mechanics, leading to fewer popups. Alternatively, a speed demon might change his approach, stop trying to hit so many home runs, and significantly reduce his percentage of flyouts. For a player like Kotchman, a renewed dedication to scouting reports and pitcher’s tendencies might lead to more hard hit balls. I have no idea how often these types of things actually happen, but they do (think of Granderson’s turnaround in NY) and should be kept in mind when evaluating players’ long-term values.

    My point is that just because Kotchman’s 2011 isn’t repeatable, it doesn’t mean it was completely due to good fortune. Give credit where credit is due. One way or another, Kotchman produced last year, and without him, the Rays wouldn’t have been in position for their stunning playoff appearance. Thoughts?

    Comment by Kevin — January 20, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

  14. Wrigley last year was pretty pitcher friendly. In April the weather robbed Pena of 5-6 home runs.

    Comment by Mitchener — January 20, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

  15. There are two wild card teams this year though are there not? Angels/Rangers and Rays/Yankees? Or, and this is my dream, Rays/Jays Angels/Rangers. That is, if the Jays do something crazy like sign Fielder.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — January 21, 2012 @ 5:26 am

  16. No thoughts, just agreement.

    Comment by wat — January 21, 2012 @ 5:34 am

  17. If he averages two WAR per year, and 2 WAR is average, wouldn’t that make him an average player, rather than a good player?

    Comment by Brian — January 21, 2012 @ 10:31 am

  18. Well, last year the Red Sox led the MLB with a team wOBA of .351. If they did nothing to “improve” that this year they would still be in a pretty strong position.

    Comment by Afrogoose — January 21, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

  19. While Kotchman had a nice overall slash line in 2011, it was a shockingly empty one. His line with runners in scoring position was 250/354/303!!! He was a slap hitter that showed little power, especially with men on base. Not what you are looking for out of a first baseman.

    Comment by td32 — January 21, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

  20. I’m sure glad he didn’t go to the Yankees. Great move by the Rays.

    Comment by Robert Thacher — January 21, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  21. Inge is due for a bounce back season? Since when did Brandon Inge stop being terrible? Did I miss the memo.

    Comment by Shaun Catron — January 21, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

  22. Delmon Young will hit twice as many HR as Pena??? Young has never hit more homeruns than Pena in any season, let alone twice as many.

    Comment by Jon — January 22, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

  23. @ Raymond — how is that a “silly question?”

    Wrigley Field is much more friendly to right handed power hitters than Tropicana Field is so what he’s done in the past in TB — the fact that he’s “the Trop’s all-time home runs leader” — is pretty irrelevant. And his OBP is far from phenomenal. In fact, it hasn’t been phenomenal since 2007, the only year in his career in which it was phenomenal.

    This was a good signing by the Rays but it’s doubtful that he’ll hit 28 homer again this year and it’s doubtful that his OBP will be phenomenal either.

    Comment by chuckb — January 22, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

  24. The article didn’t “use BA”. In fact, it mentioned it only three times — when talking about Pena’s disappointing 2010 season, in giving the Rays triple slash lines against righties last year, and being dismissive of Pena’s low BA in 2011 b/c of his power.

    What should be embarrassing is saying that this article is embarrassing without actually reading it.

    Comment by chuckb — January 22, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  25. Throw out his putrid 2010 with Seattle, and he’s averaged about 2 WAR per year.

    Is there anyone that doesn’t look a lot better when you throw out their worst performance?

    If we look at the last 4 years and throw out 2011, he’s been worth 0.7 WAR.

    Selective endpoints and selective data = bad conclusions.

    CK has had two seasons where he’s been above league average. In both seasons his BABIP was far higher than his career numbers.

    I prefer to look at 2008 and 2009, 2 seasons where his BABIP was lin line with his career BABIP. He was worth 0.9 and 1.3 during those seasons.

    Not surprisingly when his BABIP is was under his career rate, he’s a negative WAR player. When it’s well above his career rate, he’s better than league average.

    But, “true talent” CK is about a 1 WAR player.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 22, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

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