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  1. Pirates, Brandon Allen. Brandon Allen, Pirates. You two should really talk.

    Comment by Jay — April 10, 2012 @ 9:13 am

  2. I have been a big fan of the Allen idea for the Bucs the last few years, but I’m not so sure now. He basically would replace Garrett Jones and I’m not sure that is a real upgrade. Jones for all his faults is actually a pretty decent platoon bat who can almost competently handle 1B.

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — April 10, 2012 @ 9:32 am

  3. Why not play Kila at DH?

    Comment by philbak — April 10, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  4. Brandon Allen is basically a Wily Mo Pena who walks.

    He has a ton of power, but he just can’t make the contact necessary to stick around. Unfortunately he’s really best suited as a bench bat option for a National League team.

    Comment by Michael F — April 10, 2012 @ 10:39 am

  5. As you can see, ZiPS projected every Oakland first baseman as a below-average option.

    It’s that, not lack of opportunity that is hurting Kila and Allen.

    Of course, thanks to Alex Gordon, every prospect that drastically under-performs is simply not being given enough of a chance.

    Teams cannot afford to play a below average bat at 1B or DH.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — April 10, 2012 @ 11:06 am

  6. Barton is the best right now, and I am not sure he also isn’t the best option in the future.

    He is 26 and will not turn 27 until August. He already has 439 games in the majors (he made his debut at 22). As a matter of fact, he is a year younger than Ka’aihue, a year older than Carter, and 6 months older than Allen.

    While Allen, Ka’aihue, and Carter have torn up the minors, Barton was a starting 1B in the majors. It is possible (maybe even likely) that he would have shown the same upside in the minors had he spend much time there.

    Barton is a far superior defensive player.

    We know that Barton is not going to contribute 30 HRs regularly, but I dont see why a 26 year old that has shown some great peripherals in his hitting skills cant develop enough power to regularly hit 15 to 20 HRs.

    Offensively his upside is probably somewhere between John Olerud and Lyle Overbay (defensively he is closer to Olerud). Olerud and Overbay broke out in his age 27 season.

    Barton seems skilled enough to post 4 WAR seasons through his prime seasons and because of the type of skills (Defense, OBP) that will get him that value, he will come at a MUCH cheaper price. Barton might be the EXACT type of player that Oakland needs.

    Comment by Socrates — April 10, 2012 @ 11:24 am

  7. Agreed. If we’re looking at who has the best chance of posting 4 WAR seasons going forwards, it helps that Barton has actually already done that. He may not be the sexiest pick to man 1B this year, but I think he’s the right pick.

    Comment by suicide squeeze — April 10, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  8. but terrible defensively and on basepaths – whereas Allen has a better track record.

    Allen also represents an upside that Jones doesn’t have. I’m also a big fan of the Allen to Bucs idea – Pirates have a lot of replacement level options (Nick Evans, Matt Hague) that they could throw in there if it is a disaster

    Jones could be traded to AL team where his versatility and DH against RHP would be more useful. He’s a butcher in the field

    Comment by Mingy — April 10, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  9. While Barton’s ability to take a walk is valuable, pitchers adjusted by pounding the strike-zone against him

    This doesn’t really show up on PitchF/X: 53.8% zone% in 2011 versus 53.4% in 2010 (BIS data shows more of a bump, but I’m reluctant to compare that year to year). The main differences between 2010 and 2011 are a big drop in power – whether measured by ISO, HR/FB or PWR – and a big drop in BABIP that’s likely at least partly related to the drop in power. I imagine the torn labrum he suffered at some point in 2011 is significant here.

    Comment by Paul Clarke — April 10, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

  10. “Teams cannot afford to play a below average bat at 1B or DH.”

    And yet, every year, half of them do it anyway.

    This ain’t Lake Wobegon.

    Comment by Vlad — April 10, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

  11. I don’t think that a 12.1 UZR is too ridiculous. Especially when he had higher ratings in other metrics (17 in DRS and 16 in TZ). Even if you regressed that UZR for 2010, it wouldn’t have shrunk his WAR by more than half a win or so.

    Comment by suicide squeeze — April 10, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

  12. Oops….my bad. I meant to quote this, but quoted myself instead:

    “Outside of 2008 — when a ridiculous 12.1 UZR boosted his 5.1 WAR — Barton has barely rated as a passable first baseman”

    Comment by suicide squeeze — April 10, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

  13. Yeah, Barton made comments last year eluding to the fact that he’d suffered the injury in April and played through the pain.

    Comment by Austen — April 10, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

  14. Smith, Gomes, Manny (after 50 games) are three reasons.

    Comment by Mac — April 10, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  15. Not a fan of this move at all – Barton hasn’t shown he’s all the way back from his injury yet and we basically know his upside.

    Allen had a very good spring training, has a great minor league track record, better than we thought on D – and we cut him after 3 games? 2 of which were against Felix Hernandez? You’d think Fangraphs would be all over that lack of sufficient sample size***

    Comment by TD — April 11, 2012 @ 12:18 am

  16. How about the sample size showing that he was complete garbage outside of Yankee Stadium last year?

    Comment by Troy — April 11, 2012 @ 4:15 am

  17. I’m not sure you are understanding how the whole concept of sample size works…

    Comment by TD — April 15, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

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