Huff’s Big Season

Entering last night’s game, Aubrey Huff owned a .395 wOBA through 256 plate appearances, a number significant for many reasons: (A) The .395 wOBA represents a career high for Huff, at the age of 33; (B) The career high comes after the second worst hitting season of Huff’s professional career; and (C) Huff only added to his numbers by hitting a homer, a double, and a single, while driving in two runs for the Giants in a victory over the Orioles.

For someone who spent his entire career in the American League, barring a three month stint with the Astros in 2006, Huff is enjoying National League life. He’s walking more than ever, striking out at rates unforeseen from him since his days as a zealous and nubile – oh yes, nubile – third baseman for the Devil Rays. His BABIP is in check, yet he’s hitting for more power than normal. Huff has also made contact at a higher rate this year than normal.

In playing the outfield for the first time in more than five seasons, it is like Huff has discovered the fountain of youth, as one of his home runs did yesterday. ZiPS now has him finishing the season at .372, which is leaps and bounds better than any projection system had expected for Huff entering this season. Take a gander:

CHONE: .338
Marcel: .332
ZiPS: .339
Fans: .334

The Giants signed Huff for $3 million on a one-year basis- meaning that just getting a combination of those projected figures probably would have made Huff worth it. Instead they have received one of the best hitters in baseball to date. It’s like a karmic refund for the Edgar Renteria deal turning into a mess.

We hoped you liked reading Huff’s Big Season by R.J. Anderson!

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You could have added that Huff’s defense has been just as much of a suprise as his offense, particularly since the Giants moved him to LF to make room for Posey and then RF to make room for Burrell too. Granted, it’s only been 16 starts and 138+ innings so far but Giants fans will tell you he’s looked as good out there as his UZR suggests. Which particularly for a guy who hadn’t set foot in the OF since 2006 is pretty impressive.