Weeks, Roberts, Prado: 2B DL Returnees

Today I am going to look at three 2B who had injury problems in previous seasons and see how they are doing in 2011.

Rickie Weeks – Besides missing just one day last week due to a finger injury, it has been almost 1.5 years since Rickie has missed a day due to an injury. Before 2010, he was a walking injury as seen by this list of time lost from 2006 to 2009:

May 18, 2009: Wrist injury, missed rest of Season
August 20, 2008: Missed 2 games (left thumb injury)
July 2, 2008: Missed 1 game (stomach virus)
June 22, 2008: Missed 12 games (sore left knee)
June 18, 2007: Missed 17 games (wrist injury)
May 21, 2007: Missed 4 games (wrist injury)
May 1, 2007: Missed 2 games (right index finger)
October 2, 2006: Missed the last 62 games of the regular season (wrist injury)

When he is on the field, his production is fairly constant has seen by these slash lines:

2008: 0.234/0.342/0.398
2009: 0.272/0.340/0.517
2010: 0.269/0.366/0.464
2011: 0.297/0.373/0.560

Several of his injuries involve his wrist, which end up taking away a player’s power. It can be seen that his SLG has increased steadily since 2008. Also he is hitting his fly balls and home runs ~30 feet farther now then he did back 2008.

Rickie seems to have no ill effects from his previous injuries and seems to doing better now that he is healthy.

Brian Roberts – Last season Brian missed 99 days due to these 3 injuries:

October 3, 2010: Missed the last 6 games of the regular season (illness)
August 31, 2010: Missed 2 games (hip injury)
July 23, 2010: Missed 91 games (abdominal strain)

These injuries seem to have hurt his triple slash line in 2011 a bit:

2006: 0.286/0.347/0.410
2007: 0.290/0.377/0.432
2008: 0.296/0.378/0.450
2009: 0.283/0.356/0.451
2010: 0.278/0.354/0.391
2011: 0.270/0.301/0.438

The injuries have really seemed to effect his speed, which is one of best fantasy traits. Here is the percentage of times he has attempted to steal a base (SB+CS) per time he was on first base (BB+1B):

2006: 30.8%
2007: 32.6%
2008: 28.2%
2009: 20.0%
2010: 23.0%
2011: 6.5%

The lack of speed can also be seen by his infield hit %’s:

2006: 4.10%
2007: 6.40%
2008: 5.80%
2009: 4.20%
2010: 7.80%
2011: 0.00%

Currently, the updated ZIPs has Brian getting 21 SB in 548 PA (26 PA per SB) compared to the initial projection of 20 SB in 455 PA (22 PA per SB). I would bet that his final SB rate will be worse than the current projection of 26 PA per SB, but probably a little better than his current rate of 93 PA per SB.

Past injuries and age (33) seem to be slowing him down and that is really affecting his fantasy value.

Martin Prado – Martin has had his fair share of injuries over the past 3 years.

August 17, 2010: Missed 16 games (finger injury)
September 25, 2009: Missed 1 game (left knee injury)
August 25, 2009: Missed 5 games (headache)
August 18, 2009: Missed 1 game (headache)
June 12, 2009: Missed 1 game (groin)
July 3, 2008: Missed 55 games (left thumb injury)

His rate stats are way down this year as seen here:

The loss in his 3 rate stats (AVG, OBP, SLG) can be attributed to his BABIP at 0.250. This low BABIP, compared to previous seasons, can be partially explained by his LD% (14.9%) which is down ~6% from previous seasons. Most of the loss in LD% has been taken up in IFFB%, which is up ~8%. I would bet that many of his previous batted ball that would have been LDs are being hit weaker. These weaker hit balls are being caught by the infield and labeled as IFFB.

Also, I looked at my batted ball data and he has not hit a line drive over ~250 feet this season. He doesn’t seem to have the power to drive the ball in to the OF gaps.

In my opinion, Prado has not been hitting as many line drives this season and it is affecting his stats. His injuries from last season may be effecting his power. I will continue to watch him closely to see if any other clues surface for his loss in production.

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Jeff writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first season in Tout Wars, he won the H2H league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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The Brewers minor league guys always said Weeks has more power than Fielder does. He is the guy who hits the hardest in batting practice as well. It won’t surprise me if he has even more power in there somewhere. He doesn’t really steal much anymore though mostly because he doesn’t want to expose his hands to injuries.