Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rajai Davis is Terrible

So, a lot of my friends are A's fans, and a lot of them like to rag on me about how Rajai Davis would be the Giants best OF, and how awesome he is and blah blah blah... Well I ran across an article that got me thinking, "Not only is he not a good player, he is quite a bit below average." So I did a bit of research, and this is what I came up with on Mr. Davis:

Davis has a UZR of -5.0 this year, which means he is 5 runs worse than an average ML outfielder defensively. You say that's merely a product of his arm and that his speed gets him to more balls than the average defender? Wrong. His range (RngR on Fangraphs) is -2.4 (2.4 runs worse than average) while his arm (Arm rating on fangraphs) is -2.0. So actually his arm is 'less bad' than his range. We all know he isn't slow, so his poor range comes from getting bad reads on balls and/or taking poor routes on fly balls. Keep in mind, these range stats are from all three OF positions. If we only considered his stats in CF (-7.8 UZR, -3.4 Arm, -3.5 RngR) he would actually look much worse.

Well, he must make up a ton of runs with his speed on the bases right? Wrong again. Davis has a -1.47 WPA this year, meaning he has cost the A's about 1.5 wins... Just on the offensive side of the ball. His positive contributions on the basepaths (34 SB - 7 Times Caught) comes out to a WPA of only 0.392. Let's also not forget the fact that his K/BB ratio is 3.17 (54/17 when I checked) and his OBP is only .319. Compare this to speedster Carl Crawford who has a WPA of 1.66 and a UZR of 15.8 even with a -1.4 Arm and things look even worse for Davis. The stats say Rajai is a really fast guy with very poor baseball skills. The one good thing Davis does have going for him is that he appears to be able to take a base whenever he wants, even if it is a big situation.

*Most of the information in this post was obtained from fangraphs.com and Athletics Nation

Monday, August 9, 2010

Buster Posey vs Joe Mauer

So, with all the buzz surrounding Buster Posey this year, I thought I'd compare him to another line drive, high average hitting catcher- Joe Mauer.

Here's the line: Mauer's first 122 PA are in yellow and Poseys first 244 are in white





Based on those numbers alone it appears that Posey may be on his way to becoming a pretty good hitter, but there's more:

I realize that it is only 244 PA (a fairly small sample size), but look how consistent his average has been once he brought it back up after his early slump (courtesy of FanGraphs.com) (Click Image to entire thing)

Many young hitters are subject to wild fluctuations in average as they learn to improve their approach against major league pitching. The fact that Posey has been able to avoid these swings bodes favorably for him going forward. I realize it is half a season, and there is a lot of baseball to be played before we determine how awesome Buster really is, but we should all be excited for the future.