Today’s post is similar to yesterday’s post, I’m using the same plot format but instead of using 2008 data, I thought I would plot some projections for 2009. I’m a big fan of ZiPS — a free projection system from BBTF — and I think it’s one of the better systems out there. Again, we’ll be looking at ISO vs OBP for Giants hitters next season.
Isolated Power vs. On-base Percentage:
Vertical and Horizontal lines indicate league averages. For 2009 I’m using the 2008 league averages for ISO and OBP. Offense was down in 2008 and it’s projected to also be down in 2009. The actual league averages could swing a couple of points in either direction but nothing drastic should happen. Over the last three years, offense has been slightly decreasing. The overlapping names in the left corner are Ryan Rohlinger and Dan Ortmeier.
- I talked about this some yesterday, but upgrading from the Vizquel-Bocock-Ochoa trio — offensively speaking — to Renteria is pretty big. Omar Vizquel played the most innings of any Giants player last year at shortstop and was the worst hitter on the team by a good margin. If you remember, Omar was stuck in the very bottom of the left-hand corner indicating that he didn’t hit for any power and he didn’t get on base, very bad things for a hitter. Renteria gives the Giants a pretty large upgrade in OBP — a projected OBP of .341 to Omar’s OBP of .283, that’s a swing of 60 points — and he’s going to hit for more power. “Hitting for more power than Omar Vizquel” isn’t really hard to do — unless you’re Brian Bocock or Emmanuel Burris – but the Giants are getting a nice offensive boost by swapping shortstops.
- Josh Phelps, best Giants hitter? He’s in the vaunted upper-right square hitting for both above average power and getting on base above average. He should start at first base against any lefty and he might work himself into a more full-time role if Ishikawa struggles.
- Brian Sabean is reconsidering Rich Aurilia when he really shouldn’t be. The soon to be 37-year-old isn’t projecting to be much better than Kevin Frandsen. Aurilia doesn’t make sense on a team with Josh Phelps — who will hit LHP just as well if not better. The Giants would benefit much more from playing Frandsen in the utility role if they want to go that route.
- ZiPS doesn’t like Burriss. The system has projected him to lose almost 40 points of OBP while still hitting like Omar Vizquel. Burriss’ player-type — above average OBP with below average power — is one that includes a lot of ugly player comps. If you checked out a list of hitters with an OBP of .350 or greater and a SLG of .340 or lower, you’ll find players like: The corpse of Luis Castillo, Julio Lugo (2008 version), Mark McLemore, Brad Ausmus, and a lot of Walt Weiss. If Burriss can’t maintain a .350-ish OBP then he’s going to turn into Omar Vizquel without the glove.
- Sandoval and Schierholtz give the Giants some semblance of young hitting. Nate almost makes it into the upper-right square with Phelps by showing above average power and near average OBP. Sandoval is hitting for power but ZiPS is skeptical of his high contact approach at the plate, projecting him to only hit .282. Pablo’s OBP is going to be fueled by his ability to hit .300+, if he’s under .300 in terms of batting average, his OBP is going to be below average.
- I’m not very high on Ishikawa but he’s showing some raw power by ZiPS. His OBP is terrible, only the combo of Rohlinger-Ort are worse, but he could see some time at first base this year depending on if the Giants fill third base with a trade or free agent.
- Dave Roberts has no point on this team and I’d much rather have Brian Horwitz as my 5th OF/PH.
- Lewis, Rowand, and Winn all profile in the same area. Above average OBP with below — Winn — to slightly below — Lewis and Rowand — power.
- Molina’s projection is decent for a 34-year-old catcher who carries a lot of weight around. He’s going to profile as an average catcher offensively. Another reason why I’d love to see Sandoval become the starter behind the plate, it’ll maximize his offensive value. Sandoval should outhit Molina and if he can stay behind the dish, his value is much greater than if he’s a 3B/1B. Holm is probably an adequate back-up catcher if the Giants really want to go with three catchers on the roster.
- Bowker is projected to hit for above average power but his OBP is still bad. He’s among Velez and Burriss in terms of OBP, not good company to have.
- Ort might want to consider a new career because I don’t think he’ll be breaking into the majors anytime soon. Rohlinger is projected to be equally as bad but he’s three years younger than Ort and plays a position that the Giants are weak at.
A quick look over the plot should tell you who the Giants should be looking at to get the most playing time next year. Phelps, Schierholtz, and Sandoval are guys that they should look to get AB’s for. Lewis, Rowand, and Winn should provide a steady OF. Ishikawa will probably default as the first baseman but his chances are slim, despite the good projected raw power. Ochoa and Velez should go away and Burriss’ bat looks ready to collapse. If he can play outstanding defense at second base, he might hang around, but his bat won’t be the reason he’s in the majors. I’m not sure where John Bowker fits on next year’s team now that he’s not going to be viewed as a first baseman.
Update: Baggs has an awesome update on his blog detailing some hubbub from the Winter Meetings. It’s got way too much information for me to summarize, but go check it out if you haven’t already.