FACTS/FLUKES: Adam Jones, Romero, Moustakas, Beavan, Crisp

bb%, GB% limit further growth for Jones... The Orioles were a surprising success last year, making the playoffs with a 93-win season after losing 93 games in 2011. A major contributor was Adam Jones (OF, BAL), who set career highs in BA, HR, and SBs.

Year   AB   BA    xBA  bb%  ct%   G/L/F     PX  HR  hr/f  SB  Spd  SBO  BPV
====  ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ========  ===  ==  ====  ==  ===  ===  ===
2008  477  .270  .244    5   77  47/18/35   86   9    7%  10  151  11%   27
2009  473  .277  .287    7   80  55/17/28  110  19   18%  10  107  11%   59
2010  581  .284  .260    4   80  46/17/37  103  19   11%   7  127  10%   37
2011  567  .280  .273    5   80  49/18/33  120  25   17%  12   97  12%   53
2012  648  .287  .290    5   81  46/21/33  136  32   19%  16  102  16%   74
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
12 1H 307  .300  .302    5   82  49/18/33  149  19   22%  10  110  21%   93
12 2H 341  .276  .280    5   79  43/25/32  123  13   15%   6   92  11%   54

At 27, this growth isn’t surprising, but there are some reasons to expect some regression in 2013:

  • Jones’s plate approach isn’t great—he doesn’t walk much, and makes contact at league-average rate. While it’s worked for now, there’s not much BA upside.
  • His power was up a bit, but the main reason his HRs increased was due to more ABs. PX was up in the first half, but he couldn’t sustain it all year. A consistently high GB% limits power growth.
  • Jones made the most of his league-average Spd; he ran more frequently, leading to more SBs.  Since his success rate isn’t great (70% in 2012), it wouldn’t be surprising to fewer see SB in 2013.

While Jones will remain a major contributor to the Orioles’ cause, a repeat is unlikely. Extrapolate his second half numbers to get an idea of what to expect.

 

Romero loses control….With 15 wins and a sub-3.00 ERA in 2011, it looked like Ricky Romero (LHP, TOR) was primed for a breakout in 2012. But despite starting the year with an 8-1 record, he struggled mightily.

Year   IP   ERA  xERA  H%  S%  Ctl  Dom  Cmd   G/L/F    hr/f  hr/9  BPV
====  ===  ====  ====  ==  ==  ===  ===  ===  ========  ====  ====  ===
2009  178  4.30  3.97  33  74  4.0  7.1  1.8  54/19/27   13%   0.9   52
2010  210  3.73  3.55  29  72  3.5  7.5  2.1  55/18/27    9%   0.6   72
2011  225  2.92  3.52  25  80  3.2  7.1  2.2  55/14/31   13%   1.0   75
2012  181  5.77  4.91  31  66  5.2  6.2  1.2  53/20/26   14%   1.0    1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
12 1H  98  4.94  4.47  27  68  4.8  6.4  1.3  55/19/26   17%   1.2   20
12 2H  83  6.75  5.44  36  65  5.8  5.9  1.0  52/21/27   11%   0.9  -20

Several things contributed to Romero’s struggles:

  • While his H% was high in the second half, Romero’s poor performance can’t be attributed completely to bad luck. On the year, his H% and S% weren’t far from the norm.
  • While hr/f was high, it didn’t hurt him too much, since he’s a ground ball pitcher.
  • The big problem for Romero was a loss of Ctl—he issued way too many walks, particularly in the 2H. Dom was also down from his previous levels.
  • xERA shows that even with the good first half record, he was not pitching well.

Since the Jays underwent a major shopping spree this off-season, Romero won’t be counted on to anchor the rotation. While it’s unlikely he will return to 2011’s level—that was aided by H% and S%—regaining his lost Cmd is the first step to getting his ERA back under 4.00.

 

Moustakas faded after strong first half …With the trade of super-prospect Wil Myers (OF, TAM) for starting pitching, the Royals have made it clear that they intend to contend in 2013. For that to happen, young offensive contributors such as Mike Moustakas (3B, KC) will have to show some growth.

Year    AB   BA    xBA  bb%  ct%  h%   G/L/F     PX  HR  hr/f  BPV
====   ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ==  ========  ===  ==  ====  ===
2010*  484  .286  .316   5   85   29            149  25         87        
2011+  561  .256  .249   6   82   29  38/20/41   88  11   4%    31
2012   563  .242  .236   6   78   28  34/16/50  115  20   9%    40
-------------------------------------------------------------------
12 1H  269  .264  .249   8   79   29  35/14/51  135  13  12%    57
12 2H  294  .221  .224   5   77   26  32/19/49   97   7   6%    20
*- MLEs
+- inc MLEs

Moustakas had a nice start, but couldn’t sustain it:

  • He showed growth in the first half, taking more walks and hitting for power. It helps that Moustakas hits a lot of balls in the air; any increase in hr/f will result in a decent HR total.
  • But Moustakas gave back all the gains in the second half—bb% dropped, as did power. A July knee injury likely contributed to the decline.
  • In general, he doesn't have much patience. While he made decent contact in the minors, that skill hasn’t carried through to the majors. Without a better approach, he’s unlikely to hit for a higher BA.

2012 was the 24-year old Moustakas’s first full season in the majors, so there’s time for improvement. While his plate approach holds back BA expecations, a power burst wouldn’t be surprising.

 

Beavan toes the line with low Dom…With the departure of Jason Vargas (LHP, LAA), there’s an opening in the Mariners’ rotation. Seattle has an armada of young arms on the farm, but at least in the early going, they’re going to rely on veterans to fill that hole. One candidate for an audition is Blake Beavan (RHP, SEA).

Year   IP   ERA  xERA  H%  S%  Ctl  Dom  Cmd   G/L/F    hr/f  hr/9  BPV
====  ===  ====  ====  ==  ==  ===  ===  ===  ========  ====  ====  ===
2010* 168  3.96  3.61  31  67  1.0  4.9  4.7                   0.6  110
2011+ 190  3.96  4.40  31  72  1.5  4.7  3.1  38/23/39   10%   0.9   63
2012+ 190  4.05  4.44  29  72  1.5  3.8  2.5  37/22/42   10%   1.2   38
*- MLEs
+- inc MLEs

Beavan may have a hard time holding off the kids:

  • He’s got great Ctl, but strikes out very few batters. Even in the minors, he had low Dom.
  • With so few Ks and BBs, a lot of balls are put in play—not a great thing for a pitcher who gives up a healthy number of line drives. He’s also at the mercy of H% and S% fluctuations.
  • A plunging BPV shows that not only is there no growth, but he’s actually regressing.

The 24-year old Beavan will likely get a shot at a rotation spot coming out of spring training. But since he walks a fine line with low Dom, it’s unlikely that he’ll hold the job for long. There’s no reason to have Beavan on your radar, even in deep leagues.

 

Speedy Crisp contributes—when he’s on the fieldCoco Crisp (OF, OAK), was a walking infirmary last year, missing time with various maladies. While the A’s picked up Chris Young (OF, OAK) this off-season, they’re still counting on a major contribution from Crisp.

Year   AB   BA    xBA  bb%  ct%  h%   G/L/F     PX  HR  hr/f  SB  Spd  SBO
====  ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ==  ========  ===  ==  ====  ==  ===  ===
2008  361  .283  .253    9   84  32  41/20/39   80   7    6%  20  103  25%
2009  180  .228  .281   14   87  25  48/18/34   83   3    6%  13  146  28%
2010* 320  .291  .271    9   83  33  47/17/37  100   8    9%  33  129  40%
2011  531  .264  .273    7   88  29  42/24/34   75   8    5%  49  102  41%
2012  455  .259  .274    9   86  28  44/20/36   95  11    8%  39  119  36%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
12 1H 192  .219  .231    9   86  25  49/16/35   42   2    4%  16  103  33%
12 2H 263  .289  .302    9   86  31  41/23/36  134   9   11%  23  118  38%
*- inc MLEs

Crisp is best known for his speed, but he also contributes in other ways:

  • With plate patience and good contact, an improved BA is likely; xBA gives an idea what to expect.
  • Crisp doesn’t have much power; his second half PX and hr/f are inconsistent with the recent past, so it’s unlikely to repeat.
  • He’s got good Spd, but it’s not elite. Running frequently—and succeeding at an 80-90% clip—contributes to high SB totals.

At 33, Crisp is leaving his prime years, but he’s showing no real sign of slowing down. At this point, the key is health—if he can stay on the field, you can count on a decent BA with plenty of SBs.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.