FACTS/FLUKES: Kinsler, Matsuzaka, Hosmer, Gregg, Florimon

Kinsler can’t match last year’s output…After two 30/30 seasons in three years, Ian Kinsler (2B, TEX) was a popular choice early in many 2012 drafts. While he’s put up some decent stats, he’s not met the expectations of owners who took him as early as the second round.

Year    AB    BA   xBA  bb%  ct%   h%   G/L/F    HR   PX  hr/f  SB  Spd  SBO
====   ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ===  ========  ==  ===  ====  ==  ===  ===
2008   518  .319  .291    8   87   34  32/24/43  18  121    9%  26  117  19%
2009   566  .253  .270    9   86   24  30/16/54  31  127   12%  31  107  27%
2010   391  .286  .256   13   85   32  40/18/42   9   82    7%  15  106  14%
2011   620  .255  .291   13   89   24  35/18/47  32  125   12%  30  102  19%
2012   567  .263  .272    8   86   28  36/22/42  16  105    8%  21  104  21%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
12 1H  333  .276  .287    8   86   30  37/26/38   9  109    8%  15   99  24%
12 2H  234  .244  .246    9   85   26  36/16/49   7   97    7%   6  106  17%

Kinsler hasn’t been able to meet last year’s counting stats:

  • Low h% kept his BA down in 2011. While it’s normalized in 2012, his BA hasn’t returned to previous levels. Part of the problem is a big drop in plate patience.
  • Kinsler has not matched last year’s ct%, but that’s not too surprising; his current level is much more in line with his career average.
  • His first half FB% was down; combined with low hr/f, it’s not surprising he didn’t produce many HRs. While FB% has recovered in the first half, hr/f has not.
  • Kinsler has league-average speed, he generated healthy SB totals by running frequently. But with only a few weeks to go, it’s unlikely he’ll match last year’s level.

It’s hard to criticize a middle infielder who puts up these types of numbers, but Kinsler’s season is a disappointment compared to last year. He remains one of the top 2B in the American League—but he’s not at the point where you can expect him to consistently hit .300 or tally 30/30 seasons.

 

Matsuzaka not shining as he approaches free agency…When the Red Sox won the rights to Daisuke Matsuzaka (RHP, BOS) and signed him to a six-year deal before the 2007 season, great things were expected. After an 18-3 season in 2009, it looked like he would be a sure thing for the remainder of his contract. But injuries and ineffectiveness have made him a non-factor the past few years.

Year   IP   ERA xERA  Ctl  Dom  Cmd  H%  S%   G/L/F    hr/9  hr/f  BPV
====  ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ===  ==  ==  ========  ====  ====  ===
2008  168  2.90  4.43  5.0  8.3  1.6  27  80  39/18/43   0.6   6%    30
2009*  77  6.15  7.12  4.8  7.9  1.6  38  71  34/23/43   1.7  12%    22
2010* 170  4.46  3.61  4.0  7.5  1.9  29  67  33/22/45   0.8   7%    69
2011   37  5.30  5.49  5.5  6.3  1.1  26  65  32/13/56   1.0   6%   -27
2012   35  7.20  4.50  3.9  8.2  2.1  33  56  35/23/42   1.8  15%    57
* - inc MLEs

Matsuzaka has posted some ugly numbers since his June return from Tommy John surgery:

  • The main drag on his ERA has been low S%; xERA shows that while he’s not been stellar, he’s not been as bad as his ERA indicates.
  • Even when he’s struggled in the past, Matsuzaka struck out a healthy number of batters; this year is no exception.
  • He’s also walked fewer batters than last year. But it’s a relative thing; control has never been his long suit. He hasn’t had a Cmd above 2.0 since his rookie season of 2007.
  • Matsuzaka actually pitched well in his first four starts, with a 3.3 Cmd and 3.62 xERA. But he’s been inconsistent—of his seven starts, three have been PQS-Dom, three PQS-Dis.

The Red Sox are now saying that Matsuzaka’s time in the rotation could be over. In the pen or rotation, he’s unlikely to contribute much to your squad down the stretch. While he’ll be a free agent this winter, a history of health problems and inconsistency means he’s unlikely to be in demand. Until he harnesses is Ctl, it’s safe to ignore Matsuzaka.

 

Hosmer continues to battle sophomore slump…Sometimes, the path to stardom is a rocky one. Eric Hosmer (1B, KC) had a stellar rookie season, finishing third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. He’s found it tougher going in his sophomore season.

Year    AB   BA    xBA  bb%  ct%  h%   G/L/F    HR   PX  hr/f
====   ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ==  ========  ==  ===  ====
2010+  195  .282  .312    5   85  29             9  142      
2011*  621  .309  .279    7   84  34  50/19/32  21  104   13%
2012   484  .240  .265    9   82  27  54/19/27  13   81   12%
-------------------------------------------------------------
12 1H  275  .225  .284    8   87  23  55/18/27   9   88   14%
12 2H  209  .258  .236   10   75  33  53/20/26   4   69   10%
+- MLEs
*- inc MLEs

It’s been a season of adjustments for Hosmer:

  • Low first half h% kept his BA low; he hit only .204 in April and May. But xBA shows that he had solid skills despite the low BA.
  • Hosmer has also not yet solved lefties; he hit .237 against them in 2011, .226 in 2012.
  • He’s walked more in the second half, but he’s striking out a lot more than usual. The lack of power seems to have him hacking more than usual.
  • The power problems are also due to the fact that he puts a lot of balls on the ground. It doesn’t help that he’s also got a low hr/f.

Hosmer won’t turn 23 until next month, so it’s not entirely surprising to see him take a step back. But his skills remain solid; once he starts making better contact and putting more balls in the air, his power and average will return. It’s too early to downgrade Hosmer heading into 2013.

 

Gregg didn't contribute much...One of the Orioles' strengths as they make a playoff push is their bullpen. You'd think that someone who saved 143 games from 2007-2011 would be a major contributor to that cause, but that wasn't the case for Kevin Gregg (RHP, BAL), who was designated for assignment on Tuesday.

Year  IP   ERA  xERA  H%  S%  Ctl  Dom  Cmd   G/L/F   hr/9 hr/f BPV
====  ==  ====  ====  ==  ==  ===  ===  ===  ======== ==== ==== ===
2008  69  3.41  4.41  26  73  4.8  7.6  1.6  45/20/35  0.4   4%  29
2009  69  4.72  4.01  28  70  3.9  9.3  2.4  38/18/44  1.7  15%  77
2010  59  3.51  4.26  31  76  4.6  8.8  1.9  42/17/40  0.6   6%  56
2011  60  4.37  4.74  31  76  6.0  8.0  1.3  42/18/41  1.1  10%   1
2012  44  4.74  4.64  33  75  4.9  7.6  1.5  48/18/34  1.2  13%  30

Gregg wasn't doing enough to be a major player in Baltimore's bullpen:

  • He's prone to wildness; the last time his Ctl was below 3.9 was in 2006. 
  • While he strikes out a fair number of hitters, it doesn't make up for the walks; his Cmd has been below 2.0 four of the past five years. 
  • What Gregg was doing well this year was keeping the ball on the ground, limiting line drives and fly balls. 

Gregg had a $6 million team option that would have automatically vested if he finished 100 games in 2011/12; that didn't come close to happening. Gregg will soon be a free agent; unless he learns how to cut down on his walks, he's unlikely to find a prominent role in any bullpen in 2013.

 

First Impressions: Pedro Florimon (SS, MIN)

CALLED UP: August 16
CURRENT ROLE: Starting SS
POTENTIAL FUTURE ROLE: Utility IF

Year/level      AB   BA   OPS   bb%  ct%  PX  HR  Spd  SB
============   ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ==  ==  ===  ==
2010 AA MLEs   120  .159  .415    6   72  30   1   85   3
2011 AA MLEs   454  .236  .647    8   72  76   7   87  12
2012 minors    472  .259  .670    7   75       5       13
2012 majors     71  .254  .659    9   80  63   0  126   2

Florimon hasn’t embarrassed himself since taking over for Brian Dozier (SS, MIN), but there are reasons to temper your expectations:

  • He’s got a history of mediocre ct% in the minors, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see his current level regress. He’s also been walking a bit more than usual.
  • Florimon doesn’t have much power; he’s good for a few HR at best.
  • His speed is also usually below average; even with a 10% SBO, don’t expect many SBs.
  • Florimon hits a ton of GBs (59/23/18 G/L/F); with average speed, he’s not legging out many hits.

Florimon is a defense-first shortstop who is unlikely to deliver many counting stats. He’s unlikely to man the position full time next year; if he makes the majors, he’s a utility infielder at best. Florimon isn’t going to be a factor in 2013 even the deepest of leagues.


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