2010 in Review: Franklin Gutierrez

Aug. 16, 2010 - Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America - August 16, 2010: Seattle Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez.

Offense: The 2010 season started with a lot of people expecting Franklin Gutierrez to make some major offensive strides, and two months in, it looked like he had done just that. Through the month of May, Guti had posted a line of .294/.388/.439, with an .826 OPS and 5 home runs. At that point in the year, he was on pace for a WAR of something like 6, and it was looking like another star-caliber season for Guti, similar to the one he had in 2009.

Over the following four months, Franklin Gutierrez posted a .222/.261/.327 line, with a .588 OPS and 7 long balls. Not only did he completely stop hitting, but his plate discipline seemed to fall of as well – through May, he walked 28 times. After May, he walked 22 times, with 5 of them being intentional. He also didn’t post a single monthly wOBA over .280 during that four month span.

These two completely different versions of Franklin Gutierrez combined to form a slightly below average hitter in 2010, posting a line of .245/.303/.363, with a wOBA of .300. Generally speaking, you have to be disappointed in the offensive year he ended up having. Coming into the season, it seemed like the perfect time for him to take a step forward – instead, he took two steps back.

Defense: Guys like Dave Cameron warned last year that Franklin Gutierrez probably wasn’t going to be able to repeat his ridiculous defensive performance in 2009, and they were correct. While the +7.3 UZR mark he posted in 2010 certainly isn’t too shabby, it’s minuscule compared to his +31.0 in ’09. That being said, UZR is a stat that has been known to fluctuate, and I wouldn’t altogether be surprised to see Guti back in the +15<x<+20 range next year.

Outlook: While he might never consistently be that 6 win center fielder we saw in 2009, the future still looks pretty bright for Franklin Gutierrez. After all, he just posted a WAR of 2.3 in a down year, and I honestly don’t see his offense staying as mediocre as it was in 2010. I wouldn’t be surprised if a nice long Winter does his confidence, and his plate approach, some good.

Tags: Franklin Gutierrez Mariners