August Grades: Position Players


First of all I want to say that Dave Cameron made an AWESOME point about a week ago concerning John Smoltz and sample size. If you haven’t read it, do so now!  (Also another good post right here…)

What I was alluding to, is simply that while we review how someone performed during a said month, make sure that you put that within context and realize that you can’t just judge a player on simply one month. A Prime case and point would be of Doug Fister and/or Josh Wilson. Both players have for the (most part) had an excellent August 2009. However, you simply cannot expect for this level of play to continue based upon past statistics as well as their mechanics, abilities and (lack of) tools. This isn’t a knock and it’s not to say it WON’T continue. Who knows they may continue to make adjustments to keep playing like this, I’m merely saying do not expect it to continue.

(I didn’t realize how big or long this post was so I broke it into two different parts, offensive and pitching grades)

 Monthly Stats (taken from non-other than Fangraphs)

Mike SweeneyDH8.90%11.80%0.830.390.5490.939
Adrian Beltre3B0.00%14.60%00.4050.4390.844
Ichiro SuzukiOF4.00%16.50%0.250.3660.4540.82
Josh Wilson3B/SS1.80%24.10%0.080.3210.5190.84
Ken Griffey Jr.DH12.30%24.60%0.570.3430.4740.817
Jose Lopez2B4.00%11.70%0.360.2970.4920.789
Russell Branyan1B8.90%40.20%0.240.2930.4410.734
Rob JohnsonC6.30%15.00%0.440.3130.3830.696
Franklin GutierrezOF8.00%27.80%0.310.3120.3390.651
Jack Hannahan3B13.40%21.10%0.730.3290.3240.653
Kenji JohjimaC6.00%25.50%0.250.2550.4040.659
Ryan LangerhansOF7.30%34.20%0.230.2440.3950.639
Michael SaundersOF8.30%31.80%0.290.3060.2880.593
Bill Hall3B/OF10.30%37.10%0.310.2930.3140.607
Jack WilsonSS4.50%20.30%0.230.2350.3280.563

Stats part 2

Mike SweeneyDH0.2161.40.34910.53.40.397
Adrian Beltre3B0.04940.4576.81.80.38
Ichiro SuzukiOF0.1133.80.39214.220.353
Josh Wilson3B/SS0.2222.70.3427.810.35
Ken Griffey Jr.DH0.2280.60.2569.21.10.348
Jose Lopez2B0.2332.30.25160.60.334
Russell Branyan1B0.2350.60.25912.9-10.318
Rob JohnsonC0.1171.20.36.5-1.20.307
Franklin GutierrezOF0.0874.70.33311.8-3.30.297
Jack Hannahan3B0.0991.30.2737.5-2.40.293
Kenji JohjimaC0.21320.1883.9-2.20.276
Ryan LangerhansOF0.2113.60.2173.3-1.90.275
Michael SaundersOF0.0456.20.3565.5-3.30.274
Bill Hall3B/OF0.0861.20.3642.5-2.50.257
Jack WilsonSS0.1253.90.243.7-4.60.248

Offensive Grades

 Mike Sweeney– I wanted to highlight Mike Sweeney and I put him first for reason. While he hasn’t been a good DH this year, his August was better late than never step. Batting .333 and wOBA of .397 (highest on the team) in 59 PA’s and posted a value of 3.4 wRAA.  While he may not have had a great August it was the best he has been this year. As I said previously you can judge someone based on one month or even 59 PA’s, but here’s to hoping that the first four months were merely a slump!  B+

Adrian Beltre– He only played in 9 games giving him 42 PA’s but he still put up some good numbers wOBA .380 – 2 doubles and 14 singles. Again not great, and I have feeling that he was just getting in a rhythm when he went down. Should he have played the whole month I think it would have been just the hot streak he needed to jump onto certain peoples radars. However, with another injury prone month I’ve got to think that his return to Seattle is becoming increasingly probable. B-

Ichiro Suzuki– Ichiro hit .392 BABIP this month. Would it surprise you that’s just barely above his season average (.389) the guy is amazing. His SBs are down and so are his triples so you may think this guy is losing speed, but according to his “speed-score”  he’s not to doing too bad (5.4) and with missing about 15 games this season he’s most likely going to fall below his season average (6.9) so it’s really hard to gauge.  Not to mention his increasing amount of infield singles that he has this year. B

(More information on speed-score by Bill James)

Josh Wilson– Okay I’ve now said this three times, but here it is… You can NOT judge someone based on limited statistical data. With that said Wilson put up crazy numbers 3 homers, 3 doubles, 8 RBIs and he even scored 8 runs with wOBA of .350, something thing that did get over looked is his 24.10% Strikeout percentage but lets keep that on the downlow… his BABIP was .342 and with a strike out percentage like that I’m surprised he had .296 BA. He had virtually no walks (1 BB/ 56 PA’s) and his defense was pretty average at best. C+

Ken Griffey Jr. – He had his first back-to-back home run games this year and threw up four home runs for the month despite slowing down because of his knees later in the month. Overall his ISO was tied for second with Jose Lopez and trailed only the mighty Russell Branyan. While he struck out more times than Josh Wilson (13-14 it was a close battle) Griffey also took 7 more walks than Wilson for a total of 8. He posted a respectable .358 despite hitting only .256 on BABIP. He didn’t have a great month, but just like Sweeney it was a better month. B+

Jose Lopez – Lopez was insane, he hit the ball and he hit it hard. I must say it may not have been the best offensive showing but it wasn’t bad. 6 homers, 10 doubles, a SB!, if it wasn’t for a poor BABIP of only .250 I think that he would have had an amazing August. He hit his first 400 foot home run of the year, scored a solid 14 runs and even took 5 BB for a wOBA of .334 If he would only do this the whole season instead of half of it he would be considered a great second basemen but his lack of consistency prevents him from breaking out. B+

Russell Branyan– He took 10BB in 102 PAs (8.9%BB), along with hitting 7 Home runs, and driving in 21 RBIs, it seems like just another awesome month for Russell the Muscle. His 41Ks does show some of that expected regression to the mean as far as hitting goes. I don’t know what to expect from him for September as I hear that he maybe out for the rest of the year. While that maybe hurts the Mariners in the short run it may scare off a few teams allow the Mariners to get him at a discounted price.   A-

Rob Johnson– He didn’t do any amazing. In fact he was a little bit under whelming after his vigorous July. However his wRAA showed him to be just below Russell Branyan, his 60 PAs and 1 Home run, and 4 BB has a lot to do with that I’d imagine. While he struck out 9 times, he still managed to post wOBA of .307 which is still better than his season average. C+

Franklin Gutierrez– He only had 2 home runs this month and had 32k’s in 126 PA’s, that means he is just like Branyan regressing to his mean, right? Maybe, I tend to give him a little bit more rope, since he took on again so many different hitting roles this month to include leading off in place of Ichiro. He had 10 BBs still managed a BABIP of .333 along with 6 xtrabase hits and he scored a team high 19 runs. He got caught stealing 4-6 attempts which is disappointing but happens. I imagine that he could be an alright lead off hitter with his speed and hitting ability. B-

Jack Hannahan– Jack KILLS ME!!! I love him, I’m weird but hey everyone has someone that they are for some reason in love with, that for me is Jack Hannahan. Seriously he hits .273 BABIP, somehow manages to get a .293 wOBA. But has a 11:15 BB/K ratio scores 6 runs and has a mildly effective month while posting 0 stats! I have to believe that his BABIP will eventually hit league average (.302) and with his ability to put the ball in play and draw walks should the Mariners not be able to retain Beltre, I would think that Hannahan along with Bill Hall and Matt Tuiasosopo will have an opportunity to start at 3rd base. C-

Kenji Johjima – 51 PA’s, 8 runs, 3:12 BB/KK ratio, BABIP of .188and end the month with a wOBA of .276. He wasn’t as bad as the numbers suggest, but I still gave him a  D-

Ryan Langerhans– Langerhans I started noticing got more playing time as the month wore on, I don’t know if it was because Wak thought Saunders needed a break or if he wanted to see more of Langerhans in left. While he had a couple of game winning home runs, he struck out quiet a bit (13 in 43PA’s) while only walking 3 times. We all like him, but he’s a 4th out fielder, nothing more. C-

Michael Saunders– Saunders first big league month should us he is an awesome defender, and for a man as tall as he is he’s pretty quick as he scored 8 runs. He also had some problems hitting the ball striking out 21 times, in 73 PAs. But, as I said previously give him about 100-150 plate appearances and he should start to come around. Spring Training should be very interesting for him and seeing what adjustment he’s made. I don’t expect any massive power surges but his gap power and plus speed should lead to something interesting. C-

Bill Hall– wOBA of only .257 you would have thought this experiement to be a failure. But, his versatility alone has made him a success story. While he has the talent hitting wise he seems to be seriously struggling at the plate. Striking out 12 times in 41 plate apperences but he also drew 4 walks which shows he has some patients. His BABIP .364 is encouraging; he has been hitting the ball hard we just have to get him to be more consistent. D-

Jack Wilson   Between injuries and trying to adapt to a new culture Jack Wilson has struggled emensley. I would expect him to improve in every single category his BABIP is only .240 which in 64 AB’s is troublesome and shows some bad luck. His defense has more than made up for his problems at the plate and should buy him sometime before people start clamering to give the other Wilson another shot. Ultimately I do believe he will be back next year, and I do expect to see some better offense from him. He has no where to go but up. D-


Pitching grades to follow tommorrow.