Jun
30

Why the Yanks can’t afford to lose Gardner

By

Brett Gardner was not in the lineup last night. He’d gone for x-rays after getting hit in the forearm on Sunday, but they came back negative. Gardner also reported feeling better, so this doesn’t seem too serious. The Yankees had better hope it’s not. Gardner has been a big part of the Yankees offense. At ESPN, Mark Simon and Katie Sharp break out the bullet points to illustrate exactly what Gardner has done for the team this year. It’s a good list, but they did miss one point: Gardner leads the AL in pitches seen per plate appearances with 4.55. Not bad for a guy who hits for no power.

Categories : Asides
  • Nick

    Chad Huffman was an abomination last night. Jesus Christ get well soon Brett.

  • mike c

    gardner would have saved runs in LF too last night, his defense has been a lifesaver at times this season

  • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

    Gardner is a borderline all-star. It doesn’t take a sabermetrician to know why the Yanks will miss him.

    • ChrisS

      If you had asked me last year, I’d say that was crazy talk. But I’d say that Gardner should be considered for the all-star game. He’s 19th in the AL (9th among OFers) in wOBA for godsakes.

      The people who were touting his ability to do adapt and improve the second season at each level were right.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Counterargument: He’s only 16th among AL outfielders in WAR. Although, counter-counterarguments, WAR includes UZR defense which is probably still too small a sample size and could be muddying the waters quite a bit (as Gardner’s actually getting docked for poor defense rather than credited for good defense) AND the gap between #8 and #18 isn’t really all that big, they’re all about equal more or less.

        Judge for yourself, or ignore altogether:

        Carl Crawford +4.0
        Josh Hamilton +3.6
        Alex Rios +3.2
        Ben Zobrist +2.9
        Shin-Soo Choo +2.9
        Ichiro Suzuki +2.8
        Vernon Wells +2.8
        Magglio Ordonez +2.5
        David DeJesus +2.5
        Austin Jackson +2.3
        Nick Swisher +2.3
        Denard Span +2.2
        J.D. Drew +2.1
        Torii Hunter +2.1
        Franklin Gutierrez +2.1
        Brett Gardner +2.0
        Jose Bautista +1.9
        Nick Markakis +1.7
        Johnny Damon +1.2
        B.J. Upton +1.1

        • Ed

          Although, counter-counterarguments, WAR includes UZR defense which is probably still too small a sample size and could be muddying the waters quite a bit

          WAR is meant to represent past value, it’s not a predictive tool. It’s closer to a counting stat than a rate stat. UZR should be included. Even if the small sample doesn’t present an accurate picture of a player’s true talent level, it does tell what they actually did in the period you’re looking at.

  • larryf

    and he never grounds out to short on the first pitch. Sorry Derek-I love ya buddy but…..

  • http://twitter.com/BrienJackson Brien Jackson

    Hey, if the Dodgers hate him so much, I’m sure Cashman could be persuaded to take Matt Kemp off their hands. He might even give up Montero.

    /half snark’d

  • Rose

    It’s a good list, but they did miss one point: Gardner leads the AL in pitches seen per plate appearances with 4.55. Not bad for a guy who hits for no power.

    I’ll never understand this. For quite a while he wasn’t seen as a good hitter either and this was still the case. You have a guy who, perceptually, is one of the worst hitters on the team…who just so happens to be incredibly fast – and you seemingly pitch around him, increasing his chances to get on base and run around at will. I’ll never understand it.

    You have his speed…where a walk can turn into a (imaginary) double with an almost guaranteed stolen base…with Derek Jeter, one of the best hitters of his generation hitting behind him (mostly). And you pitch around him.

    I mean, I’m happy this happens…I just have to say I don’t understand it haha.

    • Jose the Satirist

      A big part of the reason he has such a high pitch per plate appearance ratio is due to his ability to make contact with the ball. To start the season he went something like 45 PA without a swinging strikeout.

      He makes contact at a rate of 92.8%. That is top 5 in MLB. His zone contact is 98.5% (!!!!), which is highest in MLB.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        I don’t know where to find the stat, but I’d bet that Gardner is towards the top of the league in pitches fouled off.

        He’s got a great ability to hang in there and slap close pitches into the seats until he finds one he can put in play.

        • Jose the Satirist

          He’s no Luke Appling.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Who is?

            (3… 2… 1…)

    • keithr

      Just because he has a high p/pa doesn’t mean teams “pitch around him”. His zone contact % is 98.5% which is about 10% higher than average. His swing % is 31% which is 14% lower than average. To use a cliche, he makes the pitchers work.

      • Rose

        He has a .403 OBP this year which is outstanding and a .345 OBP the year before which isn’t that bad.

    • http://www.lessthismorethat.com/author/ddarrell Jamal G.

      Like what was said during the off-season in advocation for Brett Gardner as an everyday player, people give pitchers too much damn credit. The MLB average for first pitches that are actually thrown inside the zone (differs from first-pitch strike percentage because it properly excludes first pitches outside of the zone that the batter hacks at) is 44.6%. Yes, the majority of the time the average MLB pitcher will be behind the count to start a plate appearance.

      It’s not that they fear Gardner or anything of the sort, they just don’t have the ability to consistently throw the ball across the plate. Hell, the MLB average for pitches that are called ball is over 33% (36.5%, to be exact).

      Gardner combines excellent discipline and patience at the plate to take advantage of the average MLB pitcher, or a guy who just can not throw strikes whenever he wants to.

      • http://www.lessthismorethat.com/author/ddarrell Jamal G.

        Also, a good point was made by Keithr above about his contact skillls also lending a han in his ability to make pitchers work.

        I mean, I’m not going to pull an Eric Van and say he would be one of the five-to-seven most valuable players in MLB by 2011 as a center fielder, but he’s shown for quite some time at the MLB level that he is an above-average hitter. The last time I checked, he was hitting .295/.365/.400 (I don’t remember exactly, but the OBP and SLG might be a thousandth or two off in either direction) in the 614 plate appearances since his second call-up in August 2008.

        • http://www.lessthismorethat.com/author/ddarrell Jamal G.

          Yeah, he is hitting .295/.371/.400 with 58 steals in 69 tries in the 632 PA’s since his second call-up on 8/15/08.

  • A.D.

    Gardner has been terrific with the bat, but even if that weren’t as good the D is always there, definitely would have had that double that Huffman dove for and missed.

  • Bret

    It will be interesting to see what happens with the outfield in the offseason. All the noise was being made about Carl Crawford but I don’t see how the Yankees do that with 144 mill committed, Jeter and Rivera reups, all the arb eligible guys and the need for a starting pitcher and DH at minimum.

    That was part of why I thought the Granderson trade was so dumb. They could have let Ajax play for a year to see if he could handle it and applied the 6 mill this year and 8 mill next year to Carl Crawford if he couldn’t and traded him for a pitcher or something else this offseason if he couldn’t.

    • http://twitter.com/BrienJackson Brien Jackson

      Why would you want to pay big money for an aging-speed based left-fielder with limited power anyway?

      • Bret

        Granderson is older than Crawford. The choice would have been between the two of them.

        • ZZ

          Crawford will also cost probably more than twice as much as Granderson and doesn’t play CF.

        • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

          5 months older

        • http://twitter.com/BrienJackson Brien Jackson

          Granderson has two more years on his contract at a relatively low price. And he plays in the middle.

    • Tampa Yankee

      They could have let Ajax play for a year to see if he could handle it

      (sighs)

      Austin Jackson by month: http://www.baseball-reference......;t=b#month

      You see that? He’s gone progressively worse each month. If he was doing that for NY, you’d be saying the guy is NOT ready and bashing the FO for “rushing” him. But since most people only seem to remember his Apr/Mar hot start (which was inflated by an unsustainable BABIP) and Granderson’s terrible start, and then he is hitting .310 to Granderson’s .237, they scream that the FO messed up that trade. The true story is that they are both around 105 OPS+ right now and it looks like Jackson and Granderson are going different directions. You always make that trade. Plus the FO didn’t go after Holliday or resign Damon because Crawford was on the market next year, they didn’t go after them because Cliff Lee was on the market next year and wanted to save the $ for him.

      • Bret

        Jackson has been healthier, as good offensively and as good or better defensively. He is younger, will get better as he reaches his prime. Granderson will get worse as the train leaves the station from his prime, plus Granderson will be making 24 million (09-11) while Jackson would have cost around 2-3 million. No way that deal can be justified, especially when you consider the Yanks gave up their best left hander out of the bullpen and a solid potential pitching prospect who is throwing quite will at the moment.

        • ZZ

          Jackson does not hit for nearly enough power to be starting for the Yankees, especially when you consider that the Yankees also have Gardner out there.

          That little power in the OF was never and is never going to happen.

          He has 1 HR the entire season.

        • DF

          But Jackson is probably not done dropping yet. I was a big Ajax doubter, so perhaps I’m being too harsh, but Jackson seems to have proven at this point that he strikes a lot and has very little pop. His BABIP is going to keep going down. By the end of the year, I just dont see Ajax being a productive major leaguer, and over his career I don’t think he’ll approach Granderson levels of production, even over the next five years during C-Grand’s decline phase.

        • Thomas

          Actually, Jackson has been essentially average defensively (1 run above) and Granderson has been above average (7 runs above in fewer games).

          This also gives Granderson a higher WAR than Jackson (1.6 to 1.4) despite playing 16 fewer games.

          • Jose the Satirist

            Total Zone isn’t as good as UZR. UZR shows Granderson at 4.4 and Jackson at 6.8, you could argue in the small sample thus far that Jackson has been better defensively. That would produce a WAR of 1.4 for Granderson and 2.3 for Jackson.

            • Thomas

              Is it? I really don’t know. Granderson’s Total Zone hasn’t fluctuated like his UZR (though he is the only player I’ve looked at).

              The truth is I was on B-Ref and was to lazy to switch to fangraphs (I usually use UZR).

              • Jose the Satirist

                I could be wrong but my understanding is use UZR if it is available. Use Total Zone for looking at more historical players. Eventually Field f/x and Hit f/x will make both obsolete.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  OTH, most of the RABbis seem to prefer DRS over UZR, FWIW.

                  (Acronyms FTW!)

        • Tampa Yankee

          Jackson has been healthier, as good offensively and as good or better defensively.

          Like I just showed you, his numbers are inflated by an unsustainable BABIP. Also, see JGS’s comment below for more info.

          He is younger, will get better as he reaches his prime.
          His ceiling is that of Granderson, so I’ll take the known commodity over someone who “could” be as good as know commodity.

          Granderson will get worse as the train leaves the station from his prime,

          Says you.

          plus Granderson will be making 24 million (09-11) while Jackson would have cost around 2-3 million.
          But having Gardner playing the way he has saves us from spending $13-$15M/yr on Crawford, so it’s a net win for NY

          No way that deal can be justified, especially when you consider the Yanks gave up their best left hander out of the bullpen

          You are joking right? Phil Coke =/= best LHP in our pen.

          and a solid potential pitching prospect who is throwing quite will at the moment.

          IPK has been throwing well but he obviously did not have a future will this org so they moved him. I am not upset about that.

          • Tampa Yankee

            Wait, let me guess… he are all homers?

            http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ent-944144

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              We’re homer-optimists.

              Homptimists.

          • Ross in Jersey

            Credibility was lost when “Phil Coke” and “best” were used in a sentence that didn’t contain the phrase “at giving up home runs”.

            • rek4gehrig

              LOL…too darn funny

          • Mike HC

            I don’t even think that Granderson is his ceiling. I don’t think he has the potential to ever hit for that much power. That is why the Yanks made the move. They knew what they had in Jackson. Short of him having an offseason where he shows up with 30 more pounds of muscle, what you see is what you are going to get from Jax.

          • Thomas

            Interesting thing about Phil Coke, he has had much better results for the Tigers despite overall pitching worse.

            He has a worse K rate, BB rate, and WHIP (he has had a higher BABIP, now at about .300 compared to last years .220). His LD%, GB%, and IFF% are all about the same as last year.

            Coke’s only improvements are his much lower strand rate (61% last year, 75% this year) and giving up fewer HRs (1.5 per 9 last year, .28 per 9 this year) caused by a lower HR/FB rate of 2.4% (13.4% last year).

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Coke’s only improvements are his much higher strand rate (61% last year, 75% this year) and giving up fewer HRs (1.5 per 9 last year, .28 per 9 this year) caused by a lower HR/FB rate of 2.4% (13.4% last year).

              And those rates are fairly unsustainable, which I would have expecte Bret the Champion of Regression to the Mean to jump all over.

              • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

                I mean, moving to Detroit from NYS will drop the HR/FB, and fewer home runs means his strand rate will go up a bit as well, but 2.4% still seems a bit low

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  League average is usually right around 10%.

                  CHoP’s 2010 HR/FB rate is sitting right around 20%, the unlucky bastard.

            • Bret

              Who was the Yankees best left hander out of the pen last year? I’ll be glad to be wrong.

              He appeared in 72 games and had a 4.5 ERA in the AL East. That is very respectable. I’m not saying he is Sandy Koufax but certainly a valuable commodity in today’s specialized game. Girardi was much more willing to go to him than he is to go to Marte this year.

              As far as Jackson regressing, that is possible. But most players improve through age 27-28 then gradually get worse. I like the odds on Jackson the next 2.5 years versus Granderson who has been on a steady decline since 2007.

              • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

                Being better than Marte (the only other lefty to throw more than 4 innings) and his 9.45 ERA doesn’t mean Coke was good, or that we should regret trading him.

                4.50 for a reliever is lousy–it means you give up a run every two innings. Why on earth would I ever bring that guy into a close game?

                Why don’t we see Jackson’s numbers at the end of the year before making pronouncements like that

                • Bret

                  4.5 is not lousy, it is average. The Yankees gave up 4.64 runs per game last year so he was better than average for them. Plus he was durable.

                  That isn’t the reason that the trade should or shouldn’t have been made it is just an additional bonus for the Tigers on top of an already wonderful deal for them.

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    4.5 is not lousy, it is average.

                    It’s average for a starter. For a reliever, it’s suboptimal.

                  • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

                    “Average” includes guys like Anthony Claggett and Radhames Liz.

                    By the time the playoffs came around, every one of their relievers either was decently above average, or had a track record of success. Except Coke.

              • Mike HC

                Just out of curiosity, are you a Yankee fan? Or a fan of another team?

                You make plenty of fine points, but the way I always see it, even if everything you predict comes true (looking at everything negatively), and even if the Yanks got the short end of the stick on that ajax trade, this is still the best team in baseball.

                Last year, the Yanks got completely nothing out of Wang, our expected number two, Joba completely imploded at the end of the year, ARod missed a month and half of the season, Melky was our everyday centerfielder and we still won the WS.

                • Bret

                  You know you hit the nail on the head. The reason I don’t like the Yankees are because they make lots of dumb moves but aren’t punished in the standings. I just don’t think it takes that much mental aptitude to realize CC Sabathia is good at baseball and give him 150% what any other team would or Texieria or Arod (200 % in his case).

                  I thought the Swisher/Chi Sox move was smart. Otherwise I’m hard pressed to come up with a non-outbidding decision that I agreed with in the last 5-7 years yet the Yankees make the playoffs year after year. It just seems to me smart teams should win and dumb teams should lose but the Yankees payroll completely distorts that correlation. Of course the fans ignore these decisions because they win then take the step of saying what a smart run team they are because they win. That isn’t it.

                  • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

                    They got 7.7 WAR in Abreu and Lidle (would have been better, but not signiicantly so, if not for Lidle’s tragic death) for CJ Henry. CJ Henry!

                    • ChrisS

                      Which was a great trade, but the big thing that the Yankees traded was $20-something million in salary relief for a 32-yo hitter that hadn’t looked the same. Philly wanted nothing more to do with that for whatever reason. Cashman was able to absorb salary and fill a hole.

                      No other team was willing to eat the salary, so Cashman essentially said, we’ll give you these guys and you’ll be happy, right? All in all, Abreu provided the Yankees with the same amount of value that he would have if they had picked up as a free agent. The Phillies needed the spare cash, the Yankees needed a RFer. Not exactly a real steal. Good pick-up, just not a stunner.

                  • Tampa Yankee

                    Of course the fans ignore these decisions because they win then take the step of saying what a smart run team they are because they win. That isn’t it. they are homers.

                    FTFY!

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    I just don’t think it takes that much mental aptitude to realize CC Sabathia is good at baseball and give him 150% what any other team would or Texieria or Arod (200 % in his case)… It just seems to me smart teams should win and dumb teams should lose but the Yankees payroll completely distorts that correlation.

                    Utterly false and totally batshit insane.

                    The Yankees aren’t a dumb team, they’re a smart one. Why? Because they’re smart enough to recognize that they have a massive strategical advantage over other teams and use it to build perennial championship contenders that bring in massive amounts of money, thus renewing and reinforcing that same strategic advantage.

                    That advantage is precisly the ability to overpay and outbid teams for any player they want; the ability to pay CC Sabathia 150% of what anyone else would or ARod/Tex 200% over what anyone else would (and those numbers are 100% bullshit, BTW; we’re paying all three of them more like 110-120% of what anyone else would, but whatevs, let’s play your little ridiculous game).

                    A dumb team would be one that has that ability but DOESN’T use it. Like the Mets, who for years had the capacity to go overslot in the draft but went along with Selig’s slotting system out of stupid unrewarded loyalty to the commissioners office and cost themselves oodles of premium talent in the process.

                    If you truly think the Yankees are a non-smart baseball team and their success undermines what the natural order of baseball should be (that non-smart teams should lose), you literally know nothing about… well, about anything.

                  • Mike HC

                    The Yanks do have an advantage when it comes to money, but there are always 3-4 teams who have almost as high of a payroll as the Yanks, so not every team is at such a disadvantage. And the Mets play 10 minutes away and have access to all the same resources and advantages that the Yanks have.

                    Jeter, Cano, Jorge, Granderson (since he was traded for using our homegrown pieces), Pettitte, Mo, Gardner, Swisher (the only move you gave us credit for), Hughes, and Joba are all homegrown players or acquired with home grown players. That is a large portion of the team and directly related to Yankees management skill and scouting. And the Yanks smartly use their financial advantage to sign the very best players in baseball, CC, Tex, ARod, and not overpay for mediocre ones.

                    It is a smartly run team who also has a monetary advantage. I love it.

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      It is a smartly run team who also has a monetary advantage. I love it.

                      Brian Cashman was selected as Major League Baseball Executive of the Year for 2009 by the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

                      By the BOSTON chapter. Even Red Sox Nation thinks he’s smart.

                    • Tampa Yankee

                      ARod was acquired for homegrown pieces as well. A homegrown piece that was actually 2 yrs older than he said he was. AND they got Texas to pick up a good portion of his salary as well. Resigning him to that massive 2nd contract may not have been the smartest but that is more on Hank than the rest of the FO.

                    • ChrisS

                      Granderson (since he was traded for using our homegrown pieces)

                      And salary relief. Detroit isn’t exactly rolling in cash these days.

                      Good move by Cashman, though. Recognizing an opportunity and moving his young kids for a talanted (yet apparently damaged) player and greasing the skids with some Yankee Dough ™.

                  • Rose

                    Bret,

                    Please read this article on WHY THE YANKEES ARE THE #1 ORGANIZATION IN BASEBALL. It’s all right there for your eyes to see.

                    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....k-yankees/

                    • Rose

                      The best line is:

                      This isn’t to say the Yankees haven’t earned their championships. The Mets have access to the same media market and spend money like drunken sailors

                  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                    All I heard was

                    I don’t like the Yankees

                    Gotcha. And, thought as much.

                    • Bret

                      No I’m not a Yankee fan but I’m willing to admire and respect good moves. The 96-00 Yankees built the team from within and were smartly run.

                      The current Yankees are overpaying players extreme above market value (Sabathia was offered 120 mill by the Dodgers so is 133% overpaid, Arod shouldn’t be making 30 mill til he is 42, Jeter is making more than he is worth or would get on the open market, Posada same thing, Burnett same thing and on it goes).

                      If you develop your own player and then when he becomes a free agent give him 1.5 market, that kind of defeats the purpose of development. I hated the Vazquez deal and still do, hated the Granderson deal and still do, hated the Marte/Tabata deal and still do – everything else is pretty much a free agent signing – if I am missing a move other than Swisher I will be glad to admit it but every major trade save Swisher that Cashman has made I have not liked.

                    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                      It’s totally confusing that you’re not a Yankee fan but you spend a ton of time here and get into frequent debates with the locals and complain about homerism to the writers of this site. But, whatevs.

                      Anyway, the 1996-2000 Yankees had an advantage in that the Yankees of the early 90s were bad so they got to draft a lot earlier. Even then, they got lucky in that the five/six teams above them in the draft where they got Jeter, didn’t draft Jeter. Pettitte and Posada were like a 22nd round picks, and then Seattle wanted Sterling Hitchcock and different prospects in the Tino deal instead of Pettitte and Posada.

                      A lot of it is luck, and as much as I was positive about Gardner, an infield of Gardner/Jackson/Swisher for 2010 wouldn’t have inspired much confidence. You simply seem to think that homegrown = great!!! and not homegrown = bad!!! It’s not that easy.

                  • rek4gehrig

                    Player Queen:
                    Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
                    If once I be a widow, ever I be a wife!
                    Player King:
                    ‘Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here a while,
                    My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
                    The tedious day with sleep.
                    Player Queen:
                    Sleep rock thy brain,
                    And never come mischance between us twain!
                    Hamlet:
                    Madam, how like you this play?
                    Queen:
                    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

                  • rek4gehrig

                    Bret,
                    Look what I found on the Red Sox Board

                    “Before I went to bed last night, I saw the espn ticker say that the dodgers were beating the yankees 6-2 in the 9th. I went to bed smiling. With Broxton who is one of the best closers in the majors with his under 1 ERA, I already marked this game as a yankees loss but then I see the yankees won last night this morning. Are you kidding me? I am s!ck and tired of seeing teams fold to the yankees just because they are the yankees. “

          • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

            Well, Phil Coke was the best lefty out of the pen in 2009. Then again, here is the competition (b-ref WAR):

            Phil Coke: -0.4
            Damaso Marte: -0.7
            Mike Dunn: 0.0 (only pitched 4 innings though)

            Yes, he was the best lefty out of the pen, but come on.

      • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

        Fun fact: Ajax’s BABIP, despite the .612 June OPS bringing his total OPS+ down to 105 (Granderson’s is 104), is still a Major League leading .426–he is going to continue dropping.

        • Bret

          The fact of the matter is that if Granderson and Jackson provide similar production over the three years (I meant 10-12, not 09-11 in the earlier comment), Detroit destroys NYY on the trade. They save a ton of money, get a left hander out of the bullpen and lose nothing.

          Granderson will have to outperform Jackson by a large margin for the Yankees to break even, right now considering overall health and performance halfway through the year Jackson is ahead.

          • DF

            Doesn’t looking at those month-by-month splits from Ajax give you some pause making a statement like that? Maybe Jackson is ahead now; give him another 2 months and it’s doubtful that will still be true.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            I find it hilarious that you’re 100% dead set locked on the statistical guarantee fait accompli that Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner are playing over their head and will regress to a mean, but you think that Austin Jackson can more or less sustain his current pace.

            You must actually enjoy contradicting yourself. It’s a personal passion of yours, isn’t it?

            • Bret

              I think Jackson can be a .750 OPS guy who plays good d. I think Granderson is about the same – just with a lower on base average and higher slugging. Jackson’s OPS in AAA last year was about that – Gardner is well over his minor league OPS.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                Thanks for not responding to my statement at all.

                Smashing.

              • Rose

                I think Jackson can be a .750 OPS guy who plays good d.

                What good does this do for anyone?

                I think Granderson is about the same – just with a lower on base average and higher slugging.

                Same as before. I could easily say “Well I think that you’re wrong.” and then what happens? Besides an entire waste of time…

                Jackson’s OPS in AAA last year was about that – Gardner is well over his minor league OPS.

                At least you’re attempting to use some form of information now. But what’s your point? You’re comparing one recent year of Austin Jackson in AAA and his less than half a season in the Majors to Brett Gardner’s entire minor league OPS over 5 seasons and his less than half a season this year. You’ve omitted the other 4 years of Austin Jackson’s minor league years and the 3 seasons (off and on) of major league work Gardner has put in. No?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  Same as before. I could easily say “Well I think that you’re wrong.” and then what happens? Besides an entire waste of time…

                  Instead of just saying “I think you’re wrong”, you could show him that he’s wrong by pointing out that Curtis Granderson’s career OPS is .823, which is far different than .750.

                  But yeah, you’re right, it’s a waste of time. Bret’s like a brick wall.

                  • Rose

                    I didn’t even know he was talking about Granderson…thought he was just comparing Gardner and Jackson…

                    But yeah, either way.

                • Bret

                  Jackson’s overall minor league OPS was fine. He isn’t significantly above or below it right now, Gardner is.

                  Granderson had a .780 OPS last year and has been declining steadily and is past the age where most players improve. Obviously it takes some projecting with young players but I don’t think I’m pulling numbers out of thin air.

                  • Rose

                    First of all, why are you harping on OPS? He’s not a slugger. His slugging % will (probably) always be low. Secondly, he’s made adjustments to his approach and his OBP has gone up every year consistently. His OPS can say anything…as long as he’s doing his job – and he is.

          • http://www.lessthismorethat.com/author/ddarrell Jamal G.

            As much of a Gardner fanboy as I am, building a championship contender with the unproven likes of Gardner and Austin Jackson as two-thirds of your outfield is ridiculous. By fWAR (and B-Pro’s baserunning value), they traded for virtually the best center fielder in baseball entering 2010 (Grady Sizemore was right there with him from 2007 to 2009). You can’t call that move “dumb” for New York.

        • Jose the Satirist

          Who would’ve guessed that a .530 BABIP through 109 PA would eventually drop?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Fun Fact: On May 3rd, Austin Jackson was thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisclose to being on a pace to OPS over 1.000 and walk fewer than 50 times total.

            Humorous juxtaposition FTW.

        • Ross in Jersey

          Another fun fact: Jackson currently has more strikeouts (76) than Ryan Howard (74).

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Another fun fact: Austin Jackson’s BB/K rate of 0.23 is third worst in the big leagues. Only Adam Jones and Carlos Gonzalez have a worse ratio of walks to strikeouts.

            • Rose

              Adam Jones is a large part of why my fantasy team is “cursed” this year. Certainly not the only part though. I hope he gets caught in traffic on his way home from games for the rest of his career!

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                Eric Davis Jr. has really disappointed me this year. I had high hopes for him.

                • Rose

                  I embellished the “large” part for effect lol

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    (re-reads)

                    Actually, it looks like you embellished the “cursed” part for effect. But, whatevs.

                    • Rose

                      I embellished the whole thing. I’m certainly not losing sleep over the ordeal.

      • Mike HC

        Jackson is who we thought he was. Good average, good D, poor eye, no power. Granderson is a power hitting centerfielder. Those are the unique guys, those are the guys you trade for and those are the guys that win games.

        The Yanks would make that same trade again right now if they had to do it all over again. Kennedy would not even have a spot on the team really. Maybe as a one inning bullpen guy and he really does not have the stuff for even that.

  • ZZ

    One of the biggest differences between Gardner this year and Gardner last year is his Infield Fly Ball Percentage.

    An infield fly for a guy like Gardner is an absolute waste, because of his speed.

    In 2009 it was 14.9%. This year it is all the way down to 5.2%.

    It is mostly a product of his newly revamped swing. Like I have said many times on this board Gardner is legit.

    He will finish the year with a greater AVG, OBP, and SLG than Austin Jackson.

  • Tom Swift

    As I recall, he was a walk on in college, and has been underestimated every step of the way since. He has a track record of improving at every level, which suggests that he really understands what he is doing out there. Even though he has no power, this is an outstanding athlete.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      What a hustling, gritty, grinder gamer.

      It’s a shame Gardner’s not on the Red Sox, he’d be the greatest player in MLB history already. Peter Gammons would have sprained a jaw muscle talking about him so much.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        John Hart says he a quick comer.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          That’s nasty.

    • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

      Gardner hit two 400-footers this year. That’s two more than Pedroia has hit in his career.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Each of those 400 footers is like 100 Dustin Pedroias laid end-to-end.

    • Tampa Yankee

      As I recall, he was a walk on in college, and has been underestimated every step of the way since. He has a track record of improving at every level, which suggests that he really understands what he is doing out there.

      For a while there I thought you were talking about Daniel Nava then you said…

      Even though he has no power

      and I knew you were referring to Gardner because we all know Daniel Nava is clearly on the same level as Berkman, Helton, Utley and Youk since they all “played” in the Cape… http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....8;c_id=mlb

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        Who weighs 105 lbs. in high school and gets invited to play in the Cape Cod League?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          To be fair, 87 pounds of that was pure heart.

          • Ross in Jersey

            The rest was grit.

        • Tampa Yankee

          Was Nava really 70 pounds as a ninth-grader in the Bay Area?

          “I was,” said Nava. “I really was. I was really small. I didn’t grow until sophomore year of college. I really was 70 pounds. I couldn’t go on the rides at the theme parks, I was so small.”

          Could that kid have ever dreamed of starting for the Red Sox and standing in front of the historic Green Monster?

          “That kid could barely swing a 32-inch bat, so I don’t think he was thinking about the big leagues or anything like that,” Nava said. “It’s been a fun run, that’s for sure.”

          Something happened along the way. Nava’s body started to fill out — he is listed at 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds in the media guide — and he never stopped working.

          I think we all know what “happened”
          http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....8;c_id=mlb

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        It’s almost as if he doesn’t know that the stuff he writes is publicly available for non-Red Sox fans to see.

  • ZZ

    Brett Gardner’s OPS right now is 50 points higher than future superstar CF/centerpiece trade chip for Adrian Gonzalez Jacoby Ellsbury’s was last year.

    • Ross in Jersey

      No way, Tacoby Bellsbury is untradeable. A-Gon was supposed to come to the Red Sox for Manny Delcarmen, 2 unnamed AAA pitchers (they’re from the Red Sox and Gammons swears they’re future aces) and the goatee of Kevin Youkilis.

      • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Dude, I don’t think the Sox would really entertain trading away The Beard of Truth.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          I was gonna say, no way, that goatee is way too valuable.