Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Player Power Rankings - Who's Up, Who's Down and What's What.

What's This? It's a ranking of the Blue Jays' players, which includes those who have suited up for the team so far. And maybe a minor-leaguer, if the mood strikes us. We have no rules, only whims to guide us.

Why? Because everybody loves power rankings. Also, people love to tell us that we're wrong, so there's nothing quite like some improvised rankings to provide you with the fuel you need.

How Do You Rank Them? However we please, though we'll look at the Fangraphs version of WAR, weighted runs created plus (wRC+), Win Probability Added. Since it is early in the season, we'll grab whatever seems to make sense at this point. We'll jumble it up, get an impression and lay it out there to see if it hangs together.

Are You a Big Dummy? Don't You Know That (Fill In Stat Here) Means Nothing With This Small Sample Size? Hey, we're just trying to have some fun. If you'd like, we can wait until the season is over before we blog again, so as to ensure that there is a sufficient sample on which to comment. But failing that, these are the Player Power Rankings. Proceed at your own risk.

And here we go!

1. Edwin Encarnacion - Leads team with wRC+ of 150, slugging .565, Four HRs. Doesn't contribute a ton with the glove, though he has looked good at 1B so far. Hits everything hard.

2. Kelly Johnson -Leads team in fWAR (0.7). Impressive 18.1% walk rate. Has looked surprisingly good in the field.

3. Luis Perez - Has yet to allow a run in seven games and 11.1 innings of work. 9.53 K/9. Might have been lucky with .167 BABIP so far.

4. Ricky Romero - Leads pitchers in fWAR (0.5). Has bounced back nicely since his first inning against Cleveland. Low K/9 (5.93) is a concern.

5. José Bautista - You worried? Don't lose too much sleep. Yes, he's been chasing some bad pitches and swinging through some good pitches, but still rocks a .378 OBP, best among regulars. Expect that to go up, too.

6. Kyle Drabek - Advanced stats don't like his performance as much as the standard metrics (2.00 ERA versus 4.37 FIP), but he's still posted the best strikeout rate among the starters.

7. Darren Oliver - Only five innings so far, and got lost in the bullpen shuffle for the better part of a week, but has struck out a batter per inning and given up just one run.

8. Colby Rasmus - Isn't walking enough, but is hitting the ball hard. Isolated power of .224 so far is equal to Johnson's.

9. Brett Lawrie - Low slugging percentage is a concern, and baserunning blunders add up, but still has a knack for coming around to score. 0.6 fWAR is tied for second on the team. Has looked good with the glove.

10.  Jeff Mathis - wRC+ of 264! Slugging .900! Oh come on. Just let him have this moment. When's the next time he's in the top 10? 

11. Henderson Alvarez - His last outing was lousy, and he (like all the starters) isn't striking enough batters out. But two of three starts were pretty good.

12. Casey Janssen - Victimized by the home run so far, but a K/BB rate of 7.00 augurs well for future success.

13. Yunel Escobar - Isn't quite on track yet, and is as streaky a hitter as the Jays have. His win probability added still sits in the negative side of the ledger.

14. Brandon Morrow - Where have the strikeouts gone? 4.05 K/9 rate is troubling.

15.  J.P. Arencibia - Far fewer donuts in his stat lines lately. Still carries highest strikeout rate and lowest walk rate among regulars.

16. Rajai Davis - Has been less than awful in spot duty. Tied for team lead in steals with three in limited duty.

17. Francisco Cordero - Has been neither great nor awful to this point. Hard to read too much into his .360 BABIP this early in the season.

18. Ben Francisco - For a guy who rarely steps out of the dugout's shadow, has had some decent at bats.

19.  Jason Frasor- Still infuriatingly slow on the mound. Has the highest K/9 rate among Jays pitchers (12.79), but that's offset by a 7.11 BB/9.

20. Travis Snider - Sure, it's the Pacific Coast League. But he's still killing it, with a 1.200 OPS. If nothing else, he's jacking up his own trade value.

21. The entire Lansing Lugnuts roster - 14-4 in the Midwest League, with some great individual performances.

22.  The entire Dunedin Blue Jays roster - If we're going down that road, might as well point out that the high-A team is 14-3 in the Florida State League.

23. Sergio Santos - Got off to a terrible start and is now hurt, but last few outings were better, and his slider is getting swings and misses.

24. Drew Hutchinson - His first four innings of work were pretty stellar, and he made some nice pitches on the Royals' better hitters.

25. Joel Carreno - His one start wasn't as bad as Carlos Santana made it look. Probably got lost in some bad timing, or else he would have been recalled to make Hutch's start.

26. Adam Lind - Still sporting a sub-.700 OPS. Why he gets at bats in the cleanup spot is a mystery to us. 

27. Evan Crawford - Still has yet to give up an earned run, but his line of three walks versus one strikeout in two innings isn't great.

28. Carlos Villanueva - Sat on the shelf for too long and has walked everyone and your grandma so far this year (8.53 BB/9).

29. Omar Vizquel -Still looks thrilled to be there. His bunting skills are probably lost on us.

30. Eric Thames - Yes, we're probably stretching this to make a point. Lowest WPA (-0.33) on the team. In spite of Spring Training stories about his work in the field, has been as bad as last year. Slugging .300. His facial hair is annoying.


Anonymous said...

Any idea when the last time is that a starting pitcher has seen their K rate drop 60% over one season? I like the results, but Morrow should be striking out at least 6 per 9.

mike in boston said...

hey Tao - assuming roughly similar performances by both Snider and Thames going forward, how many games until you call Snider up to replace Thames as the everyday left fielder?

I'm inclined to say 40.

Chaosbeard said...

The issue with Snider is he's out of options. If they call him up and he struggles they can't send him back to LV without him clearing waivers.
Don't think the Jays are ready to take that risk yet.

Anonymous said...

Actually, he can be called up and sent down as many times as they want this year - him being out of options just means that this is the last season they can move him up and down without going through waivers...

the bigger issue with Snider is that he's yo-yo'd up and down too much, and they are determined to not bring him up until they are thoroughly convinced that there is absolutely nothing for him to learn in AAA, and then it's sink-or-swim time for really reals...

Anonymous said...

Please, no need to critique the "really reals" - I regretted it the moment I hit "publish this comment"...guess that's why I went with "anonymous"

Dibble Dabbler said...

I love that Tao finds Thames' facial hair annoying. As the last sentence of the article it is the main message I will take away.

Dewey said...

hey tao,

those strikeout numbers sure are troubling, when was the last time a playoff rotation had a combined k/9 that was THAT low...

ps. I'm biding my time in the hoe-down... prepare to fall!!


Chad said...

I thought the Thames facial hair was universally beloved.

Anonymous said...

Snider is hurt again.

2013 of: Rasmus in left, Gose in center, Bautista in right. Snider/Thames continue to struggle.