07 November 2011

Free Agents - Third Base

This is the fourth of a series of posts on free agents.

C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | LF | CF | RF | DH | SP | RHRP | LHRP

Nick Punto might be an option.
If Mark Reynolds is vacating the hot corner, the team will need to replace him.  In this post, we will look at available free agent options and who the Orioles have internally.

For the purpose of this post, we are using the following groupings:
Elite: Greater than 4.5 WAR / 600 PA
Good: 3.5 to 4.5 WAR / 600 PA
Above Average: 2.5 to 3.5 WAR / 600 PA
Average: 1.5 to 2.5 WAR / 600 PA
Poor Starter: 0.75 to 1.5 WAR / 600 PA
Backup: Below 0.75 WAR / 600 PA
No one below a projected 0.75 WAR should be offered anything more than a minor league contract with an invite to training camp.  The values were calculated by weighting performance of the past three seasons normalized each year to 600 PA.  This ranking does not consider injury status which will likely affect some players.

Good (3.5 to 4.5 WAR / 600 PA)
Nick Punto (4.2)
This projection surprised me.  Defensively, Punto looks very good at third.  Just as with second base, his 2011 year at the plate also inflated his value.  Otherwise, he would be sitting around a WAR of 2.
Aramis Ramirez (4.2)
Ramirez' bat still looks strong.  At 34, he has a high probability of a precipitous decline offensively and he has never been a good defender at third.  He is likely to be the most sought after third baseman on the market.

Above Average (2.5 to 3.5 WAR / 600 PA)
Casey Blake (3.4)
Blake's shoulder injury and his age puts 2012 into question.  When healthy, he is a solid option at third base.
Wilson Betemit (3.0)
Betemit is a poor defender at third base, but he has put together two good campaigns at the plate these last couple seasons.
Mark Reynolds (2.9)
If Reynolds is merely bad defensively at third base instead of being gut wrenchingly awful, then he would be very good option there.

Average (1.5 to 2.5 WAR / 600 PA)
Kevin Kouzmanoff (1.7)
Kouzmanoff was always more glove than bat, but his offense has progressively disappeared over the past couple seasons.

Poor Starter (0.75 to 1.5 WAR / 600 PA)
Robert Andino (1.4)
Andino's defense plays better at third base than second base.  Still, Andino at third means you have exceptional offense elsewhere on the team.
Eric Chavez (1.3)
A bad back might prevent Chavez to get anywhere near 600 PA.
Jerry Hairston Jr. (1.1)
Hairston is passable at third due to his bat.  His glove is awful.

The Rest (less than 0.75 WAR / 600 PA)
Jose Lopez (0.7), Andy LaRoche (0.7), Craig Counsell (0.5), Greg Dobbs (0.4), Mark DeRosa (0.3), Omar Vizquel (0.2), Felipe Lopez (0.2), Chris Davis (0.0), Jorge Cantu (-0.9), and Josh Bell (-3.0).


Anonymous said...

"Nick Punto (4.2)
This projection surprised me."

Gobsmacked. Flabbergasted.

Here's a tip - if your system projects a 33 year-old to provide more value next year than he has in his 3 previous seasons combined, you might want to reexamine your system.

It looks like you've taken Punto's fluke 2011 part-time performance and extrapolated it to 600 PAs with no regression to the mean or decline due to aging. God help us all if Duquette took something like this seriously...

Anonymous said...

As I explained, this is a weighted projection system and Punto's number is due to his good year at the plate last year.

A projection system is not supposed to ne perfect, but offer a rough idea.

The key is to use common sense and never let one tool rule your thinking.


Anonymous said...

Pretty funny on Reynolds. He'll do well once he gets off his high horse and actually tries to make more contact, swing at more strikes, catch the ball....

Anonymous said...

FYI - that pic looks like David Freese playing third, not Nick Punto.

Jon Shepherd said...

Oh yeah, it's Freese? Eh, maybe that is for the best.