Baseball HQ: American League Facts and Flukes

by BaseballHQ.com on February 13, 2013 @ 14:16:58 PDT

 

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Opportunity knocks for Gomes ... BOS' recent acquisition of mercurial masher Jonny Gomes (OF, BOS) looked like merely a stop-gap until Ryan Kalish (OF, BOS) was deemed ready to take on a full-time role. But Kalish's recent shoulder surgery opens the door for Gomes:

Year   AB   BA    xBA    vR  bb%  ct%  Eye   h%   G/L/F    PX   xPX  hr/f  HR  
====  ===  ====  ====   ===  ===  ===  ====  ==  ========  ===  ===  ====  ==
2008* 261  .188  .203  .182   8   67   0.28  24  34/10/56  129  156  13%   9
2009* 412  .256  .270  .244   8   68   0.27  31  34/24/46  188  156  22%   28
2010  511  .266  .239  .257   7   76   0.32  32  29/21/50  113  125  9%    18
2011  311  .209  .219  .167   13  66   0.46  27  34/18/48  138  136  14%   14
2012  279  .262  .225  .209   14  63   0.42  35  31/19/50  171  159  20%   18
*includes MLEs

There's a reason Gomes has amassed over 400 ABs just once since 2007:

  • His struggles vR have kept him on the wrong side of platoons, including a lowly .715 OPS against them last year. Daniel Nava (RHB, BOS) (career .768 OPS vR) will likely eat into his playing time early on.
  • While his uppercut stroke boosts his hr/f%, it will also continue to threaten his h% consistency.
  • Atrocious ct% will almost certainly prevent any sort of BA revival, although rising bb% makes him an asset in OBP leagues.
  • However, power hasn't wavered over the years, which xPX confirms. Plus, playing homes games at Fenway Park (+6% RHB HR) is an upgrade over O.co Coliseum (-12% RHB HR).

Gomes will never admit it, but he has been and always will be a one-trick pony. But those HRs are still valuable - especially if he can reel off a few hot streaks over the course of the year. He's worth an end-game flyer given the playing time potential, but make sure to shield your eyes when balls hit off the Green Monster come his way.

Diamond needs some help to repeat ... To say Scott Diamond's (LHP, MIN) 2012 success was a surprise would be an understatement - he lost 19 games between Triple-A and a brief stint in the majors in 2011, with a 6.28 ERA. Then something clicked, he cut his Ctl in half and anchored the MIN rotation for the majority of 2012. However, the sustainability of his success depends on multiple factors.

Year    IP   ERA  xERA  Ctl  Dom  Cmd  hr/9   G/L/F    H%  S%  BPV
====   ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ===  ====  ========  ==  ==  === 
2009*  131  4.67  5.96  4.1  6.6  1.6  0.4   --------  39  74  50
2010*  159  4.17  4.73  3.2  5.9  1.8  0.4   --------  35  72  57
2011#  39   5.08  5.19  3.9  4.4  1.1  0.7   46/21/33  35  71  -3
2012#  173  3.54  3.99  1.6  4.7  2.9  0.9   53/21/26  30  74  72
*minors
#MLB-only

Based on his track record, a repeat doesn't look plausible:

  • His weak Dom became less of an issue when he started pounding the lower-half of the strike zone with accuracy.
  • Poor Ctl in previous seasons allowed hitters to wait on pitches to hit. In addition, any Ctl regression could wreak havoc on his ERA.
  • xERA confirms that he's barely a sub-4.00 ERA pitcher even with normal luck.

Diamond's skill set lends itself to polarizing results: either he maintains Ctl and gets lucky again, or a few more balls find holes (or the fences) and he's back in the minors by June. If you're the gambling type, though, it couldn't hurt to roll the dice if the price is right.

For definitions and benchmarks of BaseballHQ.com's most-used terms, see our Glossary Primer.

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