Who is really the best baseball team in the majors? I honestly don't know but I try to figure that out by using basic and advanced statistics. I live for talking about baseball, it's my biggest drive in my life and I will jump on the opportunity to talk baseball with anyone, even with people who I don't really like. For me, Baseball is a piece of art that sits in my mind all day, ready to be painted on at any point of the day.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Adam LaRoche signs with the Nationals

Adam LaRoche signed a 2-year, $16 million contract with the Washington Nationals earlier today. He will be taking a physical on Tuesday. After Derrek Lee had latched on to the Baltimore ban-wagon, Washington turned to LaRoche and offered him a deal and they hammered the details in almost no time.

Just like with the Oakland Athletics, I am also a little obsessed with the Nationals. I mean, who wouldn't? An up and coming team with some future star players, sounds awesome to me.

LaRoche is a step down from Adam Dunn, who played in the nation's capital for two years, but just like Dunn, LaRoche is a consistent player who turns in solid numbers year after year. He has hit exactly 25 home runs in the past three seasons, just like Adam Dunn hit 40 home runs for four seasons in a row.

But LaRoche's batting average fell a little last year: .261- his second worst average in his career. When you see that his BABIP from last year was in line with his career, it makes it look like he got unlucky. But his strikeout rate was up last year to 30.7%. His career strike out rate is 25%. His O-Swing% was also up from his career: 2010: 28.1%. Career: 23.6%. And since he is a below average O-Contact% hitter, it brought his average down because he was swing more so at pitches out of the zone then normally. This also says that he just had bad pitch selection last year. There has been no inconsistent trend with these numbers in his career so it shows that this should be a one year thing and that he should return to normal in this upcoming season.

LaRoche will join Ryan Zimmerman, the highly touted Danny Espinosa, and Ian Desmond in the infield.

Don't expect anything new from LaRoche, after all, he is consistent, and his average should raise back to the .270 range.

The Nationals are really having a great off-season concidering how hard it probably is for GM Mike Rizzo to bring in big names.

(Statistics in courtesy of: fangraphs.com, espn.com, and baseball-reference.com)


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  2. Mikey Mor, what do you think of Ian Desmond...

    His numbers in the minors are underwhelming to say the least.

    Never made Baseball America's Top 100 prospects...

    Didn't do well this year in the Majors (like practically every shortstop, LOL).

    His defense is erratic.

    Yet I think he can eventually become one of the best shortstops in the game.

    He is inconsistent defensively and botches some routine plays, yet he has an electric arm and flashes some incredible range.

    Mikey Mor, you wants wrists...



    25+ HRs is not out of the question...that's elite power production out of an up-the-middle player.

    At this point, it's merely, "this could happen..." But I'd definitely jump on that Desmond stock if I were you.

    Buy low on Gordon Beckham, too.

    Alex Avila, as well.

  3. I have had an eye on Beckham as well as Desmond, I was also very dissipointed with Beckham this year.

    Anyways, Suge Knight, I agree that Desmond could reach 25 homers at some point, he gets a his bat through zone very quick, as if he just wants to get outa the batter's box, which can bad if rushes his mechanics too much. What I don't like about Desmond's bat is that he really struggles against sliders and there arent really any pitches that he crushes consistantly. He also hits a lot of ground balls: 217 grounders and 130 flyballs in 2010.

    I totally agree with all the things that you have said esspecially his range. He gets to ball very quickly and is able to set his feet for the most part. But his basic fielding abilty is definetely something to work on for him.

  4. The groundball issue is something to keep in mind. Had no idea he was hitting that many grounders.

  5. The Nats overpaid for Laroche. They were the only bidders and had no need for a 2-year deal. Derrek Lee got 8 mil and 1 year and Laroche got 16 mil and 2 years. Lee is by far the better player