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.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What does Aramis Ramirez bring to the Brewers?

By Mike Moritz

The hiatus is over, I will now attempt at making a comeback to the blogger world but I can not guarantee that I will be able to write consistently.

And with that said, I have decided to start with the Milwaukee Brewers signing of Aramis Ramirez. As we just found a few days ago, the third basemen has signed a three-year deal worth $36 million with a mutal option for 2015. A lot of people this off season have been saying that Milwaukee is a perfect fit for Ramirez, and that the Brewers need a third basemen. But is that really true? Yes, the chances of resigning Prince Fielder were and still are very slim, and now they are out of the running for him anyways. So they lose a big bat, they have money to spend, they need a short stop and have a third basemen...This is why Jose Reyes would be the perfect fit for them.

I have nothing against Ramirez, really, I don't. I think he is a real solid player that can help any ball club. But it just seems to me that the Brewers underestimated Casey Mcgehee. There are a few asepects that I would like to explore in this post and we will try to break them down.

Okay so let's start with Casey.

I wanted to figure out if McGehee just had a bad year or if he is not going to produce at the previous level caliber that he did.

When playing in the Cubs organization, he was not a power hitter, his highest ISO was .148 while playing in AA in 2007. After he moved to the Brewers for the 2009 season, he was able to put some power onto his resume: he had a .197 ISO and a .499 SLG in 355 at-bats. The next year, he had another solid offensive year but his ISO dropped to .179. And for good reason because his line drive and fly ball rate both dropped considerably between the two years:


Looking a little deeper, I found that he started getting a little too swing happy. His walk rate dropped from 8.6% to 7.5% but even further down, we saw his O-Swing% spike from 19.8% in 2009 to 29.5% in 2010. 

The more and more we look at it, it just seems like 2009 was not a fluke but rather just a good season. (So a different kind of fluke.) Sometimes it just comes down to the fact that the player had a good season. No statistical element involved, it just might be that 2009 was a good season for Casey. Chances are that pitchers didn't know how to pitch to him and just pitched to his strengths without knowing. Not their fault. They didn't know any better at the time.  

So that's probably why 2010 is much more an indicator of his true talent. And then he got BABIP'd in 2011. His ISO dropped to .123 this year, that is more like what he did in the minors so I am convinced that a .130-.150 ISO is his range, which is around the league average. And apart from that, he is about a .270-.280 hitter with an average walk rate. So all told, and I am just estimating here, that is about 2 WAR. That's nice production, for sure.

So keep him at third or move him to first but what ever position he would have taken, Mat Gamel would take up the unoccupied one. (Gamel will actually be getting the job at first base this year with Prince gone and Aramis at third.) We can expect Gamel to be a 25-30 home run hitter with a .260ish average with a nice walk rate.

Gamel hit a bump in the road when he got called up in 2009 and struck out 36.7% of the time then got sent down only to have a 27.8% strike out in AAA for the rest of the season. 19.4% was his previous strike out high in the minors so this strike out rate came out of nowhere suggesting that he probably had some sort of injury or perhaps his mechanics were just out of whack.What ever the case, he has fixed it now and has just about returned to his previous Top Prospect Status. An adequate player for positive production? Hell yeah.

So now they would have Mcgehee and Gamel at the infield corners. Not too much money for solid to potentially great production. That's a deal. And they would not have had to even spent money on a big name free agent yet. But along comes Reyes. A clear glaring hole at short stop. Brewcrew has money to spend. I am telling you, Reyes would have been a perfect fit.

But not only for his offense.

For his defense too! Now, I am not saying that Reyes and Rickie Weeks are good fielders. They are actually just about average. But still, it would be a huge upgrade over Yuniesky Betancourt. To be honest, the same cannot be said for the new Brewer Alex Gonzalez. Gonzalez can field and brings about the same value in terms of defense as Reyes. But does he bring the bat? No way. And no where near the ability of Reyes. So who I would rather have? A stop gap solution for a contending team who, sure, can field but can't hit very much? Or a long term solution with a great all around skill set, defense and offense included? Don't know about you but I'll take the ladder part of that deal.

But what about Ramirez? Well Aramis brings good offense. Below average defense. That's about all there is to him. He is really solid player. But when you are trying to sign Zack Grienke and Shawn Marcum to long term deals so you can contend longer, why would you sign a 34 year old?

On the other hand, if Braun is booted for 50 games, then Ramirez is a nice bat to have for that time, being that there would not be much power in that line up with Braun and Fielder.

I'm just throwin' it out there. Just saying. Reyes would have been a perfect fit. 

No comments:

Post a Comment