YEAR NAME AGE PA EqA OBP SLG VORP RAR RAP OUTR SB CS SB%
2008 Willy Taveras 26 538 .238 .308 .296 2.0 4.2 -19.2 .67658 68 7 90.7%
2007 Willy Taveras 25 408 .261 .367 .382 16.4 12.5 -1.8 .62745 33 9 78.6%
My usual assortment of numbers with a couple of new ones thrown in.
I added OUTR, or Batting Outs per Plate Appearance. Pretty self-explanatory.
Also have the stolen base and caught stealing numbers. Figured we might as well look at them since you know The Dusty is drooling over "speed at the top of the order".
Here's a blurb from BP about WT in 2007. Does nothing to inspire confidence.
He hits enough singles to give him a little bit of a batting average, and of course he`s a fast runner, but as a regular, Taveras is something of a disaster. He has no power and little patience, and his occasional stolen bases do nothing to make up for that. Putting him in the everyday lineup and batting him leadoff or second, thereby giving him a higher percentage of the team`s plate appearances, is just doing the opposing pitcher`s work for him. Taveras`s speed does make him a plus defender, something that will help cover the gaps at Coors, but he won`t provide the Rockies with a top-of-the-order hitter any better-equipped to help them than Juan Pierre was.
If a Glock was too my head and the choice was Juan Pierre or Willy Taveras I suppose I'd go with Taveras. Then again, I might go for the .40S&W slug instead of either.
With Taveras's speed and his position of choice, it virtually guarantees 350 to 400 PA's at leadoff atop The Dusty's lineup. If he is impatient and repeats his 2008 OBP performance he will be another disaster and will soak up untold leadoff PA's until late July as the Reds sink deeper and deeper in the standings.
If he can find a way to ignore The Dusty's insistence that swinging at everything is somehow a good idea, and achieve the 2007 style of OBP then we might have something. Actually, if there were someway to guarentee he could reproduce 2007 in 2009 I'd be pretty jazzed to take the leadoff spot from minus a bazallion VORP from last year to what Taveras would produce.
2006 he put up .333 OBP and OUTR of .66 and in 2005 his OBP was .325 and OUTR of .659. You may scoff of my bowing at the alter of OBP for these two years, but for a guy you can bet the farm is going to lead off, getting on base is all I care about. Neither of those two years is overly impressive.
Unfortunately, with The Dusty at the helm, Taveras is likely to be managed to a lower OBP and thus be ineffective at the plate.
His speed is nice on the base paths. While the stolen base isn't the weapon it once was, the Reds should be employing speed more often than they have.
In the field his speed could be handy. While Patterson was abysmal at the plate, it was nice to have someone patrolling centerfield who can actually track and catch a fly ball.
While I'd rather have Taveras over the dreaded misery that is Juan Pierre, I'd also rather have my 84 year old grandmother in centerfield rather than Juan Pierre. But, in general, I'd rather have a better option than Taveras.