Originally Posted by HometownHero
Well for a poor as he hit he gets on at at a good clip. He had a .181 average but a .262 OBP. Valdez had a .206 BA but just a .236 OBP and Cairo's .187 came with a .212 OBP. Also with a much higher average Stubbs's .277 and Cozart's .288 wasn't far off.
I think he could be inline for a massive bounce back to crazy low BABIP the last two year. His luck totally vanished falling to .215 and .237 the last two years and with any spike in BA and his OBP will jump quick. But what makes it so appealing is we know he rock bottom with no luck whatsoever is better than what we had 2 of and still won the division. Plus he has better speed and if we get hit with injury he can play all the postilions and also is cheaper than anyone else we can get helping improve in other areas.
If we got lucky and he had the Ludwick type bounce back to his just under his .291 BA and .363 OBP Angels days then we could start printing up some 2013 playoff tickets with him potentially getting PT all over the field getting on for the big bats.
I hope Walt has already or plans to get in contact with his camp as we're a very good fit for him. Winning team, hitters park and tons of potential AB with several positions not held down by proven players.
I was certainly making those comments tongue in cheek because of the recent history of leadoff hitters with the Reds but don't get me wrong, I'd love to get Chone Figgins on a cheap deal and see if he can't bounce back. However, I'm not so sure "bad luck" was the biggest factor in his decline. Yes, his BABIP was crazy low the last 2 years and slightly down in 2010 from his career norm but let's dig a little deeper. I kind of dismiss last year's numbers because of the small sample size and sporadic playing time.
I don't think he was a bad player in 2010. He was a 32 year old player heavily reliant on speed. I think you can expect a downtick in production. His line drive rate was down a bit in 2010, accumulated almost double his career high in sacrifices (which negatively effects BABIP but not batting average) hitting behind Ichiro and his K% was up and his BB% down. What really took a toll on his batting average, IMO, was his out of the strike zone swing rate. He swung at 20.8% of the pitches he saw that were out of the strike zone. He had one outlier in 2007 of 22.3% but had never been above 16.5% in a full season 2002 & 2003 were partial seasons. Those are low hit % balls. That helps to explain his downtick in average and BABIP.
Now, 2011 is where it gets ugly. He had a 15.8% Infield Fly Ball Rate (automatic outs). By far a career high for a full season. His line drive rate was at a career low 18.3%. He did post a career best 13.1% K rate but also posted a career low 6.7% BB rate. Get this, in 2011 Figgins swung at a, by far, career high 25.2% pitches out of the strike zone and made contact with 83.1% of those pitches (which is nearly 15% above his career average). In other words, he was swinging at bad pitches and getting himself out.
Does any of this mean he can't bounce back? Absolutely not. He will no longer have the burden of living up to a large contract and constant boos. He can be entrenched back in the leadoff spot where he would have to be hit by a truck to be moved from (Dusty sticks with his guys when they are struggling) and he will be back in a winning atmosphere. I'd absolutely take a shot at him.