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Thread: Willy Taveras - 2009 to date

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Willy Taveras - 2009 to date

    Given the heated off-season debate over Willy T's potential contributions I thought it interesting to look at his first month (plus 1 week) of performance in a Redlegs uni.


    Code:
    NAME	         PA    EqA   OBP   SLG	  OUTR	  VORP	 RAR   RAP   
    Willy Taveras	108   .243  .330  .330	0.64815	   0.3	 1.4  -3.3
    His EqA, a measure of total offensive production, (which includes base-running) is well below average (.260). His OBP is hovering at the tolerable versus miserable point. His out rate isn't completely horrible but ultimately, he's not giving you much more than replacement level run production. While he can't help what his teammates do/don't do, as a lead-off "table setter" that's the guy who I want to see crossing home plate a bunch (because he's actually on base). And with Votto's hot start to the year I don't think you can lay all of the blame for the replacement level run production at Willy's teammate's feet.

    To his credit, versus right handers, he's not too shabby by the traditional metrics: .288BA, .342OBP and .364SLG. If he could maintain that level of production across the board all season he's done his job. However, against left hander's he's utterly useless at .182BA, .296OBP and .227SLG. Fortunately, he's facing righties far more often than southpaws. (66AB v 22). When a lefty is on the mound, The Dusty really ought to bat him 8th or 9th (ignoring that there is a lot of competition for that spot in the lineup).

    So with his bat I would judge him to be merely adequate and barely keeping his head above water. A couple of good games, this early in the season, could turn these numbers around (then again, so could a cold streak). He's not the problem on the team, but he's not actually helping us much either.

    By way of comparison, Michael Bourn has spent most of his time leading off, or in the 2-hole. Here's what he's given Houston.

    Code:
    NAME	         PA    EqA   OBP   SLG	  OUTR	  VORP	 RAR    RAP 
    Michael Bourn	110   .288  .364  .443	0.62727    6.8	 6.7	2.2
    I'm not pimping Bourn as some great player, and he could fall off a cliff also, but those are the kinds of numbers that a leadoff guy should be giving you, IMO.

    So then I looked at Willy's vaunted speed to see how much havoc he was creating on the base-paths. As was mentioned in the SmallBall thread, not much.
    Code:
    SB   CS   SB%    PICKOFF
    6     1  85.7%	   1
    He's currently 7th in the league in stolen bases (Bourn has 8, the league leader 9). The difference isn't huge, a couple of good games and Willy's in the lead. However, coming in 7th out of 16 teams doesn't strike me as someone "creating havoc" at some rate that would impact his ability to acquire additional bases after he avoided an out at the plate.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    So the numbers support what several people have posted in various threads. Willy T is not the problem on the team, and he's not been a flaming disaster thus far. However, he's not really adding much to the team either. He's neither been havoc on the basepaths or bunting machine. This early in the season, his numbers could spike given a hot or cold streak.

    So basically the verdict is still out and neither camp, pro or anti Willy has been proven right. Much more importantly, he's not hurting the Reds with his bat/out rate. Now, if he could figure out how to actually help the team.....
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 05-07-2009 at 04:50 PM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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  3. #2
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    So basically the verdict is still out and neither camp, pro or anti Willy has been proven right. Much more importantly, he's not hurting the Reds with his bat/out rate. Now, if he could figure out how to actually help the team.....
    I disagree with part of this. He moved to a from a hitters haven in Denver to a different kind of hitters haven in Cincinnati. And he's SLG worse. His complete lack of power needs to be offset with a very high OBP, .380+ and massive amounts of SB's

    He's not doing either so far.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Ripsnort wheels's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    He's on the fast track to being Patterson - lite.
    "We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    I disagree with part of this. He moved to a from a hitters haven in Denver to a different kind of hitters haven in Cincinnati. And he's SLG worse. His complete lack of power needs to be offset with a very high OBP, .380+ and massive amounts of SB's

    He's not doing either so far.
    He's going to be a below average major league bat-I thinks that's a pretty likely outcome. The question is does his defense and speed-related activities make up for it when everything is added up at the end of the day.

    His upside is "yes they do" and as a result he looks something like an average major leaguer.

    Taveras is meh to bleh.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    He's going to be a below average major league bat-I thinks that's a pretty likely outcome. The question is does his defense and speed-related activities make up for it when everything is added up at the end of the day.

    His upside is "yes they do" and as a result he looks something like an average major leaguer.

    Taveras is meh to bleh.
    That assessment and Ltlabner's solid summery is far better than what I expected out of him. I really saw him as a huge liability, not as horrific as Patterson and his .238 OBP, but definitely as someone who could be even near major league average on offense. And in the leadoff spot, a huge drag on the offense.

    I am happily surprised and just hope he can stay as average as he has been, because I really don't think he can be much better than that, but definitely much worse.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    That assessment and Ltlabner's solid summery is far better than what I expected out of him. I really saw him as a huge liability, not as horrific as Patterson and his .238 OBP, but definitely as someone who could be even near major league average on offense. And in the leadoff spot, a huge drag on the offense.

    I am happily surprised and just hope he can stay as average as he has been, because I really don't think he can be much better than that, but definitely much worse.
    The problem with WT at this point is it's only 25 games. 5 of his 8 BB's came in his first 7 games. For all the talk about raising his OBP, he's right at his career norm.

    And I'm sorry, but that won't do. The Reds need him to score 100+ runs this year. ESPN projects him to score 107, but they also project him at 51 BB's, something he's never even sniffed before.

    1 week into the season, WT had me in shock.

    2 weeks in it wore off.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    That assessment and Ltlabner's solid summery is far better than what I expected out of him. I really saw him as a huge liability, not as horrific as Patterson and his .238 OBP, but definitely as someone who could be even near major league average on offense. And in the leadoff spot, a huge drag on the offense.

    I am happily surprised and just hope he can stay as average as he has been, because I really don't think he can be much better than that, but definitely much worse.
    As a lead off hitter, he'll be given too many outs to burn for my tastes. He's basically been the offensive player he's been projected to be thus far. Concerning his defense being good enough to cover the sins of his wood, that remains to be seen. He's got to be something like a +10 defender.

    Based upon April-May so far, I'd say he's likely to be at least a neutral defender barring injury. Really, his ceiling is that of a 2 win player (i.e. an average major leaguer WAR-wise).

    Like Ltlabner said, we'll have to see.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    The problem with WT at this point is it's only 25 games. 5 of his 8 BB's came in his first 7 games.
    For me, the walk rate is the key to his success (not just being someone who isn't hurting the team).

    The bunting thing is a neat but is a one trick pony. You can't bunt and leg it out every AB. He certainly can't count on his raw power to consistently knock the ball around. He has to be patient and if he doesn't get a good pitch take the walk.

    The walk rate started out great. He's drawn one walk in the last 7 games (29 AB's). That's not good. Joey Votto has drawn 9 for comparison. If he abandons the patient approach at he plate (either on his own or under pressure to be more aggressive) he's going to quickly go from simply doing nothing to actively hurting the team.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    Taveras is 21 points below a park-adjusted league average for OB and 99 points below a park-adjusted league for SLG. His RARP (runs above replacement player) is 0.3.

    Essentially he's a bench player with a starting job. He needs to keep the OB up near the league average in order to justify a regular gig. Judy bats who can run and field are a dime a dozen.

    As has been stated here and in other threads, he's not the Reds' biggest problem, but replacing him might at some point be the easiest upgrade.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    Yep, this isn't the 70s and this lineup isn't strong enough to compensate for an Omar Moreno.
    "I can make all the stadiums rock."
    -Air Supply

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    For me, the walk rate is the key to his success (not just being someone who isn't hurting the team).

    The bunting thing is a neat but is a one trick pony. You can't bunt and leg it out every AB. He certainly can't count on his raw power to consistently knock the ball around. He has to be patient and if he doesn't get a good pitch take the walk.

    The walk rate started out great. He's drawn one walk in the last 7 games (29 AB's). That's not good. Joey Votto has drawn 9 for comparison. If he abandons the patient approach at he plate (either on his own or under pressure to be more aggressive) he's going to quickly go from simply doing nothing to actively hurting the team.
    I think it's a double-edged sword for Willy because he has to be hitting in order for pitchers to try and dink him outside. If he's not hitting in the first place, they're just gonna go right after him to get him out.

    He did start out gangbusters with the walks though.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    I don't think it's really a matter of Willy changing his approach rather than he just benefited from some early season happy randomness....

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    I think it's pretty clear that Willy can't sustain his current walk rate because pitchers simply won't let him.

    For his career he's taken a little under 53% of all pitches he's seen. This season he's taking 65% of them.

    We're probably looking at a small sample size effect where he's just had a run of PAs against guys who weren't throwing strikes to him for whatever reason (remember there are also several others in the lineup with walk rates that are outliers compared to their careers). Even if this was a new approach on Willy's part, it won't take long for pitchers to absolutely pound his strike zone into submission forcing him to swing (or bunt).
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Taveras is 21 points below a park-adjusted league average for OB and 99 points below a park-adjusted league for SLG. His RARP (runs above replacement player) is 0.3.

    Essentially he's a bench player with a starting job. He needs to keep the OB up near the league average in order to justify a regular gig. Judy bats who can run and field are a dime a dozen.

    As has been stated here and in other threads, he's not the Reds' biggest problem, but replacing him might at some point be the easiest upgrade.
    If he were to steal at the same rate he has in his career, and plays the same defense he is now, I would guess he would be right around league average for CF, all factors considered.

    And it really is not fair to use park adjusted numbers for him, since he does not benefit from the homer friendly GABP in any way.

    And as I stated before, I, along with many others, predicted much worse for him this season, so I would be happy, now that he is a sunk cost, with him keeping up this blah-average production. I seriously doubt he can do much better.

    We all know that unless he hit the lows of Patterson, Dusty is going to keep him in CF and leading off for the whole season, so we might as well try to make the best of it.

    My only hope is that Gomes comes up, knocks the cover off the ball, and Dusty decides to platoon Dickerson and Taveras instead. But I know that has as much chance of happening as Janish coming into pitch and getting two K's.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    I don't think it's really a matter of Willy changing his approach rather than he just benefited from some early season happy randomness....
    It is definitely his approach that has waned. Earlier in the season he was taking borderline strikes early in the count, now he's swinging at those same pitches. And BP's approach has also faltered, Bruce has been back and forth but mostly back.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Willy Taveras - One Month In

    Here's NL average for leadoff hitters so far

    260 .326 .377 .703

    and NL CFers

    .264 .345 .431 .776
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."


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