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.
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.Code:NAME PA EqA OBP SLG OUTR VORP RAR RAP Willy Taveras 108 .243 .330 .330 0.64815 0.3 1.4 -3.3
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.
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.Code:NAME PA EqA OBP SLG OUTR VORP RAR RAP Michael Bourn 110 .288 .364 .443 0.62727 6.8 6.7 2.2
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.
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.Code:SB CS SB% PICKOFF 6 1 85.7% 1
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.....