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Thread: The Case For: Chris Heisey

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Bedford, KY

    The Case For: Chris Heisey

    2012 Highlights:
    Heisey was really mercurial, struggling in April, June, and September, to the tune of a Stubbs-ian 63 OPS+ in this three months. However, in May, June, and August, Heisey's OPS+ ballooned to 135. Heisey couldn't get out of his own way, seemingly, as every time he was handed a platoon job (either in LF or CF), he began to struggle.

    The Case for Chris Heisey:

    1. He can play all three OF positions.
    Heisey's a better glove man than Xavier Paul. In fact, he profiles (according to UZR) as an above average defender at all three spots. Since the Reds seem intent on trying some combination of Choo and/ or Bruce in CF this season, Heisey will probably see more time as a defensive replacement late in games. (Especially after pinch hitting for the pitcher or catcher.)

    2. He's got pop.
    Two years ago, Heisey popped 18 homers on his way to a slugging-dependent 116 wRC+. Last year, his power dipped as he focused on finding more contact (his K rate dropped four percent). However, he seemed to be pressing both early and late; this is corroborated by his slipping BB rate. Last year's 100 point drop in ISO power is likely a blip, as he's never struggled that much to hit for power in his professional career.

    3. He's league average-- and that ain't bad.
    Fourth outfielders don't often hit well enough to supplant regular outfielders. Or their gloves are so poor that they give away whatever value they might earn with the bat. For example, last season, only 7 NL players-- Roger Bernadina, Scott Hairston, Matt Carpenter, Chris Denorfia, Jesus Guzman, Tyler Colvin, and Eric Young-- had an OPS+ number above Heisey's career 99 mark.

    Of those, only Bernadina, Guzman, and Colvin graded out as positive defenders across the three OF spots, as does Heisey.

    4. He's entering his prime.
    Heisey will be 28 next season, a time when most players find their best success. Over the next four seasons, Heisey should either show a marked improvement or stay relatively stable in his offensive numbers.

    5. He's cheap.
    2013 will be Heisey's first arbitration year. He should command right around a million dollars. That would put him well below league average and among the lower paid fourth OFers/ primary PH in the league.

    6. He's among the most successful pinch hitters in the game.
    In 160 career ABs as a sub, Heisey's line is .294/ .350/ .517/ .867. That's the holy trinity of pinch hitter success: BA, patience, and pop. And he's improving-- last season, as a PH, he went .329/ .391/ .645/ 1.036.

    What's not to like there?
    Last edited by Scrap Irony; 01-02-2013 at 01:13 PM.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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