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Thread: The Case For: Chris Heisey

  1. #1
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    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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  3. #2
    It's showtime! RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    I've always liked Chris. Thanks for giving some statistical heft to my case for him. One question - since you do see him improving (#4), do you also think he should be given a chance to start when/if Choo and/or Ludwick depart? I wonder whether he's one of those players who merits starting during his offensive peak years but not other times.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    How many fourth outfielders have been better over the past few years? Most definitely a big asset.

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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    I've always liked Chris. Thanks for giving some statistical heft to my case for him. One question - since you do see him improving (#4), do you also think he should be given a chance to start when/if Choo and/or Ludwick depart? I wonder whether he's one of those players who merits starting during his offensive peak years but not other times.
    I think he's a second-division starter, at best, on the corners, but, IMO, he'd be a nice little "find" at CF. Bat him sixth or lower, and he'd be solidly average to above average.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
    -- Christy Matthewson
    "Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot."
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    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    The case FOR.... he's got a cute wife. Does that count for anything? :O)

    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    ^ Is that his wife? Looks more like a daughter. Of course I'm getting old and everyone looks young to me.

    As long as you keep Heisey as a 4th outfielder he's just fine. If you have to have him to start everyday he may become very average at best.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    wow, I agree, his wife looks like 17 years old Very cute though.

    Heisey is just about a good of a 4th OF that any team could hope for, IMO.
    I count him as another good success from the farm team. I just don't think he's good enough to start on a regular basis.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

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    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey



    More recent. And yeah, that's his wife Lisa. That L'ville bats pic was just the first one I found. Several years ago obviously.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

  10. #9
    Future Fame of Holler WildcatFan's Avatar
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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    wow, I agree, his wife looks like 17 years old Very cute though.
    We'll grant you a take-back here, if you'd like.
    "I never argue with people who say baseball is boring, because baseball is boring. And then, suddenly, it isn't. And that's what makes it great." - Joe Posnanski

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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    Oh, you're making a case for him. I thought we were chipping in and getting him a case of Rolling Rock or something.

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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    Chris' BB/K rate last season was .22. The only Reds hitter who played much and was worse in that area was Cairo. Valdez was tied with .22. (I guess Navaro and Costanzo were worse in that area too.) Stubbs' BB/K rate was better than Heisey's.

    Chris walked 4.8 percent of the time last year and fanned 21.6 percent. Lifetime he has fanned 23.8 percent of the time, and walked 5.8 percent.

    Not only is his plate discipline poor, but last season he didn't compensate with production. (His OPS was .715.)

    Watching Chris last season, he swings at almost everything. And last year was his biggest sample size, his most PAs in his major league career.

    Chris will be on the team next year, I wish him lots of success, he plays hard and does well defensively. Hopefully his power will return. And I'm glad he has supporters who come up with threads for him.

    But on a team that needs to improve patience and contact at the plate, he has a ways to go.
    Last edited by Kc61; 01-02-2013 at 05:40 PM.

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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Chris' BB/K rate last season was .22. The only Reds hitter who played much and was worse in that area was Cairo. Valdez was tied with .22. (I guess Navaro and Costanzo were worse in that area too.) Stubbs' BB/K rate was better than Heisey's.

    Chris walked 4.8 percent of the time last year and fanned 21.6 percent. Lifetime he has fanned 23.8 percent of the time, and walked 5.8 percent.

    Not only is his plate discipline poor, but last season he didn't compensate with production. (His OPS was .715.)

    Watching Chris last season, he swings at almost everything. And last year was his biggest sample size, his most PAs in his major league career.

    Chris will be on the team next year, I wish him lots of success, he plays hard and does well defensively. Hopefully his power will return. And I'm glad he has supporters who come up with threads for him.

    But on a team that needs to improve patience and contact at the plate, he has a ways to go.
    Despite his K rate and his BB rate, he's been a league average producer. For a fourth OF that can play all three OF positions well, Heisey has a lot of value.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
    -- Christy Matthewson
    "Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot."
    -- Leo Durocher

  14. #13
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    I think Heisey is a pretty good 4th OF. Good teams have good players on the bench, and Heisey is one as long as he isn't over-exposed. He makes way more sense on a team without Drew Stubbs on it. FTR, I think the Reds dealt the right one.

    Spot him with 300 or so PAs and he'll prove very valuable, just like he has the last couple of years. He's a bit of a tweener. I wouldn't really want to see him in CF for extended periods and I think his bat is a little light for a corner, but he's a pretty darned good 4th OF who can do a little bit of everything..
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Despite his K rate and his BB rate, he's been a league average producer. For a fourth OF that can play all three OF positions well, Heisey has a lot of value.
    Heisey has been in the majors three years. Last season he had 375 PAs, the most of his career. With that level of exposure, Chris had his worst year, had an OPS of .715 and an OPS+ of 88.

    To me, the issue is whether Heisey just had a bad year in 2012 or whether his performance has declined as pitchers have become more acquainted with his swing at everything style.

    We'll find out. I hope he has a great 2013 and it turns out that he just had an off year in 2012.
    Last edited by Kc61; 01-03-2013 at 12:12 AM.

  16. #15
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: The Case For: Chris Heisey

    Quote Originally Posted by WildcatFan View Post
    We'll grant you a take-back here, if you'd like.
    It's ok to say cute, isn't it? .. I thought that's the old man's way of saying "Pretty, but too young for me"
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!


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