The 2011 “Should Hit” Yankees

Yesterday at FanGraphs, Bradley Woodrum posted an article about predicting performance for batters. Go to the post for the particulars and go here to download/play around with the spreadsheet. The basic tenet is that we need to look at BB%, K%, HR%, and BABIP to get a good idea of how a player should be hitting. Like the article says, let’s think of this as a sort of FIP for hitters. I’m going to run through the regular starting lineup to look at what the players are hitting and what they “should” be hitting based on the above parameters. I’ll put each player’s current numbers through the spreadsheet, using his career numbers as the “expected” output and see where we’re at. All stats are current as of BEFORE yesterday’s outburst.

Russell Martin (wRC+, BB%, K%, HR, PA, BABIP):

Current: 101; 10.6; 16.5; 15; 395; .243
Career: 103; 11.6; 14.0; 69; 3108; .295
“Should Hit” wRC+: 114

Mark Teixeira (same order)
Current: 133; 11.6; 15.2; 35; 560; .230
Career: 134; 11.5; 17.2; 310; 5190; .296
“Should Hit” wRC+: 157

Robinson Cano
Current: 136; 5.2; 13.0; 21; 540; .314
Career: 119; 5.0; 11.3; 137; 4272; .321
“Should Hit” wRC+: 134

Alex Rodriguez
Current: 130; 9.2; 19.2; 13; 349; .330
Career: 148; 10.9; 18.0; 626; 10555; .319
“Should Hit” wRC+: 157

Derek “I’m not dead yet, Matt and Larry” Jeter
Current: 105; 7.6; 11.7; 4; 486; .330
Career: 125; 8.9; 14.8; 238; 11034; .355
“Should Hit” wRC+: 129 (!!)

Brett Gardner
Current: 110; 9.3; 16.1; 5; 473; .323
Career: 108; 10.7; 16.8; 13; 1467; .324
“Should Hit” wRC+: 111

Curtis Granderson
Current: 160; 12.4; 24.0; 35; 558; .308
Career: 122; 9.9; 21.8; 161; 3982; .314
“Should Hit” wRC+: 135

Nick Swisher
Current: 128; 15.5; 20.1; 18; 517; .305
Career: 118; 13.5; 21.3; 180; 4271; .288
“Should Hit” wRC+: 121

Jorge #notdeadyet Posada
Current: 95; 10.3; 19.6; 11; 341; .278
Career: 123; 13.1; 20.3; 272; 7104; .316
“Should Hit” wRC+: 125 (!!)

So, it would appear that this system really likes most of the Yankee hitters. There are good reasons for that. Most of the Yankee hitters are very good at taking walks and very good at hitting the ball over the fences. It’s worth noting that their power hitters actually don’t strike out all that much for power hitters, too. We see Curtis Granderson take a bit of a hit and we see huge bumps for Jeter, Posada, Tex, and A-Rod. On average ShH/FIB gives us an average of +9.55556 points tacked onto wRC+. It seems like Jeter is already in the midst of rebounding, and the same goes for Posada, who’s been hitting better of late. Hopefully, Tex and A-Rod can take off and match those big wRC+ marks that ShH projects for them.

About Matt Imbrogno

A native and resident of the Mean Streets of Southwestern Connecticut, Matt is a narcissistic, misanthropic 20something English teacher who lives by a simple creed: Yankees Only.

2 thoughts on “The 2011 “Should Hit” Yankees

  1. Pingback: The 2011 “Should Hit” Yankees | New York Yankees blog, Yankees … | Yankees News Source

  2. Nice write-up here.

    There are a few grains of salt that you need to consider when using the ShHAP! For instance, it does not consider where a player is in the aging curve for hitting ability. It’s nice that it regresses wRC+ to career averages, but in a case like Jorge or Jeter, it assumes a large increase in BABIP and HR power which are both not likely to come around. While I agree that both players are definitely not dead, I think that the projections are a bit optimistic. I wouldn’t expect Jeter’s BABIP to climb much higher than it is at the moment.

    On the flipside, players like Granderson are slightly underpredicted because he is having a breakout year. I expect his power is legit and will continue through his prime years.