Story of a Season: Jorge Posada

All other hitters

If I had to describe Jorge Posada‘s 2011 season in a word, I don’t think a word would do. Instead, I’d settle for an onomatopoeia: Ugh. Just like there was little to say about Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano because their seasons were so good, there is little to say about Jorge Posada because his season was just so disappointing.

The whole picture is just ugly. A .235/.315/.398 slash line with a .309 wOBA and an 89 wRC+ leading to a -0.4 fWAR mark. His walk rate was good at 10.1% and his Iso wasn’t horrible at .163, but we’re really just grasping for straws there.

Breaking things down doesn’t help either. Posada’s season was made up of four sub-replacement level months (April: .264 wOBA/58 wRC+; May: .291/76; July: .239/41; and September: .284/72), one fantastic month (June: .426/168), and one slightly-better-than-average month (August: .346/114).

Let’s just acknowledge the platoon splits, because any discussion of Jorge Posada’s season needs to include them.… Click here to read the rest

Story of a Season: Nick Swisher

Others

2011 featured some book ends for Nick Swisher. He started off the year poorly, putting up a .293 wOBA/78 wRC+ in the first two months of the season. In September, he hit just .284/72, then had a poor showing in the playoffs. Between then, though, Swisher was on fire. From June-August, Swisher hit .305/.418/.556/.973. For comparison’s sake, in that same time frame, Robinson Cano put up a .909 OPS and Curtis Granderson put up a .940 OPS. So for a good chunk of the season, Nick Swisher was the team’s best hitter.

June was easily Swisher’s best month as he put up a .460 wOBA (!!) and a 192 wRC+ (!!) in my birth month. In July, he dipped to “just” .389/144, but rebounded in August to hit to .404/152 marks.

In terms of platoon splits, Swisher had a “meh” year against righties as he put up a wOBA/wRC+ split of .335/107 against them. He more than made up for it against lefties, though, working them over to the tune of a .412/159 split.… Click here to read the rest

Story of a Season: Curtis Granderson

Other Players

Curtis Granderson may have slumped in September (.304 wOBA/85 wRC+), but every other month aside from that was nothing short of fantastic. Taking out the final month of the season, Granderson’s worst month in terms of wOBA/wRC+ was June when he hit “only” .363/125. If he did that for the entire year, it would’ve been a productive season for Granderson. Instead, he turned in career highs in homers (41), walk rate (12.3), Iso (.290), and wRC+ (146). His wOBA (.395) and fWAR (7.0) were both the second highest marks of his career (both fell just short of his .395 and 7.8 marks in 2007).

The biggest change in Granderson was his #cured status against left handed pitching. He continued his turn around from the latter part of 2011 and ended up punishing left handed pitching this year, racking up a .325 (!) Iso against same handed pitchers, leading to a .400 wOBA and a 151 wRC+. Hopefully, this continues into 2012.… Click here to read the rest

Story of a Season: Brett Gardner

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Brett Gardner had an up and down season. He started it off as the Yankees’ leadoff hitter, but lost the job after a tough first month of the year (.286 wOBA/73 wRC+). The next three months were much better, as Gardner produced splits of .337/108; .386/141; and .358/122. He crashed again in August with a .281/68 mark, but ended the year well, hitting .332/104 in September.

This isn’t so strange, really. We’ve seen this streakiness from Gardner for the last few years. During the cold streaks, it’s certainly maddening. During the hot streaks, he’s great to watch. He gets on base, takes the extra base (both after hits and on the basepaths), and looks like the leadoff hitter we know he could be.

The more interesting turn for Gardner the last few years has been in his platoon split. We’ll discount 2008 since it was a relatively small sample. Even in 2009, he just got 65 PA against left handed pitchers.… Click here to read the rest

Story of a Season: Derek Jeter

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To say 2011 was a roller coaster type season for Derek Jeter would be a massive understatement. It started way back in 2010 when his contract expired and we endured months of relatively contentious negotiations between Jeter and the Yankee organization, that ultimately ended in a nice contract for Jeter. We heard he was going to make some swing adjustments after enduring a career worst year at the plate in 2010. During the offseason, I kept repeating something: There is no way Derek Jeter can be as bad in 2011 as he was in 2010. Yet for part of the season, it looked like he would actually do worse than he did in 2010.

His start was slower than slow as he racked up a measly .261/56 wOBA/wRC+ in the season’s first month. May was kinder to Jeter as he rebounded to a .321/97 split. June, though, was another rough month for Jeter. He hit .293/77 and eventually got hurt.… Click here to read the rest

Story of a Season: Alex Rodriguez

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Click here for a stats refresher if you need it.

The story of 2011 for Alex Rodriguez was different to say the least. However, it’s the story of 2012 and beyond that will be far more compelling. How much will he stay in the field? How healthy will he stay? Can he stay on track for that once all-but-guaranteed HR record?

The most drastic drop from Rodriguez this year came in the power department. His Iso was .185, his lowest mark since a .196 mark way back in 1997. Aside from a .176 showing in 48 games in 1996, this year’s .185 Iso represented Rodriguez’s lowest power showing ever. His Iso, and in turn slugging percentage, has been dropping every year since his ridiculous 2007. Granted, he would’ve gone down from that anyway (.331!), but the downward trend is nonetheless scary.

Rodriguez’s walk and strike out rates (11/18.7) were right in line with his career rates (11/18).… Click here to read the rest

Story of a Season: Robinson Cano

Russell Martin
Mark Teixeira

For the third year in a row, and the fourth time in his career, Robinson Cano turned in a .370+ wOBA. His .375 mark was good for a 133 wRC+ this year. Isn’t it a little ho hum at this point? While we shouldn’t take it for granted, we almost expect Cano to do this well. His swing is so sweet and features a perfect blend of contact and power that is jealousy inducing. He was second (to Dustin Pedroia in both categories) in wOBA/wRC+ among AL 2B, and led the bunch in slugging and IsoP. All told, he was worth 5.6 fWAR. So, how did he get here?

Cano absolutely spanked the ball this year, turning in a career high 22.3% line drive rate. His FB% dropped big time from last year (31.0% this year, 36.5% in ’10), but was just one below his career average of 32%. But, Cano managed to drive the ball big time when he hit it in the air.… Click here to read the rest

Story of a Season: Mark Teixeira

Russell Martin

It was quite a season for Mark Teixeira. Like I said last week, it was either the best bad season ever or the worst good season ever. While his .248/.341/.494 line looks week, it still produced a .361 wOBA and a 124 wRC+. Those are fine numbers, but they represent the second straight non-Tex-like year out of Tex. His walk rate (11.1) and his Iso (.246) were right in line with his career averages (11.5 and .250 respectively). However, 2011 featured another sharp drop in BABIP. From 2009-2010, Tex’s BABIP dropped 34 points. From 2010-11, it dropped 29 points. I’ve covered this manty times before, so I don’t need to say much more about it.

The year started off fantastically for Teixeira, which was an oddity in and of itself. In April, he tore the cover off the ball with a .405 wOBA and a 154 wRC+. He dropped off a bit in May, but was still quite productive at .375/134.… Click here to read the rest

Story of a Season: Russell Martin

When the Yankees announced they were signing Russell Martin after he was non-tendered by the Dodgers, I was thinking one thing: He’s a placeholder for Jesus Montero. Once Montero was ready–maybe around May or June–Martin would shift to the backup role, Montero would catch, Cervelli would go…somewhere. Well, it didn’t happen that way, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Martin caught fire coming out of the gate and ended up as a pretty valuable player for the Yankees. He added good offense for a catcher, he played good defense, and the pitching staff seemed to like working with him.

At the plate, Martin had two phenomenal months. April featured a .420 wOBA/164 wRC+ and August saw Martin hit to .391/144 marks. Russell was just about average in May (.320/96), but was sub replacement level in June (.241/42), July (.264/58), and September (.289/75). Overall, this added up to a .325 wOBA and a 100 wRC+. Compared to the league, then (w/o adjusting for position), Martin was exactly average with the bat.… Click here to read the rest