Monday, February 07, 2011

2011 Preview: Ibanez & Victorino

Raul Ibanez

2007 - .291 Avg, 21 HR, 105 RBI, .831 OPS
2008 - .293 Avg, 23 HR, 110 RBI, .837 OPS
2009 - .272 Avg, 34 HR, 93 RBI, .899 OPS
2010 - .275 Avg, 16 HR, 83 RBI, .793 OPS

2011 Salary - $11.5 million (free agent after 2011)

Age - 39

At age 38, Ibanez posted his worst OPS since .792 in 2005. Despite his significantly reduced HR totals, his overall numbers don’t look that different than previous seasons. A closer look at his splits reveals quite the bipolar season. He had three months where his OPS was less than .700 (that’s reserve middle infielder territory) his average was less than .240. A very strong July (.952 OPS) and September (.919) saved his season, numbers wise. So even though the numbers aren’t that different, the lack of power and loooooong stretches of weak hitting, combined with a strong age bias, has most of us thinking that 2010 was a big disappointment.

Is there anything that points toward a big rebound in 2011? Not that I can think of. I also can’t think of a player, outside of the Steroid Age, that got better at 38. Despite that, I predict that Ibanez will have a better upcoming season compared to 2010. Why? He’s going to get more days off this season. (He played 155 in 2010.) He’s going to see a higher percentage of righties with Francisco/Mayberry getting ABs against lefties. He’ll get more days off away from home. The result: lower HR/RBI totals but overall a better season. My prediction:

.277,14 HR, 69 RBI, .833 OPS

Shane Victorino

2007 - .281 Avg, 12 HR, .347 OBP, 37 SB
2008 - .293 Avg, 14 HR, .352 OBP, 36 SB
2009 - .292 Avg, 10 HR, .358 OBP, 25 SB
2010 - .259 Avg, 18 HR, .327 OBP, 34 SB

2011 Salary – $7.5 million

Age - 30

Not a great offensive year for Vic. Mainly because he couldn’t hit right handed pitching. Despite a career .275 average as a lefty, he hit .223 in 2010. Think having their leadoff hitter be an automatic out 80% of the games hurt the Phils offense in 2010? I’d say so. His OBP in the first inning when leading off was .298. And he hit .198 in Phillies losses versus .299 in wins. Also, despite a career high in HR, he slugged only .429 and his OPS was the lowest of his career. How did Victorino win a Gold Glove with these offensive numbers?

Victorino will be 30 this season. If he was an Eagle, at that age following that season, he’d be getting cut. But he’s a Phillies, so he’s going to be counted on to make 2010 and aberration, get on base and run, run, run. Also, with the departure of Werth there is a good chance Victorino will be leading off a significant amount of time so Jimmy can slide into the 5-hole. If Vic gets on base at a .327 clip again, there could be major offensive problem again.

That being said, there is nothing that suggests that Victorino won’t revert to pre-2010 form. He was so consistent from 07-09 that he’ll likely put up similar numbers. My prediction:

.279, 12 HR, .349 OBP, 32 SB


Shackamaxon said...

"How did Victorino win a Gold Glove with these offensive numbers?"

...because the Gold Gloves are based entirely on defense, at least in theory. Having a low OPS or a high HR total should not enter into it.

GM-Carson said...

That was said in jest with dripping sarcasm. In recent history it seems without being a good offensive player you won't be considered for a Gold Glove.

Corey said...

i thought they were gold batting gloves. my mistake.

Shackamaxon said...

Hence the "at least in theory". :-)

The theory strays far from the practice. Which is why Bobby Abreu has a GG on his shelf.

(I love me some Bobby...but...DAMN.)

GM-Carson said...

For what it's worth, I guess I should chip in my 2011 predictions too for each player.

Ibanez: .265, 15 HR, 72 RBI

Vic: .290, 12 HR, 90, 70 RBI, 30 SB.

Bob D said...

I can see both players with a modest improvement this year with higher BA and OB% by both.

I love the gold batting gloves as even Jeter won over several athers who had a bit better year last year. Dont get me wrong he was good but not the best at the position last year

GM-Carson said...

I'll give Jeter credit, he's great at making the routine play. As far as being Gold Glove worthy, well, no.