Tuesday, February 23, 2016

2016 Preview: Peter Bourjos

As we move toward the 2016 season, let us take a look at each player on the roster and what a reasonably successful season would look like. We started with Aaron Nola. Our most recent entry was Jerad Eickhoff.

Name: Peter Bourjos
Position: SP
Age: 29 in March
Bat/Throw: Right/Right
Number: (unknown; 8 in St. Louis)
Experience: 590 games

What we saw in 2015

Last season saw Peter Bourjos continue to struggle, as he has seen since his impressive 2011 campaign. That year, he hit .271/.327/.438 with 22 stolen bases, 12 home runs and a league leading 11 triples. At 24, he had a 5.4 WAR.
Since then, he's had a below average OPS in four of five seasons. Last season, he hit a .200/.290/.333. A sparkling defender with a lot of speed, he misused his talents last year. He was caught in eight of 13 stolen base attempts and struck out three times for every walk. On a positive note, he walked at a career-best 8.4 percent rate.
One would think his problem was a fluke batting average on balls in play. That he only hit .200 because he was unlucky. But that's not it, or at least not all of it. He hit .263 on balls in play. That's low, but not terribly so. It was the second season in a row he struck out at a 26% or worse rate.

Important goals for 2016

Put the ball in play: Bourjos is pretty fast and that tool gets wasted when he whiffs in a quarter of his at-bats. It's sounds Little League-esque, but he should spend the season trying to reinvent his approach at the plate. He's proven he can walk more. If he can get better at putting the ball in play when he swings, his average and on-base percentage will go up.
Run, Peter Rabbit, run: When Bourjos gets on base, he has to be a better threat to swipe a bag. He not only has a less than 70 percent stolen base percentage, but he doesn't run enough overall.  If Pete Mackanin is going to play Bourjos, he's gotta provide reasons to play.


I'm often an optimist, but I can't bring myself to be one on Bourjos' behalf. He's hit .231/.301/.344 in the past four years.
Maybe there's a chance playing every day again can bring out the player we saw in 2011. If that's the case, maybe the Phillies did find a bargain.


GM-Carson said...

I see Bourjous the same way you do, basically as nothing much. He hasn't been able to hit, and his defense slipped a lot last season (which is what he's known for). If Cody Asche and/or Tyler Goeddel can hit enough, Bourjos will be little used (or at least I would hope).

GM-Carson said...

I'm going to be so PISSED if Mackanin doesn't do a straight platoon of Howard & Ruf. Howard has proven without a shadow of a doubt, that he can't hit lefties. Hasn't for many years, and at 36 years old, that ain't changing. Bat him against righties and let him light them up (.800+ OPS). Ruf slaughters lefties, so let him do it on the regualr. Between the two of the, our first basemen could have a .850ish OPS if platooned properly. That would be a tremendous boon to the lineup. Not to mention, it might just trick someone into trading for one or both of them.

Pat said...

I'm not surprised or angered by Howard's comments. But Mack has to bench him against lefties - unless he has a track record of success against them individually.
If Johan Santana is pitching, let him hit.