Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sickels: Battle of the Backstops: Mike Zunino vs. Travis D’Arnaud

(runs frigid digit down Chez Raoul de la Perlimpinpin’s guest list for D’Arnaud and Zunino)

PROJECTION

D’Arnaud: D’Arnaud projects as a long-term everyday catcher with impressive receiving and leadership skills and adequate ability against baserunners. He’s expected to hit for above-average power, but his OBP may be very dependent on his batting average, given his indifferent walk rates. He is a career .286/.343/.474 hitter in the minors, and his peak major league numbers could be very much like that.

Zunino: Zunino projects as a long-term everyday catcher with adequate receiving skills, along with impressive field leadership and ability against baserunners. He’s expected to hit for above-average power, with good plate discipline helping to enhance his OBP even in years when his batting average slides a bit. He is two years younger than D’Arnaud.

Comparison: Both players have the ability to be All-Star catchers who contribute both offensively and defensively, if in slightly different ways.

SUMMARY

D’Arnaud and Zunino are the two best catching prospects in baseball. Overall, I prefer Zunino very slightly, mostly because he is two years younger and has more time on the development curve.

Repoz Posted: February 18, 2013 at 08:28 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, mets

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4371268)
To be honest, I have never understood the praising of D'Arnaud as some super-duper prospect. He's got some pop and I guess he's a good defensive catcher, but those plate discipline numbers are fairly bad I think. I'm not saying he's going to be a bad regular, but I don't think he's the uber prospect he gets made out to be on prospect lists.

I like Zunino a lot, although we'll have to see how he handles higher levels at the minors. I thought the scouting report before he was drafted was that he wouldn't stick at catcher, but if he "projects as a long-term every day catcher" then I think he's hands down the better prospect IMO.
   2. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4371303)
League average OBP in the MLB last year was .319, so a .343 would be pretty good.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4371315)
Yea, but its tied up largely in his batting average. His BB-K ratio doesn't give me a ton of confidence going forward. Again, I think he'll probably be an okayish regular, but I don't think he'll ever be an impact player and I wouldn't put him in my top 10 or even top 25 prospect list.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4371329)
Yea, but its tied up largely in his batting average. His BB-K ratio doesn't give me a ton of confidence going forward. Again, I think he'll probably be an okayish regular, but I don't think he'll ever be an impact player and I wouldn't put him in my top 10 or even top 25 prospect list.

The guy put up a 150 wRC+ in AA (311/377/542) and a 147 wRC+ in AAA (333/380/595) the last 2 years. The guy has shown big time power (230 and 260 ISO).

He's a top prospect b/c maybe he can put up a 125 wRC+ in the bigs with good D. That's a perennial all-star.

edit: ZiPs already has him at 99 OPS+ projected.
   5. bookbook Posted: February 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4371341)
The M's are unlikely to help Z improve behind the plate.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4371355)
The M's are unlikely to help Z improve behind the plate.

Or at bat, for that matter.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4371375)
Yea, but its tied up largely in his batting average.


I never understood this comment. Is it a bad thing for his OBP to be BA heavy? Is it more likely to fluctuate? Is that a bad thing too?
   8. Greg K Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4371382)
The other thing to keep in mind is that Las Vegas is a tremendous hitter's park.

It's still a little sad not to have D'Arnaud with the Jays anymore. Though hopefully Dickey eases the pain.
   9. formerly dp Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4371393)
It's still a little sad not to have D'Arnaud with the Jays anymore. Though hopefully Dickey eases the pain.
I don't want to jinx you guys, but that team looked pretty amazing without Dickey. With him, they should own the division. I'm really pulling for a bounce-back from Romero. Losing a guy like d'Arnaud has to sting a bit, but the window is now, and Dickey sets them up nicely for both '13 and '14, especially considering how cheap he extended for.

The last few good Met teams have gotten strong production up the middle. They're not set up particularly well on that front now. D'Arnaud's a good first step along that path; I still think Tejada has some growth left in him, and Wilmer Flores being able to handle 2B would be huge, however unlikely.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4371394)
Is it a bad thing for his OBP to be BA heavy? Is it more likely to fluctuate?


My understanding is yes, batting averages tend to fluctuate more.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4371397)
My understanding is yes, batting averages tend to fluctuate more.

But, it's more valuable.

A 330/440 AVG/OBP is worth more than 260/400, all else equal, even if the extra BA is singles. A single is worth more than a BB, and it's likely they'll be at least some doubles in the extra BA.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4371398)
#10 - and is that a bad thing? It would lead to more bad years and ... more good years.
   13. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: February 18, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4371446)
I'm hoping Zunino makes it.

Fun fact: If Zunino has enough impact at the major league level to get added to my 16 years and running Baseball Pro 98 league, he will be last alphabetically. Sneaking in just below Julio Zuleta and Joel Zumaya. I thought I remembered Bob Zupcic being added at one point but it appears not.

And that's this month's totally irrelevant comment about my personal BBPro98 league that no one but me cares about! See you in March!

Edit: Zupcic's career ended 1994, so I guess that wouldn't make sense. Time to dig out my old Microleague baseball files from my Apple IIc.
   14.     Hey Gurl Posted: February 18, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4371447)
I think the thought is that bb/K translates better from he minors to he majors than ba, or slg for that matter. I think.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4371483)
I think the thought is that bb/K translates better from he minors to he majors than ba, or slg for that matter. I think.

That seems odd to me at first blush. I thought there were lots of guys in the minors who can walk vs. pitchers with crappy control, but lose that skill when faced with pitchers with good control. It's a classic trope in discussing very low power, high OBP minor leaguers.
   16. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 18, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4371490)
Apropos of [13], is George Zuverink the last alphabetically ever to play in the Majors? His wiki page said he twice "batteried" with Frank Zupo, who is the penultimate alphabetically in my knowledge bank.
   17. zempf Posted: February 18, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4371503)
According to bbref, Dutch Zwilling has him beat: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/z/
   18. Walt Davis Posted: February 18, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4371505)
Was that a typo Snapper? Of course 330/440 is better than 260/400 because 440 is better than 400. (Those are also pretty extreme numbers). 300/350/450 and 280/350/450 are essentially the same though.

I don't really worry much about how much of OBP comes from BA vs BB but BA tends to take a quite large hit when coming from the minors -- on the order of 10-15% when coming from a neutral environment. If a guy doesn't hit at least 300 in the minors, I don't pay a lot of attention to him (not a prospect hound so I only pay attention to the ones touted as potential stars). Still, ignoring Vegas (not good), those are excellent numbers from D'Arnaud but he's still more likely a 270-280 hitter in the majors. A key thing is that he doesn't strike out very much. The K/BB is not good (3:1) but you can certainly live with that in a C with good defense and some pop. I can't see any particularly good reason to think he won't hit as well as Montero or Wieters and sounds like his defense is in the Wieters end of the pool.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4371511)
Was that a typo Snapper? Of course 330/440 is better than 260/400 because 440 is better than 400. (Those are also pretty extreme numbers). 300/350/450 and 280/350/450 are essentially the same though.

Yes, typo.

330 BA, 400 OBP should be more valuable than 260 BA, 400 OBP, b/c of the runner advancement value of a single over a BB.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2013 at 12:45 AM (#4371653)
330 BA, 400 OBP should be more valuable than 260 BA, 400 OBP, b/c of the runner advancement value of a single over a BB.

Assuming equal ISO yes. Assuming equal SLG, not really. Tango looked at this ages ago -- there's a small difference (and not always in the same direction as I recall) but generally ignorable. So it all depends on what you mean by "all else equal."

Because of the different denominators, it's hard to come up with good examples but:

300 BA in 600 AB is 180 hits
450 SLG in 600 AB is 270 TB
add 50 BBs to that (353 OBP)

260 BA in 570 AB is 148 hits
450 SLG in 570 AB is 257 TB
add 80 BBs to that (351 OBP)

You get 30 BB for 13 TB so the second player starts out well ahead (a walk and a base are roughly equal in value). 17 bases is I think about 6 runs. Player A had 32 more hits and the extra value of a hit is about half the value of a base so those 32 hits work out to about 6 runs.

Once you control for OBP and SLG, BA really doesn't matter. This doesn't mean hits don't matter, this means that the impact of getting a hit is already contained in OBP and SLG. Or, if you prefer, you can't compare BA vs OBP until you specify what assumptions you're making about ISO (or SLG). In my example, Player A is hitting for less power (ISO) than B and walking less often but that is balanced by his better ability to get a hit. To the extent that player A hits for the same power (ISO) as B, he is of course the better hitter because they'll have the same OBP but A will have the higher SLG.

It would all be a lot cleaner if we separated it into:

H/PA + BB/PA + XB/PA

where XB is the number of extra bases. Now everything is on the same denominator and we have clearly separated the value of a hit/single from that of a walk from that of an extra base. It also works out pretty similar if you look at (BB + TB)/PA + H/PA

   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:27 AM (#4371702)
I don't really worry much about how much of OBP comes from BA vs BB but BA tends to take a quite large hit when coming from the minors -- on the order of 10-15% when coming from a neutral environment.
As I understand it, this is mostly about strikeout rates. BABIP and On-contact BA are relatively stable in the transition from AAA to the majors, but strikeout rate take a pretty big leap. High-contact, good-BA hitters translate better to the majors than guys who don't make a lot of contact. Of course, strikeouts are the problem for D'Arnaud.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Sebastian
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogYost's managerial decisions make for extra-entertaining World Series | FOX Sports
(12 - 5:25pm, Oct 25)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogOT:  October 2014 - College Football thread
(451 - 5:24pm, Oct 25)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 4 OMNICHATTER
(12 - 5:24pm, Oct 25)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight

NewsblogBuster Olney on Twitter: "Sources: Manager Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and is leaving the Tampa Bay Rays immediately."
(87 - 5:12pm, Oct 25)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(3786 - 5:11pm, Oct 25)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogDave Dombrowski: Injury worse than expected, Miguel Cabrera 'is as tough as you can possibly be' | MLive.com
(22 - 5:10pm, Oct 25)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(394 - 4:57pm, Oct 25)
Last: Manny Coon

NewsblogJohn McGrath: The Giants have become the Yankees — obnoxious | The News Tribune
(20 - 4:40pm, Oct 25)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(936 - 4:29pm, Oct 25)
Last: Howling John Shade

NewsblogPhils' philospophy beginning to evolve | phillies.com
(12 - 4:08pm, Oct 25)
Last: Textbook Editor

Newsblog9 reasons Hunter Pence is the most interesting man in the World (Series) | For The Win
(22 - 3:31pm, Oct 25)
Last: esseff

NewsblogGambling Bochy creature of habit when it comes to pitchers | CSN Bay Area
(3 - 1:14pm, Oct 25)
Last: esseff

NewsblogMLB - Royals' Ned Yost keeps managing to win - ESPN
(9 - 12:55pm, Oct 25)
Last: The elusive Robert Denby

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1959 Ballot
(7 - 11:46am, Oct 25)
Last: lieiam

NewsblogRoyals get four AL Gold Glove finalists, but not Lorenzo Cain | The Kansas City Star
(17 - 11:46am, Oct 25)
Last: BDC

Page rendered in 0.1604 seconds
52 querie(s) executed