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, March 25, 2013

Sickels: Prospect Retrospective: Vernon Wells

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Vernon Wells announced his pending retirement in February. He’ll play out the string on his contract following today’s trade from the Angels to the Yankees, then go into the sunset after the 2014 season to spend more time with his family. Wells has become the personification of bad contracts and terrible trades, making it too easy to forget how good he was at his peak. Let’s take a look at his career and what he was like as a prospect.

...But it was downhill after that. His plate discipline began to slip. His defense deteriorated. He hit well in 2008 (OPS+123) and 2010 (OPS+125), but was weak in ‘07 and ‘09. The Blue Jays somehow convinced the Angels to take him for 2011, right when the biggest backload of the contract was due to hit. You know the rest of the story.

For all the disappointments of recent years, it is easy to forget that Wells was really quite good at his peak. His career line of .273/.321/.467, OPS+ 106, wRC+ 104 is the result of wild swings between good years and bad ones, but his peak seasons have helped him carry forward a career WAR of 26.7, hardly stunning but also hardly a bad player.

Among career center fielders, this puts him in a career range with very solid guys like Mickey Rivers (27.0), Stan Spence (26.8), Matty Alou (26.6), and Rondell White (26.2), none of them superstars but all guys who were very strong players at their peaks. His Sim Score list brings up guys like George Bell, Ruben Sierra, George Hendrick, and Chet Lemon.

As a prospect, Wells showed superior tools and was a tremendous performer at his best, though he also had some rough patches. . .pretty much just like his major league career. While he is not one of the greats of his generation, Wells was very valuable at his peak. It isn’t his fault that the Blue Jays gave him a giant contract.

Thanks to Kool.

Repoz Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:31 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, yankees

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. RollingWave Posted: March 25, 2013 at 06:49 AM (#4395638)
yeah but non of those solid player were getting one of the biggest contracts on baseball.

it really boggles the mind, For most of the Yankees long contract, you can at least argue that those players were likely to no doubt HOF players (Mark Teixiera probably being the most borderline.) but Wells? come on.

   2. Greg K Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:42 AM (#4395660)
I suppose the contract's relevance depends on what you're saying about Wells. If you're recounting how he developed as a player and trying to retrospectively assess him, I can see dismissing the contract as a distorting presence looming over his career.

If you're trying to determine whether you want him on your team, then yeah, the contract can't be avoided.
   3. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:48 AM (#4395663)
a career WAR of 26.7

So, will that number higher or lower after his time with the Yanks?
   4. PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 09:04 AM (#4395672)
Higher.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 09:09 AM (#4395675)
I say the same.
   6. Bote Man makes baseball fun again Posted: March 26, 2013 at 01:58 AM (#4396498)
Sources say Ricky Ledee would NOT listen if the Yankees called:

Yankees need outfielder but I am not interested in the position anyway


   7. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 26, 2013 at 02:38 AM (#4396500)
But would he listen if Jay Horvitz's ass called?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
James Kannengieser
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 2016 June 27: Republican comeback after eight years? Yeah, on the baseball diamond
(865 - 12:25pm, Jun 29)
Last: Orange Julius Is the New Black

NewsblogTop prospect Aaron Judge making case to be on the New York Yankees - Yankees Blog- ESPN
(2 - 12:23pm, Jun 29)
Last: Boxkutter

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 6-29-16
(1 - 12:23pm, Jun 29)
Last: Moses Taylor, sex fowler

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-29-2016
(14 - 12:21pm, Jun 29)
Last: BDC

NewsblogOT: 2016 Summer Soccer Thread
(1176 - 12:14pm, Jun 29)
Last: ursus arctos

NewsblogThe Francisco Lindor Effect Is Ridiculous | FanGraphs Baseball
(9 - 12:09pm, Jun 29)
Last: Sonny Gray's Got a Yakker for Your Culo

NewsblogJose Reyes must demonstrate sincere remorse in return to Mets - NY Daily News
(159 - 12:09pm, Jun 29)
Last: Orange Julius Is the New Black

Gonfalon CubsSlumping and Busting
(27 - 12:04pm, Jun 29)
Last: Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com

NewsblogOT: NBA Playoffs Thread 2016
(6217 - 12:00pm, Jun 29)
Last: Dandy Little Glove Man

NewsblogCubs use 3 different pitchers as OFs en route to 15-inning win
(6 - 11:54am, Jun 29)
Last: Moses Taylor, sex fowler

Sox TherapyIs It Time To Panic?
(2 - 11:51am, Jun 29)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogReport: Red Sox, Jason Groome Far Apart In Contract Negotiations « CBS Boston
(23 - 11:47am, Jun 29)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogColabello wants to clear his name
(8 - 11:44am, Jun 29)
Last: Booey

NewsblogSABR 46 Convention in Miami
(11 - 11:22am, Jun 29)
Last: Foghorn Leghorn

NewsblogOT Gaming: October 2015
(487 - 11:14am, Jun 29)
Last: DJS, the Digital Dandy

Page rendered in 0.1261 seconds
47 querie(s) executed