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Sunday, October 07, 2012

Simon: Jason Bay’s Miserable 2012 Batting Average

Always worth noting a Joe Borchard sighting.

Since 2000, there have been 4,480 player-seasons of at least 200 plate appearances in Major League Baseball. That’s not 4,480 different players, mind you, but rather 4,480 times over the past thirteen years in which a player has made 200 or more trips to the plate. Jason Bay’s 2012 disaster was one of those player-seasons.

In just 64 of those seasons — a scant 1.4% of them — a player batted less than .200. Two of those players were Mets. One was Joe McEwing (“Super Joe”), who hit .199 in 214 plate appearances for the Bobby Valentine-managed 2002 Mets. McEwing contributed a .242 on-base percentage and a .296 slugging percentage, though he did play every defensive position except pitcher and catcher, so at least he was versatilely awful.

The other Met on the list is Jason Bay, who hit .165 in 215 plate appearances this season. He did so while playing only left field. That .165 average was the eighth-worst since 2000. Of the aforementioned 4,480 player-seasons of at least 200 plate appearances, only seven — .16% — resulted in a lower batting average than Bay accrued in 2012.

Repoz Posted: October 07, 2012 at 08:37 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: October 07, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4257629)
And to think he played Man-Ram for half a season.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: October 07, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4257639)

interesting from click on the link that so many guys get 200+ AB with awful AVGs - but 300 is not reached by anyone in the top 24 except Adam Dunn 2001, at .159.

Next-lowest with more than 300 AB is Mark McGwire's .187 in 2001.

Even patient teams have their limits.....

   3. PreservedFish Posted: October 07, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4257646)
As a Mets fan I've seen my fair share of disappointing veterans, both the guys that are just too darn old to play well and the guys that absolutely fall apart for reasons unknown. Bay is a bit unique in that he only really looks like a broken man at the plate. His defense (which I thought was a pleasant surprise when he first arrived, given rumors of Incaviglian incompetence) has not faltered, and he seems like he's still a good baserunner and an earnest fellow. But he cannot hit at all.

The tv guys have suggested that he's been ruined by concussions. I dunno.
   4. bobm Posted: October 07, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4257649)
For single seasons, From 2000 to 2012, Played 50% of games at LF, (requiring batting_avg<=.200 and At least 200 plate appearances), sorted by oldest

Rk                      BA  PA Year Age  Tm Lg   G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS  OBP  SLG  OPS    Pos
1        Andruw Jones .197 269 2012  35 NYY AL  94 233 27 46  7  0 14  34 28   1 71   5  0  3   2  0  0 .294 .408 .701   *79D
2           Jason Bay .165 215 2012  33 NYM NL  70 194 21 32  2  0  8  20 19   0 58   0  0  2   3  5  1 .237 .299 .536     *7
3       Willie Harris .183 262 2010  32 WSN NL 132 224 25 41  6  2 10  32 33   0 60   2  1  2   3  5  2 .291 .362 .653 79/58D
4     Ryan Langerhans .167 244 2007  27 TOT ML 125 210 27 35  7  2  6  23 29   2 81   2  1  2   4  3  1 .272 .305 .576  *78/9
5      Bryan Petersen .195 273 2012  26 MIA NL  84 241 29 47  9  3  0  17 25   0 58   1  5  1   3  8  2 .272 .257 .530  *78/9

   5. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: October 07, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4257658)
Petersen was really terrible, wasn't he..didn't realize this bad.
   6. toratoratora Posted: October 07, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4257862)
Good thing the Red Sox did phone surveys and kneejerk signed free agents to make up for Bay's departure.
   7. depletion Posted: October 07, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4258470)
Ryan Langerhans .167

I was at a Mets-Nats game with a buddy. Langerhaus came up to face Santana, who was having a very good year. My buddy mentioned, "this guy's supposed to be the worst hitter in the major leagues." First pitch, SMACK, home run. I thought it was pretty hilarious.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: October 07, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4258746)
Bay is likely going to have a "bounce back" assuming anybody gives him a chance. His BABIP this year was 185. 185. Even pitchers have a BABIP around 220 and, lost at the plate as he might be, he's not a worse hitter than a pitcher. The good news is that he had a 325 BABIP in 2010 and 295 in 2011. The bad news is that he wasn't a particularly good hitter in those years despite the average-good BABIP so even if he returns to that level, he'll still be Jason Bay at best.

It's possible it's the new Shea and he was just never able to make the adjustments that Wright did -- and it's probably screwed him forever now. Guys do fall off cliffs but he's a guy who was averaging a HR/PA around 5% for years then overnight turned into a guy averaging less than 2.5% for the last three (OK, about 2 seasons of PA). Maybe it's not as rare as I think, Szym is always warning about late bloomers going off a cliff early. Anyway, if he hadn't lost power, his 2010-11 would look just fine and this would have been his Dunn 2011 year. Instead, well, if you can't hit for average or power you're not gonna get playing time (the less of the sub-200 list).
   9. The District Attorney Posted: October 08, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4258883)
Langerhans didn't hit for average, but he often did enough secondary stuff to be decent nonetheless. He hit .234 in 2008, but managed a .380 OBP anyway, so it added up to 107 OPS+. On various dates in 2010, he had truly weird-looking slash lines such as 143/455/357 (May 11) and 182/413/394 (June 16). Also a good defender, at least by reputation... an interesting player.
   10. bobm Posted: October 08, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4258895)

BAbip for same player-seasons as in [4]:

            Player BAbip   BA  PA Year
      Andruw Jones  .212 .197 269 2012
         Jason Bay  .185 .165 215 2012
     Willie Harris  .199 .183 262 2010
   Ryan Langerhans  .232 .167 244 2007
    Bryan Petersen  .255 .195 273 2012
   11. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:51 AM (#4258922)
Langerhans had a couple big GWH for the Marienrs, too. One of those clutch players we're always talking about.:)

Chone Figgins fell 6 AB's short of adding his 2012 on to of his 2011 achievement.
   12. Honkie Kong Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:53 AM (#4258923)
Three of those players are ex-Braves OF. They had an awful outfield for 6-7 years prior to this one.
Shocked Mondesi/Brian Jordan/Garrett Anderson didn't make the cut.

Langerhans "looked" like a good player. He was Frenchy without the hot start.
His defence was really good. He drew some walks. He was good on the bases.
Classic AAAA player.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: October 08, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4258926)
On various dates in 2010, he had truly weird-looking slash lines such as 143/455/357

That's pretty much what I hit in high school.
   14. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 08, 2012 at 08:18 AM (#4258947)
Let's make a movie about Andruw Jones and Jason Bay: Done and Done-er.
   15. Carlo Paz Posted: October 08, 2012 at 08:24 AM (#4258949)
Watching Ozzie trot Adam Dunn out for 500 ABs was excruciating. I have often heard that this years attendance is a function of last years performance. I think this year White Sox fans were saying, (much like Lance Henrikson said to The Kid in "Dead Man" just before he shot him in the head), \"#### me? #### you!"
   16. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 08, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4258950)
bay in a vague way always reminded me of bobby higgenson. a guy who kind of surprised me in that when you watched them move and swing you think no way can this guy play but then the ball jumps off the bat or somehow ends up in their glove on defense and you think, 'ok, i was way off'.

and then they turn 30 and everything seems to just vanish.

maybe it was a concussion(s) with bay. more likely he just got old fast
   17. formerly dp Posted: October 08, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4258984)
One of Bay's hits was a grand slam. I don't think he should be playing at all, let alone every day, but it was a nice moment for him in an otherwise miserable season. I thought it might be a sign of better things to come, but it wasn't...

For a while I thought they should just cut him, but given their finances and the lack of OF depth, I guess it doesn't hurt to give him spring training of next year to make the team.
   18. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: October 08, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4258991)
I think Bobby Higginson is a real good comp... especially if it turns out that this was the real end - no deadcat bounce or anything coming - for Bay.

It's pretty clear that Bay is done if he stays in NY - looking at his contract, he's got 16 mil guaranteed in 2013 and a 17 mil option predicated on what looks like an impossibility (600 PAs) for 2014 (vs a 3 million buyout).

Since it never gets old thinking about methods to move Soriano... I wonder what the Mets would be willing to toss in? Soriano's next two years are guaranteed at a few million more than Bay, but Soriano also looks like he's got a decent chance to be overpaid, but better than replacement level, even with a few more years on the odometer.

I wouldn't do a Bay-Soriano deal straight up - even without money changing hands - and I likewise wouldn't expect a top 10 prospect to get tossed in... but I think a lottery ticket or two would be reasonable. Of course, I suspect the Mets remain in relatively dire financial straights and as such, probably aren't interested in any swap that actually adds to their salary load, even if by a relatively small amount. Of course, the Cubs also have the dollar flexibility to pay some freight, too -- but then, I think the toss-in price goes up a bit (maybe not "top 10 prospect" up, but something better than lottery ticket).
   19. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: October 08, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4259167)
It occurred to me that Seattle and the Mets could do a my-problem-for-yours trade of Chone Figgins for Bay, but then I looked at the salaries - good Lord, Bay's making over 2X Chone's paycheck. The Mets would have to thrown in around 10 million to equalize the cash flows.

Anyway, I can still see positives for each team. Chone's speed and versatility would be more useful in the NL. The Mariners are weak in the outfield. Bay is from British Columbia, and he actually lives in the Seattle area. He's a neighbor of one of my softball teammates. If being close to home doesn't perk him up, at least they'll sell a few more tickets to Canadians. /grasping at straws

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