POTD Freddy Sanchez

=== EYE RATIO ===

How many walks per strikeout for Senor Sanchez?

Age 27 - 0.75

Age 28 - 0.60

Age 29 - 0.42

Age 30 - 0.30

Age 31 - this year (TBD)

This is a player that, in a roto Keeper league, I would be V-E-R-Y careful about trading for.

A few facts, per Shandler at baseballhq.com:


=== EYE as Leading Indicator for AVG ===

(1) Of all .300 hitters, those with eye ratios >1.0 have a 65% chance of repeating.  Those with ratios

(2) Only 4% of sub-.250 hitters with eye ratios less than 0.50 will hit .300 the following year.  (How about those at .30?)

(3) In a 1995-2000 study, only 37 batter-seasons (6 per year) hit .300+ with a sub-.50 eye ratio if they had at least 300 AB's.   And of those few, only 30% did it consistently.

In other words, if you have a lousy eye ratio, expect a lousy AVG.


=== EYE as Leading Indicator for PWR ===

During a 4-year study of hitters who had 30 HR's or more:

All hitters with eyes

In other words, if your eye ratio is where Franklin Gutierrez' is, yet you do manage to hit 30 homers somehow, then you are a 7-to-1 bet to decline in PX the next season.


=== TRENDS ===

For me, projections begin, end, and wallow in EYE ratio.  The ability to distinguish between balls and strikes is kind of important to a hitter.  

Will Russell Branyan hit next year?  How are his K's and BB's in fulltime play?  Much better than his career line:  he's at 4/9 right now, compared to his 3/9 historically.  He's solid.

Bill James did not teach us to look at K/BB ratio.  He taught us to look at where K/BB was going across a series of years.


Sabermetrics couldn't find a better player to boo-and-hiss than Freddy Sanchez.  

(He has bounced back slightly this year, to .40, but you could almost interpret that as random fluctuation.  18/45 is nothing to be proud of for a non-power hitter.

How has he hit .316/.355/.477 this year?  By getting lucky.  He has a .356 BABIP.)

There is nothing more important than the TREND in a hitter's or pitcher's K-to-BB ratio, and Sanchez' is catastrophic.


=== The Good News Dept. ===

(1) Recent underperformance.  Sanchez was injured in 2007, and had a .250 BABIP in the first half of 2008.  His fans have MANY reasons to complain that he's been underperforming during most of the last two years -- and to hope that 2009 is a bounceback, rather than luck.


(2) Natural hitter.  Sanchez, though he doesn't hit HR's or steal bases or walk, DOES consistently sting the ball around the diamond.  Think Howie Kendrick.  (Who also is declining as his free-swinging ways catch up to him.)


(3) High career BABIP.  Sanchez' lifetime BABIP, though he's right-handed and not super fast, is .329.  Very impressive.   Given his LD% and GB%, he obviously gets on top of the ball and stings it real good.  That could work at Safeco.

I don't think that Sanchez is QUITE as scary as his eye ratio suggests, but ... don't get carried away on this guy.  An All-Star he is not.  You putting Howie Kendrick on the All-Star team this year?


(4) Defense.

Sanchez is evidently a plus defender at second base, and several years ago, he was apparently a Gold Glover at third.

Now, Freddy Sanchez is not my type of player, but if you think of him as a glove specialist with a Howie Kendrick bat... well, sure.

Compared to Adrian Beltre at 3B -- if Sanchez were still great with the glove at 3B -- I'd probably take Sanchez.   Sanchez would give me a nice hard 100 OPS+ line around .300/.330/.400, and I'll take that and run vs. what Adrian was doing.   I'd rather have the consistent AVG than the occasional PWR.


=== Dr's Prognosis ===

Personally don't think that Freddy Sanchez is anything near All-Star level, but he's quite comparable to Adrian Beltre in overall value and skillset.  

Could Sanchez stick at third?  Why wouldn't he?  Players move from 2B to 3B when they get older, not the other way around.  It's step-and-dive.  Sanchez hasn't lost his hands.  I have total confidence that he could move right back to 3B and excel there.


Though definitely not my kind of player, I've got to admit that in absolute terms, Sanchez is a quality ML ballplayer.

Considering that the M's have a PCL left side of the diamond, a Beltre-comparable could help the M's quite a bit.

In the short term,

Dr D



Sandy - Raleigh's picture

One thing to keep in mind with any transplant is where he's coming from.  Today, the analysts are quick to point to park effects for possible problems.  This is good.  But, I think while capturing some of the dangers, the examination is over-simplified.  EVERY organization has its own hot buttons.  They TEACH "their" way of doing things.  Seattle, under Bavasi, preached putting the ball in play, and avoiding strikeouts.  We saw the results.
The Pirates have been mired in the muck for a long time because the organization has some very curious ideas about what works - and unlike the Ms, they appear either unwilling or unable to break these patterns.  Pittsburgh, for a long time has LOATHED the walk, LOATHED the strikeout, and in many, many ways, they are in fact, the NL clone of the Bavasi Ms.  They typically rank last in OBP, but are often middle of the pack or better in hitter Ks.  They also have a park that is friendly to lefty power hitters, and generally hurtful to righties.
The good news is that park effects are about the same, so Safeco shouldn't hurt any Pirate import.  The bad news is that Pirate players were taught the same things that Bavasi players were taught.  The question then is ... are the players only CAPABLE of doing what they've done, or has the organization suppressed their production?  The club doesn't like hitters that walk, and they seem intent on dumping any hitter that DOES.
What is really odd is how often the Pirates generate ROOKIES that come up and hit record numbers of doubles, then never repeat the performance.  ARAM had 40-2B and 34-HRs at age 23, but collapsed as a sophomore and was traded.  Jason Bay tore it up for two years, before his walks (and XBHs) suddenly vanished. 
Wilson was fanning 70-74 times a season thru 2004, (when he had his career year with 41-doubles).  Then his Ks dropped to 58, (and his power vanished).  If the big year had been 2003, then I'd be thinking juice.  But, I'm thinking the club, when it sees GOOD production, immediately says -- "Fantastic -- but if you just cut down on your Ks and BBs, then you could be REALLY good."
Sanchez had 53 and 42 doubles.  He doesn't hit HRs, but when he hits the ball, he hits it hard. 
You want the short and sour on the Pirates?  They are VERY good at developing talent.  But, the longer they hold talent, the worse the talent performs.  They have been throwing the Bavasi hex on their OWN players for a decade - that Bavasi "mostly" only threw on his imports. 
No - I'm not PREDICTING suprisingly good results if any Pirates arrive in Seattle.  I'm just saying that Seattle knows what it feels like to turn great talent into dogmeat -- and the Pirates are the NL masters of this process.  If the club is going to have a repeat of the Bret Boone experience, it will almost certainly be by selecting someone whose been mis-guided by an organization for their entire careers, thereby suppressing their actual value.


The news has slipped...YuBet has been traded to the Royals for two minor league pitchers...details still to come...I have a feeling this is a precusor to something else though...I don't see how two minor league pitchers who weren't good enough to crack the Royals' pen help us at all unless of course we had to do that to clear salary so we can afford to take on a Wilson or Sanchez.


Since you didn't post it on the top page, we'll hafta...
I realize that your implication is that the M's would be getting a player(s) who could be revived.  My own concern is that the M's are getting more National League players who are anti-sabermetric.
Right now everybody in cyber-Seattle thinks that Jack Zduriencik can do NOTHING wrong.  There's no such thing as a GM who doesn't make mistakes, but the blog-o-sphere right now is analyzing him exactly that way.
I like your interpretation that there's room for a Guillen-, Spiezio-type resuscitation here, but for my part, I'm wondering why all these imports (Chavez, Cedeno, Wilson, Sanchez, Langerhans, etc) are (1) National League players and (2) mostly guys who look bad under the saber-scope.
Zduriencik has two big hits, CF and 1B, and those were both players who came up with the Indians.
That's not to say that Wilson and/or Sanchez might not be good moves.  It's an interesting pattern emerging, though.


Would assume that Betancourt's salary was fouling up the Pirates talks.

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