Read + Write + Report
Home | Start a blog | About Orble | FAQ | Blogs | Writers | Paid | My Orble | Login

Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Tony Romo

11/2011 Player Profile: Torii Hunter

November 28th 2011 15:57
At the age of 36, Anaheim Angels right fielder Torii Hunter is obviously beginning to see a decline in skill. He is still a productive hitter, but his defense has fallen off ever since he has played for the Angels. His defense has been overrated, and those who think Hunter is still one of the best outfielders in baseball would be dead wrong. He's still a solid player, but his offensive value doesn't translate as well into a more hitter-heavy position (right field). The five-year deal worth $90 million dollars that he signed in 2007 has actually been a rather poor one, as Hunter has been worth about $55 million dollars through his first four seasons when he was expected to be worth $72 million through those years. It wasn't a huge mistake, but people who think this was a good deal would also be wrong.

I mainly want to focus on Hunter as a player now, than rather talk about his historical value (that's what the historical player profiles are for). The RF was worth 2.5 WAR last season, as he was solid in the field and decent- not likely to continue- on the bases despite just five stolen bases. With 82 RBIs, 80 runs, and a .332 wOBA, Torii Hunter was an above-average hitter last season. He only hit .262, but his on-base percentage of .336 was solid as were his 23 homers.

One of the most consistent hitters in baseball, Hunter's OBP is usually in the .330's and his home run totals are usually in the low 20's. Next season, he should walk less but hit more home runs and have about the same performance at the plate overall in the last year of his hefty contract.

Although Hunter's career LD% is a measly 17.4%, 21% of his hits were line drives last year. However, liners fluctuate from year to year, so there isn't much that can be drawn out of this. A problem is that Hunter chased more pitches this year, and although he did get more contact out of it chasing pitches hurt his overall value.

Torii Hunter will be 37 years old next season in July, but he has shown relative consistency at the plate; although his skills have understandbely, steadily declined due to age. Hunter is one of those guys who has aged gracefully, and he is still a solid player who provides some offense. It's not stupid to even hint that Hunter has been poor defensively over the past few seasons, because he is way on the wrong side of thirty and was playing center at that age. His play in the field was actually good in right field- a much easier position that requires much less speed out of an older player- thanks to a good arm in right.
109 wRC-plus in 2011

9/2011 Team Scope: LA Angels

September 20th 2011 12:44
While they are still in the race, the Angels playoff hopes are basically over. What should haunt them is the fact that they traded a very productive power-hitting catcher, for a guy with a huge contract who is an old, marginal player. Not only does Vernon Wells have a massive contract, but he has a negative WAR total and one of the worst OBPs for an everyday player of all-time. Don't you hate it when GMs keep running these old scrubs out there all the time?

There have also been musings of Art Moreno girding up his loins to try to pursue the much-coveted Albert Pujols. If they could ever get their hands on Puj, this offense would go from ho-hum to elite. What to do with Kendrys Morales? Ship off the oft-injured first baseman to someone who could use him more. After all, he's not all that good when you compare him to the other first basemen around the league. And heck, they could end up with a couple of decent prospects in return.

Howie Kendrick is way ahead of all the other Angels' position players with a 5.8 WAR, but I do have some concerns with him. His .339 BABIP is a little fluky- but not as lucky as one might think- and he strikes out 20 percent of the time, while only walking five percent of the time. What really helps him are his baserunning and fielding abilities, and he has actually hit for more power than Torii Hunter this season.

Even if he is a little lucky, I think the plate discipline has to do with the fact that he doesn't have all that much power anyway. Like, patience is only a virtue- in baseball kids- for power hitters who wait for a pitch they can drive. Although Kendrick has good pop for a second baseman, he's best served going after a pitch he can put on the ground. Hence, the high BABIP total.

Torii Hunter may have 21 taters, but he really hasn't had a good season. He's been decent, but that's not the type of play the Angels want to get back with the money he makes. His contact has been poor, but he has done a solid job of drawing walks. The problem, however, is that a .261 BA with a .297 BABIP just doesn't cut it. UZR has actually rated Hunter as slightly below average in the field this season, and I have seen a noticeable drop-off in quality in his defense. Oh what to do, what to do with Mr. Hunter.

Dan Haren is a better pitcher than Jered Weaver. There, I said it. Hang me; no man vagabond, call me what you will. Haren has been better this season, and he is better overall. To me, the reasons are quite clear and are easy to spot once we look past ERA.

You see, Weaver benefits an awful lot from playing in Angel Stadium, because his FB% is almost at 50 percent. Yeah, Peter Bourjos really is that important to what the Angels do defensively. Haren, on the other hand, is well-balanced in the type of contact he dishes out. Both pitchers have similar strikeout rates, but what also sets them apart is the fact that Haren has much better control. Put it all together, and Haren has higher FIP, xFIP, and WAR totals than Weaver (6.2 WAR to 5.6 WAR).
Why do they play this guy?

8/2011 Center Fielder Rankings

August 6th 2011 14:07
One of the premier positions in baseball is center field. First off, it is the second most important position on the diamond- after shortstop- and many of the game's greats were center fielders. Below are my rankings of the center fielders in baseball today. (Minimum 750 plate appearances as a center fielder since 2009)

1. Rangers Josh Hamilton
2. Dodgers Matt Kemp
3. Phillies Shane Victorino
4. Yankees Curtis Granderson
5. Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury
6. Rockies Carlos Gonzalez
7. Pirates Andrew McCutchen
8. Braves Michael Bourn
9. Diamondbacks Chris Young
10. Yankees Brett Gardner
11. Orioles Adam Jones
12. Blue Jays Colby Rasmus
13. Reds Drew Stubbs
14. Twins Denard Span
15. Angels Torii Hunter
16. Indians Grady Sizemore
17. Rays B.J. Upton
18. Giants Carlos Beltran
19. Mets Angel Pagan
20. Giants Andres Torres
21. White Sox Alex Rios
22. Mariners Franklin Gutierrez
23. Braves Nate McLouth
24. Cubs Marlon Byrd
25. Brewers Nyjer Morgan
26. Angels Vernon Wells
27. Tigers Austin Jackson
28. Athletics Coco Crisp
29. Brewers Carlos Gomez
30. Blue Jays Rajai Davis

The Braves got a really nice deal when they got the eighth best center fielder in baseball for a a handful of decent prospects. They really needed a leadoff hitter and a better CF than McLouth. I still have McLouth in the top 25, but that's really not saying much. After all, there are only 30 starting centerfielders in the game. These are all useful players- they are starting-caliber center fielders- but some of them have a shorter shelf-life on this list than others.

The Yankees have two very good center fielders in Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson. But I honestly think that Gardner is better suited for the starting role in center, because Gardner is the best outfielder in baseball- in terms of fielding- and Granderson is only an average fielder.

Josh Hamilton is the best center fielder in baseball, and I don't buy the argument that he isn't good enough in center. His fielding rating from Fan Graphs in center is far better than Kemp's. Hamilton is actually a good defensive player, but people can't see past the stereotype of big mashers being solid defensive players in center. Kemp is fast, but man does he make some mistakes out there in center. It's a tough call, but Hamilton's RC of 142 makes it a win for the Rangers' CF.
Walk-Off Single in 10th

Joe Soriano's Blogs

153 Vote(s)
7 Comment(s)
4 Post(s)
26738 Vote(s)
81 Comment(s)
294 Post(s)
78 Vote(s)
0 Comment(s)
3 Post(s)
Moderated by Joe Soriano
Copyright © 2012 On Topic Media PTY LTD. All Rights Reserved. Design by
On Topic Media ZPages: Sydney |  Melbourne |  Brisbane |  London |  Birmingham |  Leeds     [ Advertise ] [ Contact Us ] [ Privacy Policy ]