Re: Fangraph's Top Free Agents
posted at 10/22/2013 9:57 PM EDT
In response to notin's comment:
Salty did not have too much "familiarity" with Dempster, Lackey, Uehara, and others, but your point is well taken.
Saltalamacchia is a bit of a dilemma.
He certainly was better as a catcher, but let’s not pretend he became an elite defender, or even close to one.
The pitching staff has a familiarity with him, which is a definite bonus. Also, he is fairly young for a free agent.
But he was a very lucky hitter, with most of his offensive improvement bolstered by a lofty .372BABIP. His xBABIP is a bit lower, at .330. This means his .273 / .338 / .466 (.804) really should have been closer to .247 / .314 / .440 (.754). Is he really worth that deal with an OPS 50 points lower? The BA and OBP are identical to numbers posted by Ryan Doumit last year.
Pros and cons…
On the higher than normal BAbip, I'm not going to argue that he wasn't luckier than normal, but maybe this had something to do with it ...
(His GB% also went up from 30.6% to 32.8%.)
He had 20 more ABs than 2012 and 21 more Line Drives. I'm not saying all those extra line drives accounted for the increase in BA and BAbip, but I'm sure it probably was part of it. (He had 26 more hits overall in 2013 to 2012.)
For argument's sake, if you took away 21 hits (his extra line drives) from 2013's numbers his BA would go from .273 to .224.
His BA in 2012 was .222.
His high BAbip was probably some luck mixed in with hitting the ball harder than ever before (just not for HRs).
Also, his BB% went from 8.5% to 9.1%, so that alone accounts for quite a bit on the OBP rise and not just the BAbip increase.