Looking at the Blue Jays Outfield

Continuing on from last week's post on Anthopoulos and the top two stats he focuses on for a hitter – BB% and SO% (percentage of plate appearances that result in a walk or a strikeout), I've decided to look at the Blue Jays outfield for 2013 and how they've done in this area. Just to refresh everyone's memory, an average MLB player will produce the following: 17.7% for SO%, 8.4% for BB% and 2.10 for SO/BB. I've already covered Jose Bautista who's stats can be seen below as a refresher:

Year Age Tm Lg SO% BB% SO/BB
2008 27 TOT MLB 21.5% 9.4% 2.28
2009 28 TOR AL 21.0% 13.9% 1.52
2010 29 TOR AL 17.0% 14.6% 1.16
2011 30 TOR AL 17.0% 20.2% 0.84
2012 31 TOR AL 15.8% 14.8% 1.07
9 Yrs 19.2% 13.5% 1.42

Colby Rasmus

Year Age Tm Lg PA SO% BB% SO/BB
2009 22 STL NL 520 18.3% 6.9% 2.64
2010 23 STL NL 534 27.7% 11.8% 2.35
2011 24 TOT MLB 526 22.1% 9.5% 2.32
2011 24 STL NL 386 20.0% 11.7% 1.71
2011 24 TOR AL 140 27.9% 3.6% 7.80
2012 25 TOR AL 625 23.8% 7.5% 3.17
4 Yrs 2205 23.0% 8.9% 2.59

In 2012, I was pretty happy to see Colby match his career high in home runs (23) and set a new career high with 75 RBI in a season. Although I have to say it was done with a torrid June and a pretty awful rest of the year as Bluebird Banter nicely addressed here.

Looking at these metrics only, one can see that Colby's been incredibly bad as a Blue Jay compared to a Cardinal. Even before the 2011 trade to Toronto, he was having a better year than in 2010 where he posted a career best .859 OPS although that was with an exceptionally high .354 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In-Play where league average is .290 to .310). If Colby's BABIP even returns to his 4-year average of .287, he should have his most successful season as a Blue Jay yet. In fact, Bill James is projecting a .237/.312/.427 (BA/OBP/SLG) with a 9.4 BB% and 23.5 SO% in 2013. The batting average is still low, but the rest of it would be an improvement upon his time as a Blue Jay thus far. I'd certainly take that!

Melky Cabrera

Year Age Tm Lg PA SO% BB% SO/BB
2005 20 NYY AL 19 10.5% 0.0%
2006 21 NYY AL 524 11.3% 10.7% 1.05
2007 22 NYY AL 612 11.1% 7.0% 1.58
2008 23 NYY AL 453 12.8% 6.4% 2.00
2009 24 NYY AL 540 10.9% 8.0% 1.37
2010 25 ATL NL 509 12.6% 8.3% 1.52
2011 26 KCR AL 706 13.3% 5.0% 2.69
2012 27 SFG NL 501 12.6% 7.2% 1.75
8 Yrs 3864 12.1% 7.4% 1.64

In looking at what Melky's done, he's been a well-above average MLB hitter his entire career except for the fact that he's a bit under league average in taking a walk. What's interesting is that Melky had his highest BABIP of .379 last year, so we can't expect him to hit .346 again, but a nice .295 as Bill James projects would be great. Besides, if he shows a selective eye, makes contact and gets on-base, I'm sure Anthopoulos and the rest of the Blue Jays would be happy with his performance...especially if he scores 88 runs next year as Bill James also forecasts.
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