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The Season that Was: J.P. Arencibia

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This year, our rookie catcher, J.P. Arencibia, was coming off a Pacific Coast League MVP season and some time on the bench in Toronto. He did hit two home runs in his first major league game. But 32 home runs and a .301/.359/,626 line in the PCL isn't a guaranty of an ability to hit in the majors.

Again, our preseason predictions, were all over the board. Mine:

For me, his stats this year aren't as important as getting him established as a catcher in the majors. I'd like to see him get 400 at bats. Let's guess a batting line of .240/.290/.420 with 15 homers and 50 RBI.


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - J.P. Arencibia 129 443 47 97 20 4 23 78 36 133 1 1 .219 .282 .438

I guess he did establish himself. He was second among MLB rookies in home runs and tied for second in RBI. 

Fangraphs has him at a 1.5 WAR, giving him a value of $6.7 million to the Jays. He had a BABIP of .255.

J.P. walked 7.4% of the time and struck out 27.4%. At times he showed a good eye at the plate, at other times, not so much. He hit line drives 15.7% of the time, ground balls 34.5% and fly balls 49.8%. Popped out 13.5%. 14.7% of his fly balls became home runs. 

Not surprisingly, he hit lefties (.259/.310/.528) better than right-handers 206/.273/.409).

JP hit slightly better on the road (.237/.302/.425) than at home (.201/.262/.451). 

He hit .240/.310/.440 with RISP. 

By month Arencibia hit:

April: .262/.324/.538.

May: .256/.316/.465.

June: .159/.205/.377.

July: .205/.284/.452.

August: .216/.272/.419.

September: .211/.282/.382.

It is a catcher's lot in life to get banged up a bit, but the team might have been better off if JP took a couple of weeks off when he hurt his wrist in June. 

His favorite team to face? JP hit .313/.389/1.063 against the Twins. Least favorite? He was 0 for 12 in 3 games against the Phillies

His longest hitting streak was 6 games, longest on base streak was 13 games. The longest he went without a hit was 5 games. 

On defense, he wasn't great. I thought he improved as the season when on, but your mileage might vary. He threw out 24% of attempted base stealers. He was 3rd in baseball in passed balls, with 12, behind Jarrod Saltalamacchia's 26 (catching a knuckleball pitcher isn't fun) and Josh Thole (16) with the Mets. There were questions about his 'game calling' before the start of the season. He looked ok at it to me. 

In all, a pretty good rookie season. He is a streak hitter. I think we knew that going in. I am interested to see what he does in the future. I expect his bat to improve. How much is the question. I don't see any reason that his BABIP shouldn't improve some. Add in little improvement in power, with a few extra games thrown in, he could hit 30+ homers. If he could bring his average up a to .250 and get his OBP above .300, he could be a very valuable player. A little improvement on defense would help too. 

If you have missed some of these, so far we have looked at Edwin EncarnacionAdam Lind, Yunel Escobar and Jose Bautista, click on the name to get the post.