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The Season that Was: J.P. Arencibia

A look at J.P. Arencibia's 2013 season.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

You know, J.P. Arencibia's rookie season gave us a pretty good feeling about the guy. Not that .219/.282/.438 and 23 home runs are great numbers, but you kind of mentally fill in a normal progression and you can see a .260/.320/.550 line, with 30 plus homers, after two or three years of experience in the majors. You imagine he'll figure out how to take a walk. Most players see a improvement in their base on balls numbers as they get used to the majors. And you imagine by 28 or 29 he'll have that great breakout season.

Well, it hasn't happened.

His 2012 season was, at least offensively, a small step down from his rookie year, putting up a .233/.275/.435 line with 18 home runs.

In the J.P. prediction thread I said:

J.P. Arencibia is am interesting player. Lots off power, streaky as any player you'll ever see and walks about once a week. If he could walk twice or three times a week and be a little less streaky or make the good streaks last longer, he would be really good.

Well, he had a streak that lasted a long time, in 2013, unfortunately it was a bad streak that lasted pretty much the entire season, getting worse as the season went on.

My guess for his season:

125 games, 25 home runs, 70 RBI, .240/.280/.450.

turned out to be way off.

2013 - J.P. Arencibia 138 474 45 92 18 0 21 55 18 148 0 2 .194 .227 .365

Fangraphs had him at a -0.6 WAR, making him worth a negative 2.8 million to the Jays. He had a .231 BABIP, down from .281 in 2012, so perhaps we can hope for a little bounce back but I'm hoping we won't be seeing as much of him.

Compared to 2012, JP walked less (3.6% of the time, down from 4.8). struck out a tiny bit more (29.8% up from 29.0). I guess my hope for a 10% walk rate is totally unrealistic.

He hit more line drives (19.5%, up from 17.8), fewer ground balls (36.6% down from 37.2) and fewer fly balls (43.9% down from 45.0). Fewer of his fly balls became home runs (14.6% down from 16.5). I am kind of surprised that his line drive rate is up, because I don't remember many line drives from him.

He was about equally bad against RHP (.190/.226/.368) and LHP (.204/.231/.358).

He was much better at home (.242/.270/.462 with 13 home runs) than on the road (.147/.185/.269 with 8 home runs). If he hit as well on the road as he did at home, we'd have been reasonably happy with him.

With RISP, JP hit .168/.198/.286. There goes the hope that he was a run producer.

By month JP hit:

April: .253/.367/.566 with 8 home runs and 16 RBI.

May: .208/.232/.375 with 4 home runs and 13 RBI.

June: .175/.230/.313 with 3 home runs and 7 RBI.

July: .232/.284/.333 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI.

August: .179/.214/.358 with 3 home runs and 7 RBI.

September: .079/.106/.143 with 1 home run and 4 RBI.

So, ummmm, April was pretty good, wasn't it.

His defense? Well, I'm sure you all have your opinions. He threw out 25% of base stealers, right about the league average of 26%. I liked it when he stopped making that throw to second from his knees. It seems like most of those throws sailed on him.

He allowed 13 passed balls (leading the league) and 40 wild pitches. The passed ball number doesn't man much to me, 3 of those were in that first game with an amped up R.A. Dickey, and passed ball/wild pitch judgments are made by the official scorer. So often they are a 50/50 call. But I think it is fair to say we'd like him to get better at blocking balls in the dirt

He made 11 errors, giving him a .988 FA, some worse than the league average of .993. The throws from the knees didn't help.

Apparently, he was better at framing pitches this year. I don't really have issues with his game calling, but then I think it is the pitcher's responsibility to decide what he's going to throw. It did seem to take JP a little while to get used to Mark Buehrle's rhythm, but when he did, all went well. I think I'd have given him another chance to catch Dickey, but then a day off every 5 can't hurt.

JP's longest hitting streak was 7 games. His longest on base streak was 8 games. His longest stretch without a home runs was 22 games. Longest stretch without a hit (only counting games he started) was 6 games. The team record in games he started was 53-65.

His favorite team to play? He hit .400/.500/.867 in 6 games against the Indians.

Least favorite? He was 1 for 15, a single, vs. the Royals, for a .067/.067/.067 line in 5 games. He also had troubles with the Angels (.071/.188/.071) and the A's (.071/.188/.071).

JP gave us lots to talk about. There was his complaining about Hayhurst and Zaun and his complaining about Zaun and Hayhurst, and his complaining about Hayhurst and Zaun. There was his play, the bad and the bad. But there was also the odd good moment and he's a very worthy nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, and he's getting married.

You know, I still think there is a good player somewhere inside the guy that chases too many pitches, misses too many pitches and spends too much time blaming others for his troubles, but I'm not sure that he'll prove it with the Jays. Maybe a shock to the system would help him find that good player. An extended trip to the minors? A trade? Ofcourse, I don't see a lot of trade value there.

Everyone says that he is a hard worker, that he's doing his best to learn. Chad Mottola said:

The lack of results, Mottola stresses, shouldn't diminish the effort, as "he's tried 100 per cent; there's never been a day where he hasn't shown up and not tried to apply what we're talking about."

Nothing against Chad, but maybe JP needs a different hitting coach or maybe he can't be taught.

I'd like the Jays to come up with someone better than JP, but I have my doubts. I have this feeling that they will hope that he will improve. I'm hoping I'm wrong.