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The season that was: Ryan Goins

A look a Ryan Goins 2015 season.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Goins had 193 at bats, in 2014 and we pretty much thought we knew what we had with him, a very good defensive player, who wasn't going to hit enough to keep a job in the majors. No matter how many great plays he made, a .188/.209/.271 batting line wasn't going to work.

He had a terrific spring training, hitting .315/.383/.556 with 2 home runs.

Now good spring numbers....they don't mean all that much, but I was coming around to the idea that having Goins on the bench, ready to in as a defensive replacement for Jose Reyes. I figured that any time the Jays got into the late innings with a lead, Goins should come into the game. And, I figured Reyes could use regular rest.

But, Ryan was the Jays last cut before the start of the season. They wanted to go with an 8-man bullpen. I'm hopeful that Mark Shapiro will put an end to that 8-man bullpen thing.

Goins wasn't down in the minors for long, he was called up April 16th and spent the rest of the season in Toronto. With injuries to Devon Travis and Troy Tulowitzki he got a lot of playing time.

He hit better than I would have figured he could:

Year   Age   G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
2015    27 128 376 52 94 16  4  5  45  2  1 39 83 .250 .318 .354 .672   86

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Baseball Reference has him at a 1.8 WAR, Fangraphs at 1.5, giving him a value of $11.7 million to the Jays.

He didn't hit much in the playoffs, .139/.263/.474, but he did have the one home run.

Ryan had a .297 wOBA and a 84 wRC+.

Compared to his limited at bats in 2014, his walk rate was up a lot (9.1% up from 2.6) and his strikeout rate was down a little (19.4% from 21.8).

His batted ball profile wasn't all that different than 2014. Line drives much the same (18.0% from 18.2), ground balls (54.1% from 55.5) and fly balls (27.9 up from 26.3). The only really difference was that more of his fly balls left the park (6.15% up from 2.8).

His BABIP was .304.

He hit RHP (.261/.332/.364) much better than LHP (.212/.269/.318).

He hit better on the road (.278/.321/.373) than at home (.227/.316/.338).

Ryan was pretty good with RISP (.276/.309/.449).

And he was much better in the second half (.274/.361/.387) than the first half (.266/.273/.321).

Ryan Goins by month:

  • April: .276/.323/345 with 4 RBI in 10 games.
  • May: .236/.278/.337 with 1 home run and 8 RBI in 29 games.
  • June: .172/.221/.281 with 1 home run and 11 RBI in 24 games.
  • July: .240/.286/.280 with 3 RBI in 11 games.
  • August: .314/.442/.443 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI in 25 games.
  • Sept/Oct: .263/.324/.374 with 1 home run and 10 RBI in 29 games.
Defensively, well you know, he's pretty spectacular. At second base, he played 537 innings, and had a 3.0 UZR/150. If I'm the judge, I'd say the eye test showed him to be better than that. He made 3 errors for a .989 FA. He played 445 innings at shortstop, getting a 7.8 UZR/150. At short, he made 4 errors for a .983 RA.  He also played 20 innings in the outfield, something that is a true waste of ability. He made 1 error in the outfield.

Fangraphs has him at 1.7 runs better than the average baserunner.

His longest hitting streak was 12 games, longest on base streak was 16 games. And the longest he went without a home run was 32 games.

Ryan's favorite team to face? He hit .375/.444/.563 in 6 games against the Angels. Least favorite? He hit just .050/.048/.050 in 7 games against the Astros.

John McDonald had a 16 year MLB career, playing to age 39. Ryan Goins is likely a better player than McDonald and he could have the same type of career (though, playing to age 39 seems like a long shot). Both have a great ability to make spectacular plays on defense and the same type of bat that is just a little less than you would like, even with the glove (though maybe Goins will continue to improve). Both made it to fan favorite status.

If Goins can continue improve his eye at the plate, he could get a lot more playing time than McDonald ever did.

He's a good player to have around, especially with Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis in the middle infield. Both look to be injury risks. It seems likely that Goins will get his far share of work backing up those two. I'd rather have Devon and his bat at second, but if a middle infielder is going to miss a significant portion of the season, Goins is a good number 2 choice.

Ryan isn't eligible for arbitration until the 2018 season.

This was one of my favorite moments of the year.