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The season that was: Ryan Goins

A look at Ryan’s 2016 season.

ALCS - Toronto Blue Jays v Cleveland Indians - Game One Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

In 2015, it appeared that Ryan Goins took a big step forward with the bat. He hit .250/.318/354. It might not look that great but it was much better than he had hit in the past. With his glove, that sort of batting line is more than adequate. And he took 39 walks (up from 5 the season before).

He had a terrific August, hitting .314/.442/.442, with 16 of those 39 walks. Add in 10 in September, and we were starting the think he had figured out how to get on base.

There was a fair bit of talk about why he started hitting better. Jeff Blair wrote:

Turns out the key to this change is nothing – or, more precisely, doing nothing with the bat other than resting it on his shoulders. Seriously … that’s it?

“That’s really it,” Goins said Sunday, after a two-run double on a day when the bottom of the order – including Russell Martin, Kevin Pillar and himself – reached base seven of 12 times. “The change was made because the hitting coaches (Brook Jacoby and Eric Owens) knew I wasn’t going to be playing a lot when everybody was healthy – that I was going to be a utility guy – so the idea was to make myself as simple as possible at the plate so I wouldn’t get blown away by velocity.

I’m always skeptical when people tell me a small change makes a big difference, but I was still hopeful that he could carry the change over to this year.

Year   Age  G  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
2016    28 77 196 183 13 34  9  2  3  12  1  1  9 48 .186 .228 .306 .534   41
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He didn’t.

Goins spent some time in Buffalo, hitting .265/.318/.388 in 98 at bats there.

Baseball Reference has him at a -0.6 WAR. FanGraph at -1.0 WAR making him worth -$8.1 million to the Jays.

He had 5 at bats in the ALCS, after Devon Travis went on the DL, with 1 single and 1 walk.

Compared to 2015, Ryan walked less (4.6%, down from 9.1) and struck out more (24.5%, up from 19.4).

His rate stats, he had fewer line drives (11.3%, down from 18.0), ground out slightly less (53.4%, from 54.1) and had more fly balls (35.3%, up from 27.9). His fly balls left the park at about the same rate (6.4%, up from 6.1).

Ryan’s BABIP was way down (.235, down from .304).

He hit RHP (.190/.237/.333) better than LHP (.167/.189/.194).

He hit about the same at home (.171/.222/.303) as on the road (.196/.232/.308).

Ryan hit .200/.200/.300 with RISP.

He hit better in the second half (.250/.308/.292) than in the first half (.176/.216/.308), but he only had 24 at bats in the second half.

Goins by month:

  • April: .173/.215/.253, with 1 home run and 4 RBI in 23 games (21 starts)
  • May: .152/.204/.348, with 2 home runs and 5 RBI in 21 games (13 starts)
  • June: .211/.231/.368 with 0 home runs and 3 RBI in 14 games (9 starts)
  • August: .308/.400/.385 with 0 home runs and 0 RBI in 5 games (4 starts)
  • September: .182/.182/.182 with 0 home runs and 0 RBI in 13 games (3 starts)

Defensively? He played all over the place: 2B (34 games), SS (19), 3B (3 games), LF (1 game), RF (1 game) and 1B (1 game). He pinch hit 6 times and pinch ran once. He also pitched 1 inning, allowing 2 hits and a walk, but no earned runs.

FanGraphs had him at a 0.1 UZR/150 at second base, in 291 innings. He had 3 errors at second, for a .981 FA. At SS he had a -3.8 UZR/150 in 150.2 innings. He had 1 error at short for a .990 FA.

Likely UZR needs more innings to give a true picture of a player’s defense, but I don’t remember as many spectacular plays as in the past.

As a base runner, Fangraphs has Ryan at 1.4 runs worse than the average player. He had 1 steal and 1 caught.

His longest hitting streak was 5 games.

His favorite team to face? He hit .353/.353/.765 with 1 home run and 5 RBI in 9 games against the Yankees.

With so many free agents, Goins is one of our longest tenured Blue Jays:

I don’t know what his future is with the team. He’s out of options, which makes him a little less valuable to the team, but then I’m thinking they could likely put him on waivers and odds are pretty good he would clear. Good glove/poor bat players aren’t all that hard to come by.

If MLB expands rosters to 26 men, it might benefit Goins. On the other hand, the Jays are more likely to use the extra spot to cramp another pitcher into the bullpen.

I’ve always liked Goins, it is easy to like backup players. I very much enjoy watching him play defense, maybe not as much of a fan of watching him bat.

What would you say is the over/under on Blue Jays at bats for Ryan next season?

It is hard not to like someone can make a play like this: