After his first four seasons with the Blue Jays, we had a pretty good idea of who Lourdes Gurriel was: A good player who just needed a little bit of offensive consistency to become a star. Just a little bump in his numbers and he’d be an All-Star.
Maybe this would be the year.
So, not quite.
Baseball Reference has him at a 2.2 WAR. Fangraphs wasn’t as happy with his season 1.0 fWAR, giving him a value of $8.1 million to the Jays. I’m not sure why there is such a difference between the two WARs.
He had a .327 wOBA and a 114 wRC+ (last year .333 wOBA and a 107 wRC+).
Compared to 2020, Lourdes’s walk rate was up a bit (6.2% from 5.9), and his strikeout rate was down (16.8% from 18.9).
His line drive was up (23.7% from 20.8%), ground ball rate down slightly (44.6% from 45.2) and fly balls down 31.7% from 34.0%). A lot fewer of his fly balls left the park (4.2% from 15.3).
Lourdes soft contact (12.9% from 12.8%), and hard contact (27.7% from 26.7) were much the same as last year.
His BABIP was up (.346 from .305).
Gurriel had reverse splits again, hitting .295/.352/.408 against RHP and .278/.309/.367 against LHP. He’s had reverse splits long enough now that we can say this is who he is (why do we need a left-handed hitter?).
Lourdes hit .286/.364/.419 with RISP.
Gurriel was slightly better on the road (.276/.326/.476) than in our various home parks (.276/.311/.457).
He hit better at home (.303/.349/.431/) than on the road (.281/.339/.370).
In a flip from his usual, Lourdes hit better in the first half of the season (.306/.357/.431 with 5 home runs) than the second half (.262/.317/.336 with no home runs). Maybe the hand injury cost him.
Lourdes by month:
- April: .288/.330/.438 with 2 home runs, 4 walks, and 15 strikeouts in 22 games.
- May: .189/.2777/.257 with 0 home runs, 8 walk, and 14 strikeouts in 22 games.
- June: .355/.394/.505 with 2 home runs, 4 walks, and 19 strikeouts in 25 games.
- July: .382/.433/.472 with 1 home run, 8 walks, and 14 strikeouts in 23 games.
- August: .226/.269/.304 with 0 home runs, 5 walks, and 17 strikeouts in 24 games.
- September: .333/.412/.467 with 0 home runs, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts in 5 games.
If the whole season could have been like June and July.....
On defense? He played 896.2 innings in left field. Fangraphs has him at a -9.2 UZR/150. That is the second worse number among AL left fielders with 800 innings.
He made 3 errors, 1 fielding, 2 throwing, for a .985 FA (right about the league average). He had 7 assists.
He played 27 innings at first base.
Lourdes was -4.1 runs compared to the average baserunner. He stole 3 bases and caught 4 times (stop trying, please). He seems to be a fast enough runner.
Where Gurriel hit in the lineup:
- 1st: 10 games.
- 3rd: 16 games.
- 4th: 17 games.
- 5th: 20 games.
- 6th: 27 games.
- 7th: 12 games.
- 8th: 17 games.
His favourite team to face? He hit .364/.482/.636 in 11 games against the Angels.
Least favourite? He hit .125/.192/.167 in 7 games against the Guardians.
Gurriel’s longest hitting streak was 10 games. The longest on-base streak was 21 games. The longest he went without a home run was 51 games.
Lourdes hit his last home run of the season was hit on July 1st. His hand must have been bothering him more than they told us.
Next year is the last of his original contract, and the team has one more year of control. So he has a couple of years to have that big season which would get him that big contract.
I think the Jays will be looking to trade either Gurriel or Hernandez this winter. I don’t know which one I’d rather they trade. But it doesn’t matter, they will trade the one who gets them what they want in return.
We heard more about his ‘leadership’ this season. I don’t know if that was because he didn’t have the greatest season, and they needed something to talk about. But he does seem to get along well with his teammates. I don’t know how much value to put on that, but it is better than not getting along with his teammates. I would miss seeing him. I’ve enjoyed watching his career. When you have watched someone for many years, you get invested in him.
Before the season, we asked:
- What would you take if the over/under for Lourdes games played was 144? 61% of us were right taking the under.
- But most of us got the over/under wrong on his home runs. 90% of us thought he’d hit over 20 home runs.
- And 59% of us thought he would still be a Jay in September (and another 23% thought he would but would be gone before the 2023 season, that one is yet to be seen).
For his 2022 season I’d grade Lourdes Gurriel an
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