Raimel Tapia came to us in trade from the Rockies, along with prospect Adrian Pinto for Randal Grichuk.
The Jays wanted a left-handed hitting fourth outfielder type and wanted to get out of Grichuk’s contract. Getting a player with speed was a bonus, and getting a decent prospect along with him didn’t hurt.
I felt Denver was a good place for Grichuk, figuring the thin air help him hit a few more home runs, but it seems he had pretty much his usual season, hitting .259/.299/.425 with 19 home runs and a 92 OPS+.
Raimel? Well, his numbers were much the same as Randal’s:
I guess being much the same and almost $7 million cheaper is some sort of win.
Baseball Reference 0.3 WAR. FanGraphs saw him exactly the same 0.3, giving him a value of $2.0 million to the Jays. If you are wondering, BR had Grichuk at the same 0.3 WAR.
He had a .293 wOBA and a 90 wRC+ (last year, .305 and 75, respectively).
Tapia’s BABIP was .315, up slightly from .306.
His walk rate was 3.4% (down from 7.5%). Strikeout rate was 18.7% (up from 13.1).
Tapia’s line-drive rate was up from last year (19.6% from 16.2). Ground ball rate was down (54.7% from 67.4). Fly balls up (25.7% from 16.4). Slightly fewer of his fly balls left the park (8.2% from 8.7).
His soft contact rate was down (19.8% from 22.5) and hard contact was up (27.8 from 24.6).
Raimel hit right-handers (.266/.294/.384) a little better than left-handers (.262/.279/.354).
He hit better on the road (.278/.298/.416) than at home (.253/.286/.342).
And Raimel hit slightly better in the first half (.275/.300/.388) than the second half (.252/.281/.368).
Tapia by month:
- April: .243/.260/.329 with 1 home run, 2 walks and 12 strikeouts in 18 games.
- May: .239/.292/.254 with no home runs, 5 walks and 19 strikeouts in 24 games.
- June: .296/.306/.507 with 2 home runs, 1 walk and 10 strikeouts in 22 games.
- July: .357/.368/.554 with 2 home runs, 1 walk and 9 strikeouts in 18 games.
- August: .170/.200/.189 with 0 home runs, 2 walks and 11 strikeouts in 19 games.
- September: .277/.313/.415 with 2 home runs, 5 walks and 20 strikeouts in 27 games.
In June and July, it seemed like he figured it all out.
He hit .296/.313/.444 with RISP. Nice to see someone on the team hit well in those spots.
He played 459 innings in left field, with no errors. FanGraphs has him at a -4.9 UZR/150 there. It was fair worse in the middle of the season.
He was in center field for 249.2 innings with 1 throwing error. FanGraphs has him at a -5.9 UZR/150/.
And he played 226.2 innings in right, with 2 errors, 1 fielding, 1 throwing. UZR/150 of -10.2.
In total in the outfield, 935 innings, 3 errors, .987 FA and a -7.2 UZR.
Outs Above Average has him at a -5.
Baserunning? FanGraphs has him at 2.0 runs above average.
Where Tapia hit in the batting order, in games he started:
- 1st: 6 games.
- 2nd: 1 game.
- 4th: 1 game (really? why? April 28th against the Red Sox. We won 1-0, but still, why?)
- 5th: 5 games.
- 6th: 24 games.
- 7th: 32 games.
- 8th: 16 games.
- 9th: 22 games.
The Jays were 63-44 in games he started.
Raimel’s longest hitting streak and longest on base streak was 9 games. The longest he went without a home run was 40 games.
His defense was a surprise to me, I thought with his speed, he would be so much better (it did seem to improve as the season went on) but he seemed to take poor routes to balls. Raimel had better numbers for the Rockies.
I think he’s fine as a fourth outfielder (maybe would be more fine if he played better defense). I’d prefer to see him as a fourth outfielder who played a little less, but we had outfielders who missed time with little nagging injuries and needed to DH fairly often.
We were told that the team wanted him to give up on hitting ground balls so much, and he did. I don’t think they got the results they wanted. There were a couple of good months in the middle of the season, but beyond that, it didn’t seem to work out all that well.
The old-school thing was to tell fast guys to hit the ball on the ground, figuring they would beat out enough ground balls to make it worthwhile, but driving the ball on a line seems to be the better idea. Maybe Tapia can bottle what he did in June and July and continue it for the full season.
Of course, if Raimel could take more than a walk a week, I’d be happier with him too.
He’s one of the guys on the team I would like to see steal more, but I guess the reason why he’s successful is that he picks his spots.
Raimel does fit in well with the great and different hairstyles we have on the team. I still think some shampoo company is missing a sure bet by not using the team to star in advertising.
It is an open question on whether he’ll be back next year. He’s arbitration eligible, and MLB Trade Rumors figures him to get $5.2 million from the process. That might be more money than they would want to pay a fairly average fourth outfielder. They might think Nathan Lukes is a better, cheaper choice for the job. Or maybe they could pick up someone else.
For his 2022 season I’d grade Raimel Tapia an
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