• One Month In, Austin Jackson Out-Performing Curtis Granderson

    Posted by on April 30th, 2010 · Comments (26)

    The numbers don’t lie – “regular” A.L. CF this season, to date, ranked by OPS+:

    Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm G PA R HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS
    1 Vernon Wells 187 2010 31 TOR 23 97 18 7 14 8 16 1 .318 .381 .682 1.063
    2 Franklin Gutierrez 151 2010 27 SEA 22 93 9 2 13 8 18 2 .345 .398 .512 .910
    3 Torii Hunter 137 2010 34 LAA 22 93 12 2 10 9 15 3 .309 .376 .506 .883
    4 B.J. Upton 132 2010 25 TBR 22 91 18 4 15 11 17 5 .275 .363 .500 .863
    5 Austin Jackson 131 2010 23 DET 22 104 18 1 7 10 32 4 .330 .394 .468 .862
    6 Alexis Rios 108 2010 29 CHW 21 85 10 3 9 6 12 8 .266 .318 .468 .786
    7 Curtis Granderson 94 2010 29 NYY 21 84 10 2 7 9 16 4 .230 .313 .392 .705
    8 Denard Span 76 2010 26 MIN 22 106 12 0 8 16 13 5 .221 .346 .291 .637
    9 Grady Sizemore 59 2010 27 CLE 19 82 9 0 8 6 17 2 .192 .268 .301 .570
    10 Adam Jones 59 2010 24 BAL 22 101 7 3 5 2 22 1 .204 .228 .367 .595
    11 Rajai Davis 50 2010 29 OAK 22 87 14 1 8 4 17 9 .220 .264 .280 .545
    12 Julio Borbon 26 2010 24 TEX 18 71 8 0 7 1 12 4 .194 .217 .254 .471
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 4/30/2010.

    But, of course, it’s incredibly early and one month does not a season make…

    Comments on One Month In, Austin Jackson Out-Performing Curtis Granderson

    1. bfriley76
      April 30th, 2010 | 3:04 pm

      Higher OPS or not, I’d be worried about those Strikeout numbers for AJax.

    2. Corey Italiano
      April 30th, 2010 | 3:09 pm

      But, of course, it’s incredibly early and one month does not a season make…
      =============
      Good thing for Tex.

    3. MJ Recanati
      April 30th, 2010 | 3:10 pm

      Austin Jackson BABIP in 2010: .492

      Curtis Granderson BABIP in 2010: .268 (career .319)

    4. MJ Recanati
      April 30th, 2010 | 3:11 pm

      bfriley76 wrote:

      I’d be worried about those Strikeout numbers for AJax.

      Bingo. Twice as many strikeouts and a third as many walks for Jackson…

    5. April 30th, 2010 | 3:29 pm

      Gee, when Nick Swisher strikes out, everyone says “Who cares, his OBA is all that matters?” And, here, Jackson’s OBA is higher than Granderson’s…

      Oh, wait, that’s right, it’s bad luck (BABIP.)

      Funny, the other day, when I said that Vazquez was lucky to get out of an inning with a 1-3 LO DP, I recall someone saying that luck was a BS thing to bring up…and all that mattered were the final numbers.

    6. MJ Recanati
      April 30th, 2010 | 3:45 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Gee, when Nick Swisher strikes out, everyone says “Who cares, his OBA is all that matters?” And, here, Jackson’s OBA is higher than Granderson’s…

      Um, sample size, Steve? Swisher’s got 2600 AB’s of history to go by. You’re making statements about Jackson based on 100 AB’s worth of data.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Funny, the other day, when I said that Vazquez was lucky to get out of an inning with a 1-3 LO DP, I recall someone saying that luck was a BS thing to bring up…and all that mattered were the final numbers.

      Not the same thing.

    7. MJ Recanati
      April 30th, 2010 | 3:54 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Funny, the other day, when I said that Vazquez was lucky to get out of an inning with a 1-3 LO DP, I recall someone saying that luck was a BS thing to bring up…and all that mattered were the final numbers.

      Just to make you happy, for consistency’s sake:

      Javier Vazquez BABIP in 2010: .342 (career .309)

      Vazquez has been slightly unlucky this year, in addition to his other problems. Jackson has been more than slightly lucky this year, which happens to maks his other problems.

    8. MJ Recanati
      April 30th, 2010 | 3:55 pm

      *maks = mask

    9. marmeduke
      April 30th, 2010 | 4:18 pm

      I admit to being a bit worried about this deal also. Not only because of the way Jackson is playing but also because of IPK finally getting a chance to pitch every fifth game. Both players are doing well. I know that it’s early and I know that Grandy has a good track record. But I didn’t like the deal from day one. I thought that giving up two high level prospects AND Phil Coke for Granderson alone was too high of a price. Would I prefer to have AJ in center and IPK as the fifth starter…I would have to say yes with some reservations. I will give it more time however.

    10. marmeduke
      April 30th, 2010 | 4:20 pm

      Let me add that by fifth starter I mean instead of Javy with Phil moving up to fourth. I do not think that IPK had trouble because of Whitson syndrome. He always looked like a bulldog to me…a Doug Drabek clone in make-up and talent. I think the kid just needed some work and to know that the club had his back.

    11. MJ Recanati
      April 30th, 2010 | 4:28 pm

      marmeduke wrote:

      thought that giving up two high level prospects AND Phil Coke for Granderson alone was too high of a price.

      First, Phil Coke is a relief pitcher of the non-closer variety. Don’t worry about trading him.

      Now, was trading Jackson/Kennedy too steep a price to get Granderson? You have to look at it from the standpoint that Kennedy no longer factored into the team’s plans. Had he not been traded, he would’ve been ranked behind Hughes, Chamberlain, Gaudin, Mitre and Aceves in the competition for the 5th rotation spot. In other words, the Yanks viewed Kennedy as their 10th starter and, thus, by definition he was redundant and expendable. Once the Yankees determined that Kennedy was a redundancy that could be used to acquire another asset, it became a simple trade where the Yanks got an established CF (Gradnerson) in exchange for a future CF (Jackson) and threw in a reliever (BFD) and their 10th starter (Kennedy).

      Does Kennedy have value? Of course he does. After all, the Yanks paid him a bonus and spent time developing him. Heck, as recently as two years ago, he was their opening day #5 starter. But things change, players passed him by and the team moved on. Why hang onto Kennedy in 2010 when you can spin him off into a guy that has produced at the Major League level?

    12. April 30th, 2010 | 4:47 pm

      I thought the worse of the two big deals that Cash$$ did this winter was the Javy trade. Now, I am not a Javy basher, I dont think Javy lost us the series in 04, for that I would assign the blame in order Torre, Brown, Gordon, Matsui/Sheff/Arod, Rivera, Javy was the last nail with the GS.

      Having said that, the Javy deal had a triple whammy a) Javy was coming over from Braves, the Braves only purge players that are fungible b) We gave up Arodys Vizcaino c) We knoced out Joba from the rotation, he was finally all built-up innings wise for this to happen.

      This is why i didnt like the Javy trade. I think AJax will be forgotten by next year, there is no way he will keep up this high a BABIP, when he falls of to league average the fall will be ugly, luckily Leyland will massage him. I dont necessarily like we lost AJax but I dont think that one’s gonna bite us like the Javy trade

    13. April 30th, 2010 | 4:57 pm

      @ marmeduke:

      IPK would have been a disaster in the AL. He belongs in the league where the Mets can go 9-1

    14. MJ Recanati
      April 30th, 2010 | 4:57 pm

      srivinodh wrote:

      Having said that, the Javy deal had a triple whammy a) Javy was coming over from Braves, the Braves only purge players that are fungible b) We gave up Arodys Vizcaino c) We knoced out Joba from the rotation, he was finally all built-up innings wise for this to happen.

      I’ll take each of these separately:

      A) For the most part, every team only trades players that are fungible, not just the Braves. The truth of the matter is that they’d have rather kept Vazquez simply because his contract is expiring at the end of this year. If they had their druthers, it would’ve been Derek Lowe, not Javy Vazquez that was dealt to make room for Hudson’s return.

      B) We don’t yet know how good Vizcaino can be. He was in low-A last year and is in A-ball this year. It’ll be at least another two years after this year before he has a chance to be in the major leagues. Given the long odds that minor league pitchers face the higher up the ladder they move, it was certainly a reasonable risk to trade an 18 year old for an established MLB veteran. The very purpose of their international scouting department is to find the next Arodys Vizcaino somewhere in Latin America, sign him for a few dollars and see how it works out.

      C) Based on how the “competition” for #5 starter went in spring training, it’s safe to assume that Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi knocked Chamberlain out of the rotation, not Vazquez. If it wasn’t Vazquez, it was going to be Chad Gaudin, Joel Pineiro or someone else not named Chamberlain. While we can’t be 100% sure of this, it does appear as though the Yanks never intended to use Chamberlain in the rotation this year.

    15. April 30th, 2010 | 5:25 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:

      MJ Good points all

      a) Well Lowe would have been traded only in an Abreu type of deal. I also think trading for Javy was Cash$$ way of saying, he is good, i wasnt wrong the first time.

      b) Prospects are just that, but the reports on him were terrific. Now we are not talking abt a Zach McAllister or Noesi or Nova, Keith Law had him very highly rated. The fact that Braves were willing to take a Low-A prospect with Melky says a lot abt what they think of Arodys. I hope this doesnt turn out to be one of those Lilly, Westbrook or worse Lowell kind of misses.

      c) Joba was pretty good last year before he hit some roadblocks, i think his development plan was a disaster, look at how Porcello was handled or Wainwright was handled. Whats worse is that this is a kid who was a starter all along, not every one who goes from SP to RP is a Mariano. Would you rather have a Joba who soaks up the 4th/5th role or Javy @ 11 plus Mill. I think given the Yanks win last year, they could have shown a little patience and faith in Joba and allow a chance for Phil and Joba to shore up the four and five.

      I really liked Joba as a starter, we all can pull up 100s of examples of how that for some starters the bulb takes 2 or 3 years to go off, look at Pelfrey. What the Yanks have also done is bring down his trade value to basically negligable.. I really hope Joba gets one more shot

    16. YankCrank
      April 30th, 2010 | 5:37 pm

      Being the fantasy baseball nerd that I am, i’ve certainly noticed how well Austin has been contributing and how much of a slump Granderson has fallen into. I’ve actually been going to the site every morning for the last two weeks wondering, “Is today the day Steve brings up Granderson/AJax?” :)

    17. #15
      April 30th, 2010 | 5:54 pm

      From what I’ve seen of Grandy, he’s an improvement on defense and his arm is very good. Some goofy routes once in a while, but he makes up for it with top draw speed.

      He runs the bases well, and, if he can get on, he can steal 30 easily (especially with 15 more games against the Botox on the schedule).

      At the plate??? We are good… unless it’s a clutch situation against a late inning situational lefty… then we are screwed, screwed, screwed. He’ll likely strike out, with a beautifully executed Hollywood swing. He can be pitched to, very effectively, in those settings. I guess the best we can hope for is that Thames is on the bench after the lefty has been brought in. Of course, Pena will have to go play outfield after Thames has his AB.

      Let’s also remember that he’s played only 6 total games in lefty friendly YS. Let’s wait to see how his slugging numbers look after 20 games in NY.

      As far as A-Jax is concerned. Let’s see what happens after the opposition has a chance to build a book on him.

    18. BOHAN
      April 30th, 2010 | 6:27 pm

      i will forever prefer AJax

    19. Joseph M
      April 30th, 2010 | 7:29 pm

      I think Austin will have a decent major league career but nothing more. Trading Austin didn’t bother me as much as what they got back in return, namely Granderson. I think he has already peaked as a player and my only real question is how fast will he go downhill.

      Funny thing about all this, when I first heard about the trade the first player I thought of was Ruppert Jones (Yankees 1980), in checking out Was Watching, Steve had just written a piece on him.

    20. Raf
      May 1st, 2010 | 1:01 am

      marmeduke wrote:

      . I do not think that IPK had trouble because of Whitson syndrome. He always looked like a bulldog to me…

      Kennedy’s “problem” was that he needed to stay healthy and pitch. And stop rubbing people the wrong way. That may happen in AZ, that may not. I wish him the best of luck.

    21. Raf
      May 1st, 2010 | 1:05 am

      srivinodh wrote:

      I also think trading for Javy was Cash$$ way of saying, he is good, i wasnt wrong the first time.

      I think it was more, “200 league average innings” than anything else. Who knows if Hughes, Burnett and Chamberlain could last a whole season in the rotation.

    22. Raf
      May 1st, 2010 | 1:12 am

      As for Granderson vs Jackson, I wouldn’t sweat it too much, it’s only a month’s worth of at bats. We’ll see if the league adjusts to Jackson, we’ll see if Jackson adjusts to the league.

    23. May 1st, 2010 | 7:11 am

      So, Jackson had 5 hits last night and has come close to setting the record for most hits in April by a rookie.

      How in the world did the Yankees think this kid was not ready for the major leagues in 2010?

    24. MJ Recanati
      May 1st, 2010 | 9:34 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      So, Jackson had 5 hits last night and has come close to setting the record for most hits in April by a rookie.How in the world did the Yankees think this kid was not ready for the major leagues in 2010

      Once again, you fawn over young players in other organizations but belittle young players in your own organization. Your inconsistency is maddening.

      Don’t you want to wait a full season before you officially deem Austin Jackson ready to be a full-time MLB’er?

    25. Evan3457
      May 1st, 2010 | 10:08 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      So, Jackson had 5 hits last night and has come close to setting the record for most hits in April by a rookie.How in the world did the Yankees think this kid was not ready for the major leagues in 2010
      Once again, you fawn over young players in other organizations but belittle young players in your own organization. Your inconsistency is maddening.
      Don’t you want to wait a full season before you officially deem Austin Jackson ready to be a full-time MLB’er?

      The really funny part is that while Jackson was a Yankee, Stevequestioned whether he was really a top, top prospect, citing his K rate, and his low HR total.

      In all seriousness…Jackson now has a BABIP of .530.

      This never happens. I mean, it LITERALLY never happens for a regular player over the course of a complete season. You rarely see even a .400 BABIP over the season. I checked, and the last one was Jose Hernandez in 2002 for the Brewers, and even then, he didn’t get 650 PA.

      The major league leader is usually somewhere in the .380′s or .390′s. Ichiro and Jeter are usally up there; neither one has EVER has a BABIP over .400 for a season. Best Ichiro ever did was .399 the year he set the hit record at 262. Jete’s had two seasons over .390; the best he ever did was .396 in 1999.

      Albert Pujols has never been anywhere near .400 in BABIP for a season. Manny Ramirez got to .403 in 2000, when he hit .351 for the Indians. (Big sluggers LOSE credit in BABIP because HR are not considered balls in play.) Ted Williams’ best was .378 the year he hit .406 (1941).

      ============================
      What does this mean? This means that if Jackson’ BABIP merely normalized to .400, with the same K rate, you’d expect his BAVG to drop by about 87 points, to .277. A .277 hitter with low power and a mediocre walk rate is not that big an asset, even in Tiger Stadium.

      In other words, Jackson had a great month, but it’s just one month. If things go the way they ought to, and sometimes they don’t, he won’t be the Tigers’ leadoff hitter by the 2nd half.

      Not saying Jackson won’t have a good career. He might have a VERY good career. Let’s just not put him in the Hall of Fame over one great month. Not yet, anyway.

    26. Raf
      May 1st, 2010 | 11:04 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      So, Jackson had 5 hits last night and has come close to setting the record for most hits in April by a rookie.
      How in the world did the Yankees think this kid was not ready for the major leagues in 2010?

      Kevin Maas and Shane Spencer had their hot streaks as well… Let’s wait and see, shall we?

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