Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mid-Season Review, the Hitters

Hitter grades, this time in order of performance:

Derek Jeter: A. What's the most negative thing we can say about the Captain this year? His power's down, but if he can keep that .427 OBP for the entire season, who cares?

Jason Giambi: B+. This year, we've finally seen Giambi take the role he was intended to play when he first joined the Yankees--the big bopper in the middle. His fielding still sucks, and his batting average isn't up to snuff, but he's slugging and driving in runs.

Johnny Damon: B+. Aside from his injury problems, Damon's given the Yanks exactly what they expected from him.

Robinson Cano: B+. His value is all in that .325 average, but hey...he's hitting .325. This was a guy no one thought was ready for the majors last year.

Jorge Posada: B. Jorge's performance is often overlooked because it's almost monotonously good.

Bernie Williams: B. Not really a good peformance--that .323 OBP isn't up to snuff. But Bernie's been better than expected, pressed into more service than we'd be comfortable with.

Melky Cabrera: B. The Melk-man's .357 OBP isn't too impressive, but it's good enough to keep him in the depleted Yankee lineup.

Gary Sheffield:B. Sheffield tried playing through his wrist injury, and his power suffered as a result. He wasn't up to par at the time of his his standards. If his and Matsui's rehabs go as fast as they're saying, the outfield could be a crowded house come September.

Alex Rodriguez: B-. He hasn't been bad. The glove has been awful, but that .890 OPS is better than most. It's just a matter that we all know he can do better.

Hideki Matsui: B-. Wasn't having a good season when he got hurt. That .807 OPS isn't what was expected when he signed the big contract this winter.

Andy Phillips: C-. You have to manage a .300 OBP (much higher than that, actually) to play in the big leagues. No excuses, no matter how much we like you.

Miguel Cairo: C-. See above.

Kelly Stinnett: D+. When you're brought in to be Randy Johnson's personal catcher, and Johnson has his worst season, better hit. Stinnett isn't.

Bubba Crosby: D. Not stepping up to those outfield vacancies. Next!

Terrence Long: F. Mercifully, the reign of Emperor T-Long was brief. That's the only good thing we can say about it.

Incompletes: Kevin Thompson, Aaron Guiel, Nick Green, and Kevin Reese.


Fred Vincy said...

I agree with your sense of almost everyone, but:

That strikes me as a bit tough on Jorge, who is surely at least an A-. .279/.389/.466. Throwing out a lot of runners and leading a staff that is for the most part pitching over its head (the obvious exception being Randy Johnson, who doesn't listen to anyone, and we know doesn't listen to Jorge). Played the beginning of the year with a broken nose. What does a catcher have to do to get into the A range??

Rob said...

Yes, I too would rank Jorge higher, and I might give Damon an A- as well.

Kevin Reese will remain incomplete, given that he recently seperated his shoulder at AAA and is likely done for the year. Doh.

Giambi did have one year (arguably two) of "what he was supposed to be" before descending into an injury-riddled, steroid-scandalified mess for 2 years. He was great in his first year as a Yank, and solid (despite a low BA) in his second year.

DJ said...


One of my extremely subjective criteria for these grades is, is the player performing much better/worse than expected, with B being the middle of the curve, A's being career years and C's being disappointments. As I said, Jorge's stats fall right in the middle of what we've come to expect from him.

Still, I didn't take defense into consideration with Jorge, and I probably should have. Despite a large number of passed balls, Posada's defense has been excellent, and should merit a bump-up to a high B+.

Anonymous said...


Great point about Giambi's 2002, which was simply amazing. It's a point for perception over data that some people considered even that season (.314/.435/.598, 41 HR, 122 RBI) a "disappointment" because Giambi's batting average was 15 points lower than it was in Oakland; and because of the Yanks' inability to get out of the first round of the playoffs. In 2003, Giambi carried the same expectations with him, and was considered a flop, despite posting numbers that were very similar to the year before.

As for Damon, I came into this thinking he'd be an A-. He's had a lot of stretches where he played through injury, which have held his performance down. If they can keep healthy in the 2nd half, both he and Posada are well-positioned for A grades when the season's over.