Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's Official: Vizquel Giant Again

The Giants website, though oddly enough, not Giants management, announced that Omar resigned for $5.5M in 2008 plus a $5.2M option in 2009 that vests if he reaches 140 games played. Hopefully it will be a manager's decision to get him to 139 games. :^)

I still don't understand exactly why spend all this money on Omar when Ivan Ochoa probably would have been his equivalent in fielding - not as much flash, but Ochoa's forte has been defense - and would have been an experiment on offense.

However, he had a breakthrough year last year in AAA, plus always had a nice contact rate (i.e. lower strikeout rate) and improved on taking walks over the prior couple of seasons. According to his MLEs for 2005 and 2006, he is capable of hitting about what Vizquel hit last April - high 500 OPS - but for $5.1M less. His MLE for 2007 was probably much higher, into at least the mid 600 OPS, which is where Vizquel was in 2007 after the ASG.

But, it won't kill the Giants either, so that's something. However, signing Feliz would. Hopefully Feliz pisses off the Giants in some way, much like how Aurilia did when he first left the Giants as a free agent (Baker too), and the Giants don't bother negotiating with him.

6 comments:

  1. Here is one sabermetric way of analyzing defense: http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/023929.php

    According to this, Vizquel is at least above average in 2007, but barely so, at 101.25. However, the best is only at 108.94, and Omar ranked 10th out of the 39 SS on the list, so I guess he's relatively good. And I believe he's the highest ranked out of the free agents available. So I guess he is more valuable than I thought defensively, though I still think he got too much.

    But I read Grant's analysis on MCC and I agree: with so many position open (1B, 3B, SS, OF), it is nice to nail down one of them down early on and move on to getting the others filled in.

    I still think Ortmeier should be given the opportunity to start at 1B in 2008 and see how it goes. He played well in limited action, both when he got little play and when he was semi-regular starting.

    And the OF can be filled by Davis, Lewis, Schierholtz.

    And, as I've been beating the drum for, play Frandsen at 3B until we can either trade Durham or release him, then start Frandsen at 2B.

    Interestingly, Jeter was at the bottom of the barrel defensively.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Fielding Bible, a defensive metric that I like, ranked Vizquel as the 3rd best shortstop defensively in all of baseball.

    Ochoa might be good, but he's not that good.

    Jeter has always been a poor defender, too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Chris! Is that the one where they count the number of balls that the fielder gets to that others don't, giving them a counting stat? If so, yeah, I like that one. That's where I first saw anything that said that Feliz was so good a fielder.

    Yeah, Ochoa couldn't be that good. Still, $5.5M or $386K, is Vizquel $5.1M better defensively and offensively? I don't know about that.

    But I'm not terribly put out about Vizquel now, Boof's right, at least we are not committed for 4 years of Eckstein or something like that. And SS is a natural position to take on poor offense, with "Boo" LeMaster the poster child for that I guess.

    Yeah, I heard that about Jeter too, but just wanted to note it since PMR is a relatively new stat, sabermetrically oriented with data not previously available, so we have state of the art defensive stats saying that too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. To begin with, I have been unable to find Ochoa's defensive stats, so this comment is uninformed. I do think Omar's range, particularly behind the bag, has, and will continue to decline, a problem that will not plague Ochoa in '08.
    Assuming they hit within 10 BA points of each other (which I do think is a reasonable and realistic assumption), just how (other than marketing, an justification that would really piss me off) do you justify the extra $5.15 mil? I actually think (tho, without the deensive stats to 'prove it') Ochao, at this stage of the two palyer's careers, is the superior defensive player. I further believe his offensive upside is higher than Omar's.

    ReplyDelete
  5. From Baseball Forecaster, Ochoa's MLE for 2005 and 2006:

    2005: .239/.283/.301/.584
    2006: .230/.303/.281/.583

    Omar, even last year, only hit that poorly in April, he was solidly above that after April.

    Now, I don't have Ochoa's MLE for 2007 yet and I assume it is much higher, but there's no guarantee that his limited play (due to injury) in 2007 means a significant change in his skill set, he could have just had a lucky portion of the season. So it is not reasonable nor realistic to assert that he will be within 10 points of Omar.

    BP thought he was so inconsequential that he didn't even make the 2007 annual, but in the 2006 annual, they noted that "he can pick it" but it is his offense that has always been lacking.

    Not that he cannot develop, he was only 24 last season after all, but his BABIP was huge last season, at .342 when he was at around .300 in 2006, suggesting that 2007 was a fluke of balls falling in that normally don't. Thus Ochoa is no slam dunk to match even Vizquel's meager 2007 output.

    Again about defense, we don't need Ochoa to match Vizquel in any case, all we should be looking for is whether he can be an above-average defensive player and from the notes I read before, he can be, it has always been a question of his offense.

    In fact, the 2004 annual noted that "His defensive work is outstanding..." and that Cleveland added him to their roster "on the theory that he could be the next Vizquel." So at some point, they were considered comparable defensively, and Vizquel has entered into his 40's since then while Ochoa has matured. I think it is then fair to say that Ochoa, while perhaps not Vizquel's equal, at least is very strong defensively, which, again, is all I'm looking for from SS when the difference between the two players is $5.1M.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the detailed info, Martin. Maybe Ochoa was still injured in Septemeber, but, in retrospect, it seems pretty short sighted not to have brought him up and had him play in 15 games in Sep.

    ReplyDelete

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