Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Crawford on the Rise

We all can see that Brandon Belt finally had his epiphany (and great batting mechanics once he changed his stance per the team's instruction; I wrote a little on this at DrB) but it is harder to see changes for other players who are not as gifted offensively as Belt, like with Crawford, so I wanted to point him out today.

Giants Thoughts

His batting line is still nothing to write home about, slightly better than last season, mainly due to his higher batting average, which pushed up his SLG, and thus his OPS improved from .584 last season to its current .609, in roughly the same PA (220 vs. 226 so far).  However, I noticed a big change recently that hopefully is a sign that he's putting things together now, much like Belt.

One good thing about his bat last season was that he did not strike out that much.  He had an 84% contact rate (85%+ is good) and a 0.74 BB/K ratio, which is pretty good too (best are around or over 1.0).

However, he started out this season walking much less.  He had 10 K's and only 2 BB's in 66 AB/69 PA when he was semi-benched to fix his mechanics.  He was hitting .212/.235/.348/.584 at that point, much like last season, but nothing like where he was at the end of the season.  After coming back up to the majors for the September call-ups, he hit .256/.333/.419/.752 with a .278 BABIP and 5 BB vs. 6 K's in 43 AB, for a 86% contact rate and 0.8 BB/K ratio, both very good.   That earned him the starting job for 2012.

So the Giants worked to get him back to where he was at the end of last season (he also did well in the AFL too).  He sucked even more during that benching period, .133/.133/.200/.333 with 5 K's in 15 AB with no walks, as he went into explicit learning mode.

He initially did really well after he returned to full-time play, but that relied on a high BABIP to keep aloft, .290/.375/.355/.730 with .462 BABIP and still a lot of strikeouts still, 24 K's in 62 AB (16 games to May 25th).  He sooned fell back to earth and out of the #2 spot that he had done well in for a while.

He struggled and hit bottom on June 10th, batting .152/.220/.196/.416 but with an improvement in K-rate, like I noted with Belt in the link above, as he only had 8 K's in 46 AB, he was back to being as good as last season, only suffering from poor BABIP (.184) again.  In then in the 6 games (4 starts) since, he has hit .400/.438/.600/1.038 with only 1 K and 1 BB in 15 ABs, which is great batting peripherals.  

And the switchover happened somewhere around the start of the month.  For the month of June, he is hitting .277/.346/.383/.729 with a .310 BABIP (so it could be sustainable) and 4 BB and only 5 K (in 47 AB) for a 89% contact rate and 0.80 BB/K ratio, both good.   Given that stretch of strikeouts early in the month though, I would say the change happened around June 4th:  he has hit .268/.302/.366/.668 since then, with only 3 K's and 2 BB in 41 AB (43 PA).  


That is not bad for where the Giants are using Crawford.  .268/.302/.366/.668 is about average for a #8 hitter and doable for an average shortstop.  The average NL SS has a batting line of 258/.311/.383/.694.    But the average #8 hitter has a .241/.308/.366/.675 batting line.  So he is very close on both counts and hopefully his good hitting skein continues and brings him above both averages.

So while Crawford's improvement is not as noticeable as Belt's hot hitting, he has been improving by leaps and bounds this month, just not as noticeable until the past week, much like Belt, really.  If he can hit somewhere in the high 600's OPS and low 700's OPS while putting the ball in play a lot while also picking up a good number of walks, and on top of that, providing great defense, the Giants would be very happy.    They probably would be happy with mid-600's OPS as well, with his glove.

3 comments:

  1. Right now, Crawford is ranked about #20 in SS WAR in MLB. I expect that to improve slightly as he continues to improve offensively. He continues to be top 10 in UZR rated defense despite the errors. His fantastic range more than makes up for the occasional clankmitt. When you compare Crawford's production for practically nothing compared to the cost of mediocre FA SS's this past offseason, committing to him was a fantastic investment for the Giants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good points DrB!

      Looking up his rank per the Fielding Bible's Plus/Minus system, he is currently 4th in the NL among starting SS with 3 Defensive Runs Saved, and ranks 9th in the MLB among starting SS (though 11th overall, two part-timers have higher DRS).

      And given how much he costs, he's doing fine, his WAR is 0.6, which is roughly $3M in value for minimum MLB wages, and the season is only about half over now.

      Delete
  2. Should have also noted that part of the reason for the upside recently is that Bochy has started to platoon him with Arias at SS. Crawford is hitting only .188/.257/.250/.507 vs. LHP, but a much more robust (though still low) .252/.299/.357/.655 vs. RHP. Still, his contact rates for both are currently not very good overall, and as noted above, much better since early June, his improvement is not entirely related to the recent platoon situation, where he has not started in 4 of the last 7 games.

    The platoon could last all season, despite a lot of bad performances on his part. Arias' batting line was falling leading up to Pablo's return. And it had been declining even before Pablo went on the DL. Overall, as starter at 3B, he was hitting .202/.248/.260/.507, though with a very low .213 BABIP, which contrasts with him only having 11 K's in 104 AB, an good 89% contact rate and OK 6 BB/11 K ratio as well. One would think a speedy guy like him would have a higher BABIP, but this could also be a reflection of poor contact being made, he could be one of those slap hitters.

    He has done better recently, particularly with the platoon. And even before that, while his batting line was bad, he did have a 6 game hit streak going when Pablo returned.

    His splits this season screams platoon: .209/.245/.275/.520 vs. RHP but .318/.352/.424/.776 vs. LHP. However, that could be part of the vagaries with LHP because there is so much less LHP. I'm estimating that before his hot streak this past week, his batting line was probably sub 700 vs. LHP.

    Still, that reflects his career line: .240/.272/.315/.588 vs. RHP in 279 AB, .326/.370/.430/.799 vs. LHP in 135 AB. Not a lot of ABs, not even a season's worth yet, but still the difference is so great that it is clear he can only platoon, at best.

    If the Giants were leading the NL West right now, I think there is at least the possibility that Crawford would be starting full-time. I think the Giants view him as a full-time starter eventually. But one thing I like about Bochy is that he's always looking for the victory, and being so many games back, he appears to be looking for every edge he can get, and one right now is platooning SS.

    ReplyDelete

Labels

1984 Draft (1) 2007 Draft (14) 2007 Giants (52) 2008 Draft (22) 2008 Giants (53) 2008 season (6) 2009 Draft (18) 2009 Giants (87) 2009 season (24) 2010 Decade (10) 2010 Draft (11) 2010 Giants (137) 2010 NL ROY award (1) 2010 season (19) 2010's (3) 2011 Draft (9) 2011 Giants (84) 2011 season (8) 2012 Draft (11) 2012 Giants (93) 2012 season (11) 2013 Draft (3) 2013 Giants (38) 2013 season (5) 2014 Giants (19) 2014 season (8) 25 man roster (7) 3B (1) 40 Man Roster (4) 6-man rotation (1) 89 Quake (1) 89 World Series (1) A's (6) A-Ball (1) A-Rod (3) AA-Ball (1) Aaron Rowand (25) accomplishments (1) Adalberto Mejia (4) Adam Duvall (1) AFL (4) Alex Hinshaw (3) All-Star Game (1) almost perfect game (1) Amphetamine (2) analysis (3) Andre Torres (14) Andres Torres (2) Andrew Susac (4) Andy Baggerly (1) Andy Sisco (1) Angel Joseph (1) Angel Pagan (9) Angel Villalona (29) Anniversary (1) appendicitis (1) Arbitration (12) Armando Benitez (5) Armando Gallaraga (1) art of failure (1) ATT Park (1) Aubrey Huff (20) Award (4) BABIP (2) Barry Bonds (28) Barry Zito (77) Baseball America (2) Baseball Prospectus (2) Baseball Prospectus Bias Against Giants (3) baseball strategy (5) Baseball Study (12) baserunning (2) batting peripherals (1) batting stance analysis (1) batting title champion (1) Beat LA (6) bench players (1) Bengie Molina (14) Benjamin Snyder (1) Bert Blyleven (1) Beyond the Box Score (1) Bias Against Giants (1) Big 6 (7) Bill Hall (1) Bill James Handbook (2) Bill Neukom (21) Billy Beane (1) Blog Philosophy (2) Bob Howry (2) Bob Mariano (1) Bobby Evans (1) Brad Hennessey (5) Brad Penny (2) Brandon Bednar (1) Brandon Belt (36) Brandon Crawford (17) Brandon Hicks (1) Braves (5) breakout (1) Brett Bochy (2) Brett Pill (9) Brian Anderson (1) Brian Bocock (2) Brian Cooper (1) Brian Horwitz (3) Brian Ragira (2) Brian Sabean (40) Brian Wilson (14) Bruce Bochy (22) Bucky Showalter (1) bulllpen (1) Bullpen (20) Bumgarner (1) Business Plan (13) Buster Posey (89) Byung-Hyun Kim (1) Cained (4) call-ups (1) Cards (8) Career Prospects (3) Carl Hubbell (1) Carlos Beltran (4) Carlos Gomez (1) Carney Lansford (2) Carter Jurica (1) catcher injury (4) catching (1) CC Sabathia (1) censorship (2) CEO (2) Chad Gaudin (5) Charles Culberson (5) Charlie Culberson (3) Chase Johnson (2) Chillax (1) Chris Gloor (1) Chris Heston (2) Chris Lincecum (1) Chris O'Leary (1) Chris Ray (4) Chris Stewart (4) Chris Stratton (8) Christian Arroyo (3) Christmas (1) Christopher Dominguez (3) Christy Mathewson (1) Chuckie Jones (2) Clay Hensley (3) Clayton Blackburn (5) Clayton Tanner (3) Closer (7) closer by committee (3) Coaches (3) Cody Hall (1) Cody Ross (8) Col (1) Comeback Award (1) Commissioner (1) competitiveness (1) Conor Gillaspie (22) contender (1) contract negotiations (1) contract signing (4) Cory Hart (1) Craig Whitaker (2) cuts (1) Cy Young Award (5) D-backs (14) D-gers (31) D-Rocks (3) D-Rox (16) Dallas McPherson (1) Dan Ortmeier (11) Dan Otero (2) Dan Runzler (6) Daniel Slania (2) Darren Ford (1) Dave Roberts (11) David Aardsma (1) David Huff (2) David Loewenstein (1) Decade of the Giants (10) decline (1) Defense (6) Deferred Money (1) deleted comment (1) Derek Law (4) Detroit Tigers (1) DFA (3) DH (2) Dick Tidrow (1) Dirty (1) DL (1) dodgers (2) Donald Snelten (1) Draft (1) Draft Analysis (7) Draft Bonus (7) draft signing (2) Draft Strategy (11) Draft Study (2) Draft Success (2) drafting (1) Dres (16) Edgar Renteria (13) Edwin Escobar (4) Ehire Adrianza (12) Eli Whiteside (4) Elimination game (1) EME (2) Emmanuel Burriss (18) epic season (6) Eric Byrnes (1) Eric Surkamp (6) Eugenio Velez (12) extension (6) fanfest (1) Fielding (3) Fielding Stats (3) first post-season press conference (2) Francisco Peguero (4) Fred Lewis (3) Freddie Lewis (17) Freddie Sanchez (4) Freddy Sanchez (7) Free Agency (3) Free agent possibilities (17) Free agent signing (4) Free agent signings (21) gamer-tude (1) Gary Brown (22) Geno Espinelli (1) George Kontos (3) Ghosts of Giants Drafts (1) Giants blogs (1) Giants Chat (2) Giants Draft (7) Giants Drafts (2) Giants Farm System (29) Giants Franchise record (2) Giants Future (62) Giants GM (4) Giants Greats (2) Giants hitting manual (1) Giants No-Hitter (4) Giants Offense (21) Giants Offseason (21) Giants Strategy (34) GiDar (1) Gino Espinelli (1) glossary (1) good will (1) Graphical Player (1) Gregor Blanco (11) Gregor Moscoso (1) Guillermo Moscoso (2) Guillermo Mota (2) Gustavo Cabrera (3) Hall of Fame (7) Hall of Shame (3) Hank Aaron (5) Happy Holidays (2) Hate mail (1) heart-warming (1) Heath Hembree (6) Hector Correa (1) Hector Sanchez (8) Henry Sosa (8) HGH (1) high expectations (1) high school focus in draft (1) Hitting (15) Hitting Coach (1) hitting mechanics (3) hitting pitchers (2) hitting streak (1) Hitting; (1) Home Run Career Record (7) Home Run Hitting Contest (1) Hunter Pence (17) Hunter Strickland (1) Idea (4) improvement (1) Indictment (1) injury (1) instant replay (2) instructor (1) Interesting Question (1) International Free Agent Pursuits (3) International Signings (5) interview (3) Investment (1) Ivan Ochoa (2) Jack Taschner (4) Jackson Williams (2) Jacob Dunnington (1) Jacob McCasland (1) Jake Dunning (1) Japanese Starters (1) Jarrett Parker (5) Jason Stoffel (1) Javier Lopez (5) JC Gutierrez (2) Jeff Kent (1) Jeff Suppan (1) Jeremy Affeldt (9) Jeremy Shelley (1) Jerome Williams (1) Jesse English (2) Jesse Foppert (1) Jesus Guzman (4) Joaquin Arias (7) Joe Panik (9) Joe Torre (1) Joey Martinez (2) Johan Santana (1) John Bowker (22) Johneshwy Fargas (2) Johnny Bench (1) Johnny Monell (1) Johnny Rucker (1) Jonah Arenado (1) Jonathan Mayo (1) Jonathan Sanchez (48) Jose Canseco (1) Jose Casilla (1) Jose Guillen (3) Jose Mijares (3) Jose Uribe (2) Josh Osich (3) JT Snow (1) Juan Perez (4) Juan Uribe (9) Juggling Monkey (1) Just Say No (1) Kendry Flores (1) Keury Mella (1) Kevin Correia (2) Kevin Frandsen (22) Kevin Pucetas (10) Kung Fu Panda (29) Kyle Crick (10) Larry Baer (2) Larry Ellison (1) Lead-off (2) left-handed (1) Lew Wolff (1) LHP (1) Lineup (17) lineup construction (1) Lineup position (1) Long-Term Contract (21) long-term planning (3) luck (1) Luis Angel Mateo (2) Mac Williamson (5) Madison Bumgarner (107) Mailbox (1) Malcolm Gladwell (1) management change (3) management issues (5) managerial value (2) Manny (1) Marc Kroon (2) Marco Scutaro (10) Mark DeRosa (8) Martin Agosta (6) Marvin Miller (1) Masahiro Tanaka (1) Mason McVay (1) Matsuzaka (1) Matt Cain (107) Matt Downs (2) Matt Graham (1) Matt Holliday (1) Matt Morris (2) Mechanics (4) Media (15) Media Bias (17) Media Trade Idea (3) Medical (1) Mediocy (9) Mediots (3) Melk-Gone (1) Melky Cabrera (14) mental (1) Merkin Valdez (8) Message in a Bottle (1) Michael Main (1) Michael Trout (1) Miguel Cabrera (2) Miguel Tejada (5) Mike Fontenot (3) Mike Kickham (8) Mike Matheny (1) Mike Morse (5) milestone (1) minor league contract (1) minors (10) mismanagement (1) mistakes (2) MLB (2) MLB stupidity (2) MLB Success (6) MLB Trade Rumors (1) MLBAM (1) MLBTR (1) MLE (1) Mock Draft analysis (3) MVP (1) Natanael Javier (1) Nate Schierholtz (45) Nathanael Javier (1) Naysayers (1) Negotiations (1) Nick Noonan (25) Nick Pereira (1) Nick Vander Tuig (2) NL Champions (2) NL West (21) NL West Division Title (15) NL West Future (1) NLCS (15) NLCS MVP (1) NLDS (7) Noah Lowry (14) non-roster invitees (1) non-tenders (1) NPB (1) Oakland A's (4) OBP (1) oddities (1) Offense (3) offensive era (1) Omar Vizquel (3) one-run games (1) Opening Day (4) opening day pitcher (1) opening day roster (3) Optimism (1) Osiris Matos (2) Outfield (1) Ownership (7) Pablo Sandoval (84) Panda (5) Pandoval (1) passing (1) Pat Burrell (15) Pat Misch (5) Payroll (8) Pedro Feliz (12) PEDS (10) Perfect Game (2) perjury trial (1) Personal Reminiscence (2) Pessimism (1) Pete Rose (3) Peter Magowan (2) Phillies (7) Phoenix Theory of Rebuilding (1) Pitch Count (3) pitch value (1) Pitching (14) Pitching Rotation (50) pitching staff (1) plate discipline (1) Play Ball (1) player budget (2) player development (2) playoff (2) playoff hopes (23) playoff roster (1) playoff rotation (3) Playoff Success (18) Playoffs (26) postmortem (1) PQS (53) press conference (1) pressure (2) priorities (1) Projected Record (3) projection (2) promotion (1) prospect (2) prospect analysis (1) Prospect of Note (3) prospect study (1) Prospects (42) questions (1) Rafael Rodriquez (8) Rajai Davis (2) Ralph Barbieri (1) Ramon Ramirez (3) Randy Johnson (9) Randy Messenger (2) Randy Winn (14) Rangers (5) Ranking (4) raspberry (1) Ray Durham (5) re-sign (2) Rebuilding (4) Rebuilding Myths series (1) Reds (5) Relocation Concession (2) Research (2) resource scarcity (1) Retired (3) Retirement (1) return (1) RHP (1) Rich Aurilia (7) Rick Peterson (1) Rickie Weeks (1) Ricky Oropesa (3) right-handed (1) risk mitigation (2) risk profile (1) Rod Beck (1) Roger Kieschnick (13) Ron Shandler (2) Rookie of the Year (1) Roster (4) ROY (2) Rule 5 Draft Pick (3) rumors (9) runs support (1) Russ Ortiz (11) Ryan Garko (2) Ryan Klesko (4) Ryan Rohlinger (2) Ryan Theriot (3) Ryan Vogelsong (52) Ryder Jones (2) Sabean Naysayers (4) Sabermetric Thoughts (5) sabermetrics (3) Salary speculation (3) SALLY (1) San Jose Giants (1) San Jose Relocation (3) Sandy Rosario (1) Santiago Casilla (8) Scott McClain (2) Scott Shuman (1) Scouting (1) Sergio Romo (13) SF Giants (2) Shilo McCall (1) Shooter (1) shutouts (1) Signature Song (1) signing (12) Silly-Ball (3) South Atlantic League (1) South Bay Rights (1) Spring Training (15) standings (1) starting lineup (14) starting pitching (40) STATS (1) Steroids (5) Steve Edlefsen (4) Steve Johnson (3) Steve Okert (1) Sue Burns (1) sunk costs (1) superstition (1) Team Speed (1) Team Support (1) The Giants Way (1) The Hey Series (15) Thomas Joseph (3) Thomas Neal (9) Tigers (4) Tim Alderson (17) Tim Hudson (4) Tim Lincecum (143) Todd Linden (3) Todd Wellemeyer (6) Tommy Joseph (3) top prospect list (4) Trade (9) Trade Analysis (15) Trade Idea (7) Trade PTBNL (2) Trade Rumors (28) trading (1) training staff (2) Training Tool (1) Travis Blackley (1) Travis Ishikawa (39) turning point (1) Ty Blach (2) Tyler Horan (1) Tyler Rogers (1) Tyler Walker (2) umpire mistake (3) Umpires (3) USA Today (1) Voros McCracken (1) Waldis Joaquin (5) walks (1) WAR (1) Warrior Spirit (1) Wendell Fairley (10) What-If Scenario (3) wild card (1) wild card race (1) Will Clark (1) Willie Mac Award (1) Willie Mays (1) Winter League (1) World Series (18) World Series Champions (10) WS Ring Bling (1) Yusmeiro Petit (6) Zack Wheeler (9)