Posts tagged ‘Matt Joyce’

The Not-So-Pretty Early Numbers

Runs Scored (6) – 30th

AVG (.138) – 30th

OBP (.237) – 30th

SLG (.260) – 30th

OPS (.497) – 30th

wOBA (.222) – 30th

wRC+ (35) – 30th

fWAR (-0.7) – 30th

K% (25.2) – 28th

The “power” hitters on the team (Evan Longoria, Manny Ramirez, Dan Johnson, Matt Joyce) are hitting a combined .064/.137/.106 in 47 at-bats.

B.J Upton has been on-base 4 time and been caught stealing or thrown out 3 times.

Starting pitchers have a combined 5.06 ERA and only one Quality Start.

April 6, 2011 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

No Room for Kotchman on Rays Roster

Photobucket
(Photo by Jonathan C. Mitchell)

The Rays are stacked deep at almost every position except first base. The same question is always brought up: Who will play firstbase for the Rays in 2011? Will it be the unproven Dan Johnson? How about using Ben Zobrist but at the expense of his valuable glove playing 2B and RF? I laugh at those who mention Leslie Anderson. But one other choice that is brought up is Casey Kotchman, and one thing is for sure he does not belong on a contending team as a starting firstbaseman.

Kotchman has had four seasons in his career with at least 125 games played and over 430 plate appearances. Only once in those four seasons has he posted a BB% higher than 9%, a wRC above league average, an OPS+ above league average, and a wOBA above .325. In fact, his stats have declined to the point where last year he was worth -1.1 fWAR and -0.9 rWAR. Take a look at his declining stats:

 Stat  2007  2008  2009  2010
 AVG  .296  .272  .268  .217
 OBP  .372  .328   .339  .280
 SLG  .467  .410  .382  .336
 ISO  .172  .137  .114  .118
 OPS+  119  93  90  73
 wRC+  120  97  92  66
 wOBA  .362  .322  .317  .270
 fWAR  +3.3  +1.8  +1.0  -1.1
 rWAR  +3.1  +1.1  +1.5  -0.9
 UZR  12.6  11.7  7.8  -0.4

 

Even his “bread-n-butter” defense was of negative value last season and if you were to take the average of those four seasons you would get a firstbaseman that would hit .264/.331/.401 with a 95 OPS+ and 1.2 rWAR and 1.25 fWAR, and there is no reason to believe Kotchman could put those numbers up in the AL East after declining each of the past three seasons.

The Rays will be best served by giving the firstbase job to Dan Johnson and letting Joe Maddon use the versatile Ben Zobrist to back him up, thus allowing Sean Rodriguez and Matt Joyce to get playing time at their respected positions. Having Kotchman on the roster kills the chances of Rodriguez and Joyce finding ample playing time. There simply is no room for Kotchman on the Rays roster.

March 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm 2 comments

Scouting the Rays on 2/27/11


(Picture by Jonathan C. Mitchell)

-My favorite player to watch on the Rays was Robinson Chirinos. He was hitting lasers all over BP and hit a pinch-hit bomb over the palm trees in left. He keeps his weight back very well and transfers it at the right moment, maximizing his power. I didn’t get to see him behind the plate, though.

James Shields worked only one inning and gave up that laser shot to Andrew McCutchen on a pitch he left up and in the middle half. Otherwise, he looked ok, getting ahead of hitters and getting robbed on a called third strike to leadoff hitter Jose Tabata. It just happened to be the one pitch he left up got hit out.

-One guy that did well in BP was 24 year old Russ Canzler who hit 21 homers and 28 doubles in AA last year in the Cubs organization in only 355 at-bats. He has a lofty swing that also produced a lot of high fly balls and pop ups. His swing was fun to watch in BP but will drive a manager crazy in the Majors.

Matt Joyce appeared to be working on an opposite field stroke in BP and didn’t put on the show I expected, but I’m ok with that. I think he was trying to do the same in the game because he was getting pounded inside and looked like he was waiting for something on the outer half.

-Rays prospect Alex Torres got two innings of work in, showing a live fastball but not much command and had a problem putting hitters away. His delivery looks good, showing good balance and gets a lot of velocity from his legs and also keeps his head up the whole time, but his release point was inconsistent. He has some flaws that are workable and there is a lot to like about him.

Desmond Jennings was very patient at the plate, showing a very good eye and laying off of borderline pitches that early in the at-bat. He also showed off his speed, swiping second base with ease and chased a deep ball hit by Walker in the right-center field gap for a nice running catch. On the other hand he showed little to no power in BP and also lost a routine flyball in the sun while wearing sunglasses.

Justin Ruggiano looked bad at the plate, flailing at off-speed stuff down and away from starter Kevin Correia and showing little-to-no patience at the plate.

Casey Kotchman is the same as always. He did go 2-2 but one was a groundball on a hit and run that left a hole and the other was basically a bloop single. His swing is geared towards contact and looks slow to the naked eye.

-I don’t know what to make of Tim Beckham. He looked awful in warm-ups, booting roughly 20% of the routine balls hits to him. He lacked range to his right in the game, having to backhand a routine groundball that he should have been able to get in front of. He does have a very strong arm, though, and was able to gun the runner down in time for the out. At the plate and in BP he worked on hitting the ball up the middle and I like that approach. It worked in one at-bat when he hit a solid line drive up the middle for a single. His base running was atrocious, taking horrible routes around the bases and showing little awareness of where the ball was, hesitating on an easy call to go first-to-third and ending up just staying put at second. He also showed little awareness in the field. On a ball hit to his left he made a play and the runner from second broke to third, he “looked” over to third to make sure the runner wasn’t going home but the runner never broke stride and went straight for home. Beckham threw to first as if the runner never broke for home. It was a lazy effort on his part assuming the runner would stop at third.

For my full report, including the Pirates, check it out here at MLBdirt.com

March 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm 1 comment

2011 Rays Projections: Matt Joyce

Matt Joyce

When the Rays traded starting pitcher Edwin Jackson for young outfielder Matt Joyce back on December 10th of 2008 everyone knew it was a good swap for both teams. The Rays had a plethora of starting pitchers and were in need of a young, cheap bat with power.

Well, over the past two seasons Edwin Jackson has pitched a no-hitter against the Rays and been worth 7.3 fWAR. Matt Joyce has found it hard to crack the Rays lineup and has only had 298 plate appearances with the big club.

It’s 2011 now and Edwin Jackson has been traded twice and Matt Joyce is looking to get a lot of at-bats in Joe Maddon’s many lineups.  Here are my 2011 projected numbers for the young slugger with a career .243 ISO in just under 600 plate appearances:

 Stat  Total
 AVG  .259
 OBP  .359
 SLG  .478
 OPS  .837
 Plate App.  568
 At-Bats  494
 Hits  128
 Homeruns  23
 Doubles  31
 Triples  4
 BB  74
 SO  133
 SB  5
 UZR  +5

 

If I had to make my own “gut” predictions I would say Joyce is a virtual lock to hit 25+ homeruns but I have to look at his playing time realistically.

Joyce may find it hard to crack the lineup against tough left-handers but should be in almost every lineup against any right-hander. Maddon is great at playing the right guys in the scenarios and Joyce should find plenty of playing time if RF, LF, DH, and as a pinch-hitter.

Joyce’s projected totals should net him around 3 fWAR in 2011, give or take a couple tenths depending on how much defensive value he adds because +5 UZR may be low. This will be the year people will stop saying the Rays lost the Jackson-Joyce trade and realize it was a great trade for the Rays.

February 9, 2011 at 7:01 pm 5 comments

Fixing the Rays Need for Power

Andruw JonesRussell Branyan

The Tampa Bay Rays are going to look like a completely different team than the one that won the AL East in 2010.  Long gone are Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Carlos Pena, Jason Bartlett, and a slew of relievers.  The Rays have already begun to rebuild the bullpen, they had Reid Brignac ready to take over at shortstop, and Jeremy Hellickson more than ready to take a rotation spot.

Replacing Crawford is the toughest task.  Crawford was tied for 3rd in the AL with 6.9 fWAR.  That will not be matched by a leftfield mix of Matt Joyce, Desmond Jennings, and Sam Fuld.

The Rays will more than likely be without Rafael Soriano and Grant Balfour at the back of the bullpen.  Soriano’s price tag is too high and I suspect Balfour’s is as well, but more on that in a moment.

The Rays have major holes at 1B, DH (although I think full-time DHs shrink a roster), and the back of the bullpen, and that is without calling leftfield a major hole at the moment.  So what do the Rays need to do?  I have a plan.

My first order of business would be to sign Russell Branyan. I have already supplied enough evidence to prove that Branyan is highly undervalued. It’s time someone took advantage of that and why not the Rays?  The misconception that Branyan is a DH is far off.  

(more…)

January 11, 2011 at 11:58 am 5 comments


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