Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Gonzalez had a lengthy career in baseball and will probably be remembered for being a very talented defensive shortstop. The Fielding Bible said of him: “For years, Gonzalez was one of the better defensive shortstops in baseball.” He converted to third base in 2005 and seemed to do well at it. Offensively Gonzalez was never a great hitter and went from being a light-hitting utility infielder to a no-hitting utility infielder. This season he was four-for-thirty-six with two walks. His OBP was a terrible .158 and he had an ISO of .000 because all four of his hits were singles.
No doubt Gonzalez elected to hang things up and call it a career due to his soft start in 2006.
So who is Chris Coste? At thirty-three he’s the same age as Gonzalez (in fact he’s actually slightly older), but he’s a long-time minor leaguer looking to break into the bigs. It is a great story and it seems likely that Coste will be trying very hard to make an impression, whereas Gonzalez seemed bored and diminished by his role as a pinch-hitter.
Coste’s numbers in Scranton don’t suggest that he’ll be much of an upgrade over Gonzalez: .236 OBP (26-for-147 with nine walks), .095 ISO (just ten extra-base hits: eight doubles and two home runs), and 9 Runs Created*.
* I used Runs Created Basic to tabulate that: ((Total Bases) X (Hits + Walks)) / (At-Bats + Walks)
Confused about what I’m talking about? Here are the stats I refer to defined:
GPA (Gross Productive Average): (1.8 * .OBP + .SLG) / 4 = .GPA. Invented by The Hardball Times Aaron Gleeman, GPA measures a players production by weighing his ability to get on base and hit with power. This is my preferred all-around stat.
Runs Created: A stat originally created by Bill James to measure a player’s total contribution to his team’s lineup.
ISO (Isolated Power): .SLG - .BA = .ISO. Measures a player’s raw power by subtracting singles from their slugging percentage.
OBP (On-Base Percentage): How often a player gets on base. (H + BB + HBP) / (Plate Appearances)
SLG (Slugging Percentage): Power at the plate. (Total Bases / At-Bats = Slugging Percentage)
Coste was hitting south of the Mendoza Line in terms of GPA in Triple-AAA (.174 GPA). However, Coste did hit well in Spring Training and clubbed 20 home runs and 89 RBIs with the Red Barons in 2005. I think he’ll do fine and supply some much-needed pop to the bench.
The Phillies journey north to the realm of the evil empire this week to play three with the Mets. I think all three games are winnable, and I am especially interested to see how Cole Hamels deals with the Mets tomorrow.
I’ve noticed that Shane Victorino has filled in admirably for Aaron Rowand, hitting .405 OBP with a .609 slugging percentage. Not too shabby.
The Phillies need to do something about Jimmy Rollins and soon: for cryin’ out loud, David Bell is hitting better than he is!: .252 GPA vs. .235 GPA.