Tuesday, January 15, 2008
It is frustrating evaluating Snelling because we have precious little to go on. Thus far in his MLB career, Snelling has just 221 major league At-Bats. He’s hit just six home runs and nine doubles, so he’s no power hitter. He does seem to have a good eye, however: his 34 walks are pretty good, and his career OBP of .357 is a good 117 points higher than his batting average. According to the 2008 Bill James Handbook, Snelling will hit .253 (.350 OBP), with 7 home runs and 43 RBI. He’ll also have a 4.53 Runs Created per 27 Outs. That’s all pretty respectable.
Confused about what I’m talking about? Here are the stats I refer to defined:
Isolated Power (ISO): .SLG - .BA = .ISO. Measures a player’s raw power by subtracting singles from their slugging percentage.
On-Base Percentage (OBP): How often a player gets on base. (H + BB + HBP) / (Plate Appearances)
Slugging Percentage (SLG): Total Bases / At-Bats = Slugging Percentage. Power at the plate.
Runs Created (RC): A stat originally created by Bill James to measure a player’s total contribution to his team’s lineup. Here is the formula: [(H + BB + HBP - CS - GIDP) times ((S * 1.125) + (D * 1.69) + (T * 3.02) + (HR * 3.73) + (.29 * (BB + HBP – IBB)) + (.492 * (SB + SF + SH)) – (.04 * K))] divided by (AB + BB + HBP + SH+ SF).
RC/27: Runs Created per 27 outs, essentially what a team of 9 of this player would score in a hypothetical game.
Fielding Percentage: (Putouts + Assists) / (Putouts + Assists + Errors). How often the player successfully handled the ball.
Range Factor: (Putouts + Assists) * 9 / IP. Essentially measures how much a player is involved in defensive plays.
Defensively we know, again, pretty little about Snelling’s skills. He played 129 innings of left field with the Washington Nationals and seemed to do well: his fielding percentage was 1.000, and his range factor was 2.02, which would have ranked him in the middle of the pack amongst left fielders in the MLB. Snelling also played 38 & 2/3 innings of centerfield for the Oakland A’s and likewise had a 1.000 fielding percentage and 2.09 range factor, which wasn’t so good (although the sample size is much too small).
So what are Snelling’s chances of making the Phillies roster? Not good. He’s basically competing for one slot only, that fifth outfielder slot where the Phillies are looking for someone with defensive skills and with speed. On both counts, I think So Taguchi has the edge over Snelling. He played more innings in the field and has pretty good stats (2.82 range factor in centerfield for the Cardinals in 2007), and he’s demonstrated speed on the base-paths. Taguchi has 36 steals in 48 attempts in his career, against Snelling’s two in six attempts.
In the final analysis, I think that Chris Snelling will play MLB baseball in 2008, but it won’t be in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform.
Taguchi does have the upper hand for the final OF slot and even more so with his great pinch hitting abilities.
The team is 5 deep on major league OF's and has Snelling, Bohn, Watrson, and Maron who all could step up and be ready for the show.
Anyway, the kid can play.
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