Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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Friday, January 18, 2008

New Faces, Part III: Geoff Jenkins 

Sorry for the late post, but my computer hiccuped this morning. It's doing alright now. Let’s take a quick look at the Phillies newest rightfielder, the long-time Milwaukee Brewer Geoff Jenkins.

The 33-year old Jenkins will be entering his eleventh MLB season and the first one not in a Brewers uniform in 2008. Last season Jenkins had 21 home runs, 64 RBI and struck out 116 times in 420 At-bats. Is that a lot of strikeouts? Yeah. Jenkins struck out about 25% of the time in terms of plate appearances. The MLB average is 17%.

As I looked over his numbers I thought to myself that Jenkins is not the sort of player to please Billy Beane or Davy Lopes. Why would Billy Beane pass on him? Well, Jenkins saw his On-Base Percentage (OBP) drop from .357 to a dreadful .319 in 2007. Part of it is batting average (he saw his BA drop from .292 in 2005 to .271 in ‘06 and .255 last season), but a good deal is his inability to draw walks. Just 32 in 2007. Jenkins struggles to draw walks resulted in his Runs Created to drop from 87 to 76 to just 60 from ’05 to ’07.

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: (RC/Outs) * 27

Why wouldn’t Davy Lopes want Jenkins on his team? Well, he is the classic American League DH-type player that Lopes complained was draining the life from baseball. In 1,234 career games Jenkins has stolen 31 bases. (Incidentially, 11 of Jenkins 31 career steals were in 2000. In the last seven years he’s stolen 14 bases, or an average of 2 per season. Ouch. Jenkins has also hit just 22 triples. Climbing deeper in the numbers, according to Bill James Baserunning stats (see, 2008 Bill James Handbook), Jenkins was a disaster for the Brewers in 2007, posting a -10 bases. In 17 opportunities to move from first base to third, Jenkins succeeded just once. He failed all five opportunities he had to move from second to home and both chances to go from first to home.

Yes, Jenkins appears to have a slow-footed slugger who might start having extreme difficulties getting on base if his decline in OBP portends a trend instead of an anomaly.

According to the Bill James Handbook, Jenkins will have a .341 OBP and a robust .200 Isolated Power at the plate. In 120 games Jenkins will hit 18 home runs with 62 RBI, and he’ll have a 5.23 Runs Created per 27 Outs. Compares alright with the rest of the Phillies lineup’s projections for 2008:

Howard: 10.04
Utley: 7.23
Burrell: 6.40
Werth: 6.12
Ruiz: 5.66
J.Roll: 5.62
Jenkins: 5.23
Victorino: 5.03
Helms: 5.02
Dobbs: 4.92

The Phillies will platoon Jenkins, a left-handed hitter, with Jayson Werth, a righty, in 2008. Certainly compared with Werth, who just re-upped with the Phillies for $1.7 million in 2008, Jenkins doesn’t compare. Werth had an OBP of .404 in 2007 and had nearly as many Runs Created (57) as Jenkins in half the plate appearances. Check out the differences in their Runs Created per 27 Outs:

Werth: 8.55
Jenkins: 5.00

So let's hope that Werth plays more than Jenkins in 2008.

Alright, this week was a sparse week for A Citizens Blog but we are going to start upping the posts and the quality of content. Next week I plan to talk a little about Brad Lidge and Chad Durbin, two of the Phillies newest pitchers.

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Jenkins is also a good fielder I believe it was a 988 fielding percentage. That is right there with Werth, Victorino, and Rowand. But not as fast as those guys either. His arm is solid also with 7 put outs last year. If he spells Burrell at times he will be an improvement in the field there. Werth if he keeps up last years pace he will be a full time player very quickly. With Taguchi and possibly Snelling tagging along the OF is a postion of strength for the Phils.

Jenkins was a good pick up for the Phils, he is simular to Burrell except less walks lower OBP%, but a better glove. If Snelling, Bohn, Watson, or Moran have a big year then an OF could be traded for an arm or 2. But I like the Vic/Burrell/Werth/Jenkins/Taguchi OF for now as is.
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