Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm Not A Machine! I'm Fernando!

Let's cut to the chase: The Mets are re-signing Fernando Tatis to platoon with Daniel Murphy at first base. Carlos Delgado was given a chance to reclaim the job playing winter ball, but he was seen hobbling around when he played the field, which apparently is a bad thing.

Tatis was mostly known in 2009 as being a Double Play Machine, terrorizing fans everywhere with his thirteen GIDP's. It got so frustrating there were times when I actually WISHED he was one of the many, many injured players.

Hey Tatis, break a leg out there!
Thank you.
No, seriously...


There's been chatter that the best free agent available that could have been Murph's right hand man was Ryan Garko, a 2009 member of los Gigantes de San Francisco. I think that in general, a player that wasn't on the Mets for the last few seasons will always look better to a Met fan than someone who has a bit of a stench of failure on them. To be fair, let's check the math:
2009     AB AVG HR RBI   OBP    SLG OPS  SB GIDP
Garko  354 .268   13   51   .344 . 421 .765   0     8
Tatis    340 .282     8   48    .339 .438  .777  4    13

Even steven there. 

In terms of fielding percentage at first base, Tatis managed a .997 FP in 296.2 innings, while Garko had a .994 in 637.2 innings. In 849.1 innings, Murph came in with a .989.

Don't ask what his fielding percentage was in left field. Please...okay fine it was .950.

Anyway, since this is the future (the present), we can now talk longer and length about the even distant future (actual future). Fangraphs lists three different 2010 projection systems for each player: Bill James, CHONE and MARCEL. Here's what they say:

GARKO     AB    AVG HR RBI OBP   SLG    OPS SB GIDP
James          419 .282 16   69  .357 .453 .810   0
CHONE       441 .268 17   72  .343 .438 .781   0
MARCEL    404 .272 14   64  .345 .428 .773   1   9

TATIS       AB AVG HR RBI OBP    SLG   OPS   SB GIDP
James       242 .260 7    33  .335 .409  .744    3
CHONE    369 .257 12   47  .325 .417  .742   3
MARCEL 376 .277 11  54  .341 .436   .777    5   12

I feel like I need to make two disclaimers in Tatis's (.997) defense:

1. Projections are a fickle mistress - obviously they can be very very inaccurate, particularly if players become well accustomed to the trainer's room.

2. MARCEL projections put more weight into the previous season than with the others. And it was pretty bad luck that it's also the only system that tries to predict the amount of times someone grounds into a double play.

In terms of age, Garko turned 28 on January 2nd, and Tatis turned 35 on New Year's Day. (They're almost birthday buddies!) Garko gets the slight advantage there too.

My conclusion is that given the choice between the two Omar Minaya realized it'd be easier to sign Fernando Tatis again. And Ryan Garko will sign with the Texas Rangers and  become the MVP. Or something. Nobody knows. Just don't hit into any more double plays dude.

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