Saturday, October 22, 2011

Emilio Bonafacio: Arbitration

Emilio Bonafacio had a 2.4 WAR in 2011 (worth 7.2 million according to Halladay Standard), he had a negative career WAR before that with the Marlins, Nationals, and Diamondbacks. Bonafacio had a career high in games and plate appearances in 2011. He put up a .360 OBP in 2011, along with a .753 OPS, 1.05 PPG, and 2.47 PAPP. In his career, he has been far less impressive: .328 OBP, .676 OPS, .94 PPG, and 2.77 PAPP. So is Bonafacio's great 2011 season an adjustment, simply the product of a full season, or pure lightening in the bottle. He had a career high BABIP of .372 in 2011, something that can't be expected to repeat. What if he reverts back to his normal BABIP of .339? It would seem (by dividing the his career BABIP/2011 BABIP and then multiplying the .911 answer by his 2011 OBP and getting .328) that he would revert back to an average OBP (which is also his career average). One would think that average would be slightly above WAR (since a "replacement player" is usually considered a minor league type player, not an average major league player). There is some stats that may go against this narrative though. For instance, he had just 1 home run through 923 PA before 2011, but hit 5 in 2011. So it would not be crazy to sit on the other side of the fence and insist that Bonafacio is simply hitting the ball harder. I think the answer is somewhere in the middle, there is no way that his 2011 BABIP is sustainable. He certainly has to be on drop-off watch. It is hard to believe he will be as successful in 2012 as he was in 2011. That doesn't mean he will be a bad hitter or anything, as his career PPS is 94.66, a pretty solid number. He is not a good fielder, but he can play any position besides pitcher or catcher. It is hard to imagine he will get tons of money in arbitration, so it still makes sense for the Marlins to keep him around, however, I would expect his trade value would be too high to be worth trying to acquire from the Marlins.

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