Saturday, October 29, 2011

Free Agent Watch: Coco Crisp

I wrote an article a while back pointing out that the A's signings of Willingham, Matsui, and Fuentes (especially Fuentes, as he is a pricey reliever) didn't make much sense in the context of Moneyball, as they were all overpaid in the 2011 season, The Coco Crisp signing made even less sense. A guy with an average OBP who steals bases made very little sense according to Jamesian analysis and Beane's own philosophy. Crisp has walked just 7.87% of the time in is career, which is below league average. However, WAR really likes Crisp, as he has a 1.99 WAR average in his career, which is better than the average player needed to make the playoffs. In fact, 25 players with equal WAR as Coco Crisp would win 101 games. He is worth about 6 million dollars according to this metric. For the Athletics, he was actually slightly better, with a 2.9 WAR in 2010 (worth 8.7 million), and a 2.1 WAR in 2011 (worth 6.3 million). In his career, Crisp has a .330 OBP (slightly above league average) and 87.62 PPS (below average).In 2011, his OBP dropped to .314, and he had just a 82.07 PPS (league average is around 90). He walked just 41 times and had a Runs Created per game of about 4.3, very mediocre. He did steal 49 bases, while only being caught 9 times, a 84 percentage, meaning his stealing is worth it. His Secondary Average was .267 (.255 in his career), and an ISO of .130. The good news for Crisp is that his 2011 BABIP was .284, under average. If his BABIP was league average, he would have had an OBP of about .332, which is around his career average. So teams scared of his .314 OBP (assuming they want his .332), should take comfort, and perhaps it will drive his price down. Crisp is a good player with a lot of "tools" but not a leadoff hitter. Injury problems and the fact he played for the lowly Athletics may drive his price down some, and make him a bargain.

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