Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Free Agent Watch: Jim Thome

Elderly slugger Jim Thome had a 1.4 WAR in 2011, and has averaged a 1.9 WAR in the past 3 years, which is worth 5.7 million dollars. He made just 3 million dollars in 2011. He can no longer field, and is just used as only as a DH. This should rule out all NL teams, and AL teams like Mark Reynolds' Orioles, whoever signs David Ortiz, and any other team with a DH only player. However, similar to how Frank Thomas was able to stick around so long, his OBP and OPS is still good. In Minnesota, Thome had a .387 OBP, .949 OPS, 1.15 PPG, and 2.24 PAPP. These are really good numbers, and at a .266 BA, he may be undervalued. He has a career OBP of .403, so getting on base is nothing new. He had a 6.2 RC/G, .629 Offensive Winning Percentage, .386 Sec A, and .220 ISO in 2011. In 2010, his Secondary Average was .562. He has been a flyball hitter most of his career, but in 011 he hit more groundballs than league average, a concern for sure. His power has definitely waned, but he is still an above average power hitter. It is hard to believe given his size and speed but he grounds in to less double plays than average because he is a flyball hitter. If Youkilis is the Greek god of walks then Thome might be the Roman god of walks, walking 17% of the time in his career and 14.2% in 2011 (league average is like 8.7%). He saw 4.28 Pit/PA in 2011, a 104.85 PPS. In his career, he sees 4.2 Pit/PA, giving him a 106.07 PPS. One other small area of concern is that despite 2011 being a relative down year for Thome, his BABIP was higher than career average (.327 vs. .321). He was the fifth oldest player in the league in 2011, but he wants to still play and all signs point to him still being able to. If you can get him for 5 million or less, gobble him up.

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