Saturday, October 15, 2011

Free Agent Watch: J.R. Towles

The Astros have outrighted J.R. Towles off the 40 man roster, and he will become a free agent after the World Series. He is at the prime of his career at 27, but Towles has posted a negative WAR each of the last 4 seasons. He can't even really be considered a defensive catcher at a -.2 D-WAR. He had a .6 WAR in 2007, his first taste of the big leagues. He played in just 14 games and earned a .432 OBP. Looking at his other seasons, the 07 season seems to be an anomaly. He has a career OBP of .267, .65 PPG, OPS of .583, and 3.81 PAPP. He does have a solid Pit/PA at 3.92, which is above league average. However according to the Pitches per starter metric, he (assuming a lineup of 9 J.R. Towles) would only cause a pitcher to throw 106 pitches through 7 innings, which would set up the opposing teams bullpen nicely. A J.R. Towles lineup would create just 2.7 runs and win just 29% of its games.  A J.R. Towles lineup would be a blessing for an opposing pitcher because he doesn't get on base. In 2007, he saw a career low 3.41 Pit/PA, further showing his small 2007 success was a fluke. He is right around average in contact and strike percentage. His Secondary Average in 2011 was a very poor .197, and .213 for his career. He has a horrible ISO slugging of .109, and a very bad .212 BABIP (had a .368 BABIP in 2007, meaning he was very lucky). An extreme optimist might say that he has been just really really unlucky in his career, but, considering the other stats, it is more likely that he is just hitting the ball really soft. He was ad even for the Astros. I just don't see the point in getting him. 

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