Sunday, October 30, 2011

Free Agent Watch: Lyle Overbay

Lyle Overbay had a -.5 WAR in 2011 (.2 WAR in just 49 PA for the Diamondbacks, would be a 2.24 WAR in 550 PA, worth 6.7 million), 2.3 WAR in 2010, and 3.5 WAR in 2009. This is a WAR average of 1.77 WAR, worth 5.3 million. Career OBP of .354, but it was just .310 in 2011 (for what its worth, he had a .388 in his short time with the Diamondbacks). His career OPS is .793, and he boasts a 2.64 PAPP, and 1.02 PPG. One thing a prospective team has to figure out about Overbay is his terrible 2011 season with the Pirates. The usual suspect, BABIP turns out to be extremely important, as it was just .269, instead of his career average of .313. If he would have had his usual BABIP of .313 with the Pirates, he would have had a .349 OBP, just short of his career average. Are the Pirates just completely ignorant to BABIP, or was there a deep concern that he simply wasn't hitting the ball as hard as he used to? There is no way to no, and not really a way to tell without going back and watching every single Overbay at bat. Some helpful things like line drive percentage and groundball to flyball ratio will give us an idea. His career line drive percentage is 22% and for the Pirates it was 20% (about league average). His groundball to flyball ratio was around his career average, and he actually had less groundouts to flyouts than his career average. So it does seem that it was "BABIP luck". In his career (as we have seen that his career numbers can be trusted for 2012), he has a .300 Secondary Average, and .169 Isolated Slugging. He has a 5.5 Runs created per game, with a .549 offense winning percentage. He walks 11.3% of the time, is an average home run hitter, and hits more extra bases than the average bear. He has a pretty good PPS (but not quite as good as I originally thought) at 93.1. Overbay is a really good player, including on defense (a 6.9 D-WAR). Teams should easily shell out 5 million dollars for him, and perhaps even more. He will probably be undervalued because of his struggles with the Pirates in 2011.

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