Monday, November 7, 2011

Free Agent Watch: Fred Lewis

Fred Lewis is coming off a frustrating year with the Cincinnati Reds in which he had a -.1 WAR (he made $900,000). Over the past 3 years, he has a .57 WAR average, which would be worth 1.7 million dollars according to the Halladay Standard. In his career, he has a .345 OBP, .751 OPS, .92 PG, and 2.74 PAPP. He is an under average home run hitter and has an ISO of just .139. His secondary average is .266, and he has an offensive winning percentage of .529. Despite not having impressive metrics in many areas, he is a patient hitter, seeing 4.05 pitches per plate appearance, walking 9.6% of the time, and owning a PPS of 98.05. In his career, he is a slightly above average extra base hitter, but in 2011, he was below average. In 2011, he had a .321 OBP, .638 OPS, .54 PPG, and 3.28 PAPP. His Offensive Winning Percentage was just .384, and he had as many positive plays as negative plays according to win probability. His groundball hitting was extreme in 2011, at 1.64 GB/FB ratio. This is perhaps more concerning than any other statistic (he also hit less line-drives than average). He still walked 10.5% and had a 92.26 PPS. His Secondary Average was just .191, and his ISO .087. He suffered from a .273 BABIP in 2011, and he strangely has a .339 career BABIP. On defense, his fielding percentage of .979 is below league average of .985 for outfielders. His Range Factor is also below average. One could very easily argue that since Lewis is now over 30, he is on the downhill slope, and that the very little power he did have has left him. If this is true, he has probably dropped below a serviceable Major League player as 2011 shows. However, it seems much easier to argue the other way, that 2011 was due principally to things like BABIP luck and relatively small sample sizes, and that his ability to see pitches and walk makes him more valuable then most teams believe. It is not like he is going to be valuable in free agency. He could be a very nice 4th outfielder for a team, especially if he returns to form.

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