Thursday, November 17, 2011

Free Agent Watch: Jorge Cantu

Jorge Cantu had just a .1 WAR in 2010 (0 WAR for Texas), and a horrifying -1 WAR in 2011. His career O-WAR is 6.3 in 8 seasons, followed by a putrid -5.7 D-WAR. A career .316 OBP (under average), 97 OPS + (under average), 1.703 O4S (around average), and .474 Offensive Winning Percentage (4.6 Runs created per game). His last two Major League stints have been disasters, with Texas after the trade deadline in 2010 and with the Padres in 2011. In the former, he had just 2.7 runs created per game and .264 Offensive Winning Percentage. He did this despite having a reasonable .282 BABIP. His OBP was just .279, OPS + of 59, and O4S of 1.443. This is miserable, and he had about an average PPS of 90.7. I find this interesting, because his Pit/PA has actually gone up in recent years. This gets even weirder when you realize his walks haven't gone up, and may have actually gone down: 2008: 3.77 Pit/PA 5.8 BB%, 2009: 3.95 Pit/PA 7.3 BB%, 2010: 3.89 Pit/PA, 5.6 BB%, 2011: 3.9 Pit/PA 4.5%. Those are strange numbers, but they are explained by Cantu swinging at more pitches than league average and having a good amount of foul balls. For Cantu 2011 was miserable, as he started the season with the Padres and had that awful WAR and a .180 Offensive Winning Percentage, and then was released and spent the end of the year in Colorado's minor league system. His awful Padres .232 OBP was heavily affected by his miserable .216 BABIP, but even if his BABIP was .300, he would only have had a .279 OBP according to the ratio of BABIP/OBP. This is not good either obviously. As the career stats above show, Cantu was never that good of a player anyway, and has seemingly regressed. For the Rangers, the good news is that the two minor League pitchers they gave up for Cantu in a trade with the Marlins in 2010 don't seem to be very good. Evan Reed, despite being in the Minors for 5 seasons, split the 2011 season between Rookie ball and A+ ball. He registered a -.963 PE and -2.508 adjusted PE. So at the lower levels, he had a good season, but at 25, time is ticking for him to make it to the larger levels by his prime. Omar Poveda spent 2011 in AA, registering a 1.45 PE and 1.27 adjusted PE at age 24.

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