Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Free Agent Watch: Winston Abreu

In just 44.1 Major League innings, Winston Abreu has a -.1 WAR. He has a miserable PE of 4.434 in the majors, along with a horrific TR of 3.41. Even though he had a high BABIP, it is impossible to pin his struggles on this, as his terrible groundball to flyball ratio (.56) and HR/9IP (2.03) shows. A good student of baseball statistics or the Winston Abreu fan might scream "Small Sample Size". They would certainty be right, so it may be helpful to look at his last two seasons, both spent in AAA. I am going to split these two seasons, because 2010 was spent with the Rays AAA, in the international league, while 2011 was spent in the Blue Jays AAA, in the PCL. These are two much different leagues, and we can use the AAA metric on his 2010 season, but not with his 2011 season. In 2011, he threw 66.1 innings and had a nice PE of -2.51, but his adjusted PE is less impressive at -1.21. His FIP was 4.96, hardly good enough to be brought up, and his BABIP was a low .265. Not to mention he struggled with homers at 1.63 HR/9IP. He also walked 12% of batters faced, which is way too high. In 2010 with Durham, his adjusted PE was an incredible -8.91, and his PE was -8.29 in 55.1 innings. These amazing numbers come with a rather normal .293 BABIP. There, he did not struggle with walks (9.5%) or HR's (.16 HR/9IP). He also put up numbers in 09 in AAA for the Rays. According to the AAA Durham metric, his Major League PE should be -5.76, which would put him with some of the more elite relievers in the game. There is an obvious discrepancy here. Either our metric is flawed with not enough sample size, Abreu is a AAAA pitcher, or he is due to break out. The pedestrian 2011 season makes it really hard to believe he is due to break out. At age 34, one would think his best baseball is behind him. It is still hard to ignore those numbers, and his small sample size makes it hard to insist that his major league numbers are what Abreu is. Surely Abreu is at least worth a minor league contract or minimum salary.

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