Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jarrod Saltalamacchia: Arbitration

Salty made $750,000 in 2011,  and posted a .7 . WAR (worth 2.1 million according to Halladay Standard). He had a career high in Plate Appearances, and his other real full season was in 2007 where he had a .1 WAR. It would be a pretty big jump in arbitration to go from 750,000 to 2.1 million but I am certainly no expert at guessing how much a player will get in arbitration. In 2011 for the Red Sox, he had just a .288 OBP, with a .737 OPS. The good news is that he was a pretty good slugger at .450 slugging percentage. He also had a 1.21 PPG, but a 3.088 PAPP. He was horribly inefficient but had some pop. His secondary average was .285, while his PPS was 91.85. In his career, his Runs Created per game was just below average at 4.2, and his offensive winning percentage is .434. He has a .307 OBP, .712 OPS, and 91.99 PPS. He hasn't consistently had the power he had in 2011, with a career PPG of .98 and a .161 ISO (he had a .215 in 2011, it is hard to tell if that is fluky or whether he just loves Fenway. The Ballpark in Arlington where he used to play is a very great hitters ballpark, so the latter seems unlikely). He has a .322 career BABIP, even though he had a 2011 BABIP of .304, there is perhaps hope it will return to form. More likely, this career BABIP was fluky anyway. His Secondary Average is mediocre at .246. Salty is a horrible defender with a -1.4 D-WAR in his career and a -.6 WAR in 2011. He also had that weird incident in 2010 where the Rangers couldn't bring him up because he suddenly couldn't throw it to the pitcher. We should probably not read too much into that, but it gives you concern about his mental makeup. In 2011, Salty was absolutely terrible at the start of the year and picked it up as the year went along. He is an above average power hitter, but a way below average walker. The strikeouts will irrationally turn away people as will the low batting average. Because of this it is hard to know what his trade value would be, but certainly some team would see a catcher with some power and ignore the flaws. And there are flaws, the low OBP and high PAPP is very concerning. He is under average overall. The only hope is that his solid pitches per plate appearance (3.91 in his career, 3.95 in 2011) and slightly above average PPS will turn into a better OBP (read more walks). This is possible, but probably unlikely considering the decently large sample size of Salty's career. I don't think you can count on Salty and (obviously if he gets the 2.1 million or more) I would try to trade him.

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