What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
I'll let the sabermetricians do the advanced research to either support or refute my claim, but I would contend that Napoli is not "in a slump" as some might suggest, but rather we are seeing the real Mike Napoli. Before a monster 2011 season (5.3 WAR), Nap was about a .250 career hitter with a K:BB ratio of 2.3:1 who contributed very little defensively (total dWAR of -0.1 with the Angels, 6 passed balls this year, just 21% of runners thrown out).
I guess what I'm contending is that the 2012 Mike Napoli is the one we should expect to see. I hope someone can prove me wrong.
I'm actually wondering if he is completely healthy. The way he looks at the plate just does not look right at all as he frequently looks over matched from the second he steps in the box. Maybe his ankle is still bothering him enough to throw off his timing. Then again he was just like this in the beginning of last season to so who knows.
"Then again he was just like this in the beginning of last season to so who knows."
And all of the season before, and all of the season before that, and all of the season before that, etc.
Napoli's 2nd half of 2011 was a 100% complete aberration from his career production. To assume that he's more likely to replicate that half season....as opposed to the 5 and half other seasons when he was very similar to his current production....is the epitome of wishful thinking.
Yes, his splits are somewhat under his career numbers.....but his current numbers are much closer to his career numbers than his 2H2011 numbers.
wRC+ is the most complete measure of offensive performance. Napoli's career wRC+ is 128. His 2012 wRC+ is 109. So you could say that he's in a slump.
That said, in 4 of his previous 6 seasons, his wRC+ was b/w 109 and 119. In his other 2 seasons, his wRC+ was 146 and 178. So a wRC+ of 109 is on the low end of what we can expect from Nap. But it's definitely not unusual for him.
Stats aside - He hasn't really had a chance to get in a rhythm. That's probably my main complaint as to how Washington has handled his players at the expense of MY getting more games. I know Napoli needs a few games off - but not when it seems like his pitch recognition is getting better and getting his walks.
IMO Wash has done a great job overall (in-game strategy aside) but he could have handled the timing of Napoli's games better.
Another sign that Nap is in a slump is that his contact % on swings is a couple of percentage points lower than his career contact %. He's putting the bat on the ball at a slightly lower rate than he has most of his career.
I think Buzz mentioned on the broadcast today that even though he's slumping he's still walking, which is a good thing. He overachieved last year but he's better than the Nap we're seeing right now.
PhishTank, you mentioned his WAR last season, and 5.3 is definitely overachieving for him, but Prospectus has him projected (make of that what you will) to finish with a WAR of 3.3, which is solid, and right around his career average.
Also worth noting is that his BABIP is a little under his career average (.293, compared to .303 for his career) meaning he's getting a tad bit unlucky at the plate, but not enough to make a huge difference.
Yeah, "slump" might be a strong word, because, to me, he hasn't looked terrible or overmatched this year. I think his ankle injury from Game 6 last year still has an impact on him, and perhaps surgery would have cost him too much time, and he'd rather play at 65 or 75% than miss that time. Especially in a contract year.
He has 11 homers in 70 games, a little over 40% of the season. So he's still on pace for about 25, which isn't too many less than he finished with last year. And being that my assessment of his ankle is purely conjecture, and being that he's historically stronger in the 2nd half, I'm not concerned with him.
That godforsaken Black Gear is his personal version of the biological warfare to stop the Greatest Team of All Time since the '27 Yankees.
Heat colored gear. In Texas. Napoli is Karma's b*tch until the Heat choke away the Finals.
I've been also noticing he has been getting more time off than any other "healthy" player. This has led me to wonder 2 things: 1) is there a health issue not disclosed to the public going on? and 2) why is it any other player gets in a slump on this team and they are automatically benched, but MY can go 0-20 with 20 weak grounders never leaving the infield, but is in there every day batting 2nd, 3rd, or 5th?!?!?!?! Is getting old.
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