Guest Post: How About That Jose Guillen Fellow?
Please welcome our friend Ben Yarrington, whose article we will be sharing with you today.
As I’m sure most people know, the Giants have been interested in Jose Guillen for quite some time now. The July 31st non-waiver trade deadline passed and the Giants did not acquire the “big bat” that Brian Sabean speaks so frequently of, though. On August 5th, Guillen was designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals. That very same day, Giants’ beat writer Andrew Baggarly reported that the Giants are “discussing” Guillen.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh no…”
But let’s take a step back, calm down, and weigh the pros and cons here. The Giants’ right fielders in 2010 have posted a slash line of .242/.315/.407 with a wOBA of .309. All of which put them in the bottom 5 in MLB in each category. The sad truth is that those numbers don’t provide an accurate picture of just how poor our production from right field has been this year. Andres Torres and Aubrey Huff, who are both performing well above average, have played a total of 66 games in right this year. The fact that the position is still posting that line even though having two-thirds of the season played by above average performers shows that the situation in right field is certainly worse than it appears.
In comes Jose Guillen. In 2010, Guillen has posted a slash line of .255/.314/.426. Now, those numbers don’t exactly scream “pick me”, but again, there is more to these stats than meets the eye. Post All-Star break, Guillen has posted a line of .151/.198/.260. Slumps happen, and Guillen seemed to have hit one. The good news is that Guillen is projected to do better for the remainder of the year. His rZiPS line has him at .261/.321/.438 with a wOBA of .335. Again, those numbers aren’t “wow” material, but they have to be looked at in perspective. Guillen will not only provide stability in the revolving door of Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres and Nate Schierholtz, but provides a clear offensive improvement over the horrid performance we’ve seen thus far from right field.
However, baseball is not an offense only game. AT&T Park has a rather infamously large right field, including the ever expansive “Triples Alley”. The Giants have been blessed to have Torres and Schierholtz, two extremely good defenders, patrolling right for as much of the season as they have. Their range is hard to match and Schierholtz’s cannon is certainly one of a kind. In recent years, Guillen has been known to be a less than stellar defender, posting UZR’s of -17, -5.3 and -5.9 in the past three years in right field. However, Guillen has stepped up his defense this year, posting a +2.6 UZR so far in right field for the Royals. Not to mention Guillen’s defense certainly has the “Gamer” aspect to it that we know Sabean loves, and, believe it or not, Guillen has an arm comparable to Schierholtz. Granted this is an incredibly small sample size, as he’s only played 169 defensive innings, the argument could be made that with only 52 games left in the season for the Giants, a bit of below average defense might be a necessary sacrifice. The Giants are a top five fielding team in virtually every category, so even with Guillen’s less than stellar defense; they would still be a well above average defensive team.
All in all, Guillen is not the savior by any means, but he is an upgrade over the performance we’ve seen so far. Not to mention Guillen, who’s known to be a bit of a live wire, might blend perfectly with the intense passions of Huff, Torres and Lincecum, among others.