MIA JBJ

The Needler

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Excellent timing, before his (so far) 2 for 2 effort tonight

Small Sample Sizes are so much fun, and so meaningless.
Which small sample size? Tonight's game, or the 17 before it? Or the 750 before those? Hitting two doubles in a 15-3 game is very on-brand for JBJ, as noted in my previous post.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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And...the streakiest hitter in the game is now .161/.257/.306 over his last 17 games, with 21 K in 70 PA.

And most of the numbers he does put up tend to be in low leverage situations. 2019 OPS by scoring margin:

Tie game - .748
Within 1 R - .637
Within 2 R - .637
Within 3 R - .632
Within 4 R - .648
> 4 run diff - 1.054

For his career:
Tie game - .699
Within 1 R - .711
Within 2 R - .726
Within 3 R - .719
Within 4 R - .711
> 4 run diff - .785

High Lev - .688
Med Lev - .720
Low Lev - .743

His career WPA is sitting at -4.74
But is that differential all that far off from any other batter on the Red Sox? Leading the AL in runs scored for two years running means a lot of at bats in blowouts. Of course offensive numbers are going to drop in a tight scoreless or 1-0 pitchers' duel. How about running these numbers for some other hitters for a comparison?
 

The Needler

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But is that differential all that far off from any other batter on the Red Sox? Leading the AL in runs scored for two years running means a lot of at bats in blowouts. Of course offensive numbers are going to drop in a tight scoreless or 1-0 pitchers' duel. How about running these numbers for some other hitters for a comparison?
Who do you want, another hitter like JBJ, or someone good? You really don't need to delve into those comparisons; that's what WPA is for, and he is -1.35 this season; between poor and awful.

The great majority of his PA (311 out of 372), like all players have been when the score is within 4 runs. His OPS is .648 in those PA. It's 1.054 in the other 61 PA. Rest assured, no other player on the Sox has such a split.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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If you cherry pick 17 games for anyone on the Sox you will find cold streaks.

If you think you are telling us something new, that JBJ isn't a good hitter, you are a couple years late with your news

And that Vazquez! Only 1 hit last night! Everyone else had at least two!!!
 

Detts

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Who do you want, another hitter like JBJ, or someone good? You really don't need to delve into those comparisons; that's what WPA is for, and he is -1.35 this season; between poor and awful.

The great majority of his PA (311 out of 372), like all players have been when the score is within 4 runs. His OPS is .648 in those PA. It's 1.054 in the other 61 PA. Rest assured, no other player on the Sox has such a split.

Eric Van?
 

Devizier

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I, for one, am enjoying the era of “reverse Eric Van”.

I have been one of the boards’ bigger pessimists on Bradley, generally not buying into his development as a hitter. I saw him as a modern Darren Lewis in the early days and his 2016 proved me wrong.

Even this year, where he IS comparable to Lewis, that’s still better than a replacement guy. I think there’s always room for players like that as long as you’re covered elsewhere.
 

Van Everyman

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And...the streakiest hitter in the game is now .161/.257/.306 over his last 17 games, with 21 K in 70 PA.

And most of the numbers he does put up tend to be in low leverage situations. 2019 OPS by scoring margin:

Tie game - .748
Within 1 R - .637
Within 2 R - .637
Within 3 R - .632
Within 4 R - .648
> 4 run diff - 1.054

For his career:
Tie game - .699
Within 1 R - .711
Within 2 R - .726
Within 3 R - .719
Within 4 R - .711
> 4 run diff - .785

High Lev - .688
Med Lev - .720
Low Lev - .743

His career WPA is sitting at -4.74
How does this compare, spread-wise, to other players? I’d imagine most teams use worse pitchers in games with four or more run differentials.
 

drbretto

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And...the streakiest hitter in the game is now .161/.257/.306 over his last 17 games, with 21 K in 70 PA.

And most of the numbers he does put up tend to be in low leverage situations. 2019 OPS by scoring margin:

Tie game - .748
Within 1 R - .637
Within 2 R - .637
Within 3 R - .632
Within 4 R - .648
> 4 run diff - 1.054

For his career:
Tie game - .699
Within 1 R - .711
Within 2 R - .726
Within 3 R - .719
Within 4 R - .711
> 4 run diff - .785

High Lev - .688
Med Lev - .720
Low Lev - .743

His career WPA is sitting at -4.74
Putting aside the SSS for the first group, are those career numbers particularly different from any other random player? Wouldn't it be more likely that you're going to have better offensive numbers in a blowout because you're facing a pitcher that's shitting the bed?


Edit: Whoops, guess I hadn't refreshed the page!
 

The Needler

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If you cherry pick 17 games for anyone on the Sox you will find cold streaks.

If you think you are telling us something new, that JBJ isn't a good hitter, you are a couple years late with your news
Actually no, while I don’t think it’s news that JBJ is not a good hitter, all my post did was note JBJ’s latest streak, in response to the very last last post in this thread, which noted the one before that.

But I’m glad you recognize he’s a bad hitter now, when this time last year you were still of the ridiculous opinion that he was a top 5 CF in baseball.
 

The Needler

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How does this compare, spread-wise, to other players? I’d imagine most teams use worse pitchers in games with four or more run differentials.
The Red Sox team split (which of course includes JBJ’s outlier numbers) is .786 vs. .958. The Yankees is .812 vs .837.
 

The Needler

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I can't understand wanting to get rid of him.

Is this team not succeeding with JBJ in the middle of things? You get his career average hitting with his fielding ability and you have a Top 5 C.F. in the league.

Not sure how you hope to improve on that.
Mea culpa. Top 5 in the league. Still a big no.
 

The Needler

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Eric Van?
Not sure what this is supposed to mean, but there's nothing particularly novel about looking at the actual value a player's plate performances have provided. The data say JBJ's numbers this year have been very negative, and that his positive plate appearances have been largely empty. The run differential splits are simply demonstrative of what WPA already tells us. Now, if you want to argue WPA isn't very predictive, that's fine, though there is some correlation year to year. But arguing that his hot streak was particularly helpful to the team this year, or that it has made up for his long dreadful start is belied by the data.

Using the rough cutoff provided by the poster I was responding to, in JBJ's first 38 games this year (.421 OPS), his WPA was -1.594, a MASSIVE number. In his next 37 games, an incredible hot streak (1.058 OPS), he only provided .404 WPA. Thus, his cold streak was nearly 4 times worse in lost win value to the team than his hot streak provided positive win value. Then of course, we have the last 18 games where he's back in the negative at -.250.

Anyway, splits can be useful. People have little problem sitting JBJ whenever possible against a lefty. That's because he stinks against them. Likewise, he stinks on the road. It'd be great if we could only play him against righties at Fenway, and in blowouts, but I acknowledge we don't have that luxury.
 

bosox79

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He's fine but he's not someone you lock up long term. At this point last year, there was talk of not tendering him a contract when he was slashing .207/.294/.344 in 340 PA. He's not close to being that bad this year. Of course, if he goes on another Mr. Hyde run, he could finish the season there but I don't see it. He's actually been remarkably consistent in some ways, despite being the most hot/cold hitter for long period of stretches I have ever seen.

2017: .245/.323/.402 in 542 PA, OPS+ 89
2018: .234/.314/.403 in 535 PA, OPS+ 91
2019: .231/.329/.403 in 377 PA, OPS+ 90

2013-2016: .237/.316/.409 in 1421 PA, OPS+ 94
2017-2019: .237/.321/.403 in 1453 PA, OPS+ 90
Career average: .237/.319/.406 in 2874 PA, OPS+ 92.

It's funny how even 2013-2016 works out to the same numbers, given the much bigger swings in performance.
2013-2014: .196/.268/.280 in 530 PA, OPS+ 53
2015-2016: .262/.345/.489 in 891 PA, OPS+ 118

I'd let him walk after next year. I don't want to pay for him at 31+. I'm not even sure he's the best use of $10 mil for next year since the Sox can somewhat replace his defense internally and there's no reason to replace his bat. They could go with Betts/Benny/Chavis in the OF and look for a 1b but 'm not sure JBJ would get much return in a trade and I can't see the Sox non-tendering him.

edit: He's basically a GG galiber CF with league average hitting at 10 mil for a year. Maybe they actually could get a return. I dunno. He just has less value to the Sox than other teams because of the Bets/Benny dynamic, at least imo.
 

The Needler

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He's fine but he's not someone you lock up long term. At this point last year, there was talk of not tendering him a contract when he was slashing .207/.294/.344 in 340 PA. He's not close to being that bad this year. Of course, if he goes on another Mr. Hyde run, he could finish the season there but I don't see it. He's actually been remarkably consistent in some ways, despite being the most hot/cold hitter for long period of stretches I have ever seen.

2017: .245/.323/.402 in 542 PA, OPS+ 89
2018: .234/.314/.403 in 535 PA, OPS+ 91
2019: .231/.329/.403 in 377 PA, OPS+ 90

2013-2016: .237/.316/.409 in 1421 PA, OPS+ 94
2017-2019: .237/.321/.403 in 1453 PA, OPS+ 90
Career average: .237/.319/.406 in 2874 PA, OPS+ 92.

It's funny how even 2013-2016 works out to the same numbers, given the much bigger swings in performance.
2013-2014: .196/.268/.280 in 530 PA, OPS+ 53
2015-2016: .262/.345/.489 in 891 PA, OPS+ 118
The real dividing line in JBJ's career was the all-star break in 2017, which he went into with an .853 OPS. He had an awful second half (.579 OPS) and finished the season at .726.

2015-2017 all-star break: 301 G, .266/.349/.489/.839
2017 all-star break -2019: 305 G, .228/.312/.385/.698
 

bosox79

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The real dividing line in JBJ's career was the all-star break in 2017, which he went into with an .853 OPS. He had an awful second half and finished the season at .726.

2015-2017 all-star break: 301 G, .266/.349/.489/.839
2017 all-star break -2019: 305 G, .228/.312/.385/.698
.228/.312/.385 is well within range of his career average, just less power. With his overall package, that's still a starting CF. I think the real problem is the Sox have internal options to replace him in CF.

I'd guess the defense lost moving Mookie to CF, Benny to RF, and Chavis or FA signing to LF would be considerably less than the offense gained.

I'm not a fan of JBJ either though, and I tend to believe that streaky players are more valuable than consistent ones. But there's .650 OPS bad and .450 OPS bad. He's basically a pitcher for half the year.
 

The Needler

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I'm not a fan of JBJ either though, and I tend to believe that streaky players are more valuable than consistent ones.
I've seen you say that before. As I noted above, according to WPA, JBJ's hot streaks this year have been far more detrimental to the team than his hot streaks have been positive. Are you suggesting that if JBJ had put up monthly .732 OPSs, his season WPA would be worse than -1.4? Because I find that idea incredibly suspect. Do you have any kind of data that supports your theory?
 

bosox79

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I've seen you say that before. As I noted above, according to WPA, JBJ's hot streaks this year have been far more detrimental to the team than his hot streaks have been positive. Are you suggesting that if JBJ had put up monthly .732 OPSs, his season WPA would be worse than -1.4? Because I find that idea incredibly suspect. Do you have any kind of data that supports your theory?

There was an article written on it a few years ago and it was discussed here but I can't find it. But no, there wasn't much data. I don't think it's something you can prove one way or the other, which is why I said I tend to believe. It just makes intuitive sense. If someone prefers consistent players, I wouldn't bother trying to change their minds. Plus, JBJ is an outlier as far as hot/cold streaks go so even if it could be proven, I'm not sure it would apply to him. He has multiple stretches of 200+ PA where he looks like the worst MLB regular of all time and that's not hyperbole.
 

The Needler

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.195/.275/.355 with 27 K over his last 22 games. And he continues to come up empty in big spots, with a -.554 WPA over that stretch. According to fangraphs, he is 6th worst in MLB in WPA, and 8th worst in WPA/LI.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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.601 OPS since the all-star break and trending downward.

Watching him gun down Billy Hamilton at 3rd last night was awesome. But it's just so brutal to watch JBJ struggle at the plate.

After slashing 365/447/635 from June 9 to July 2 (86 PA), he's gone 170/248/321 since (117 PA). It's hard to fathom.

But his BABIP did go from .418 to .221 over those respective stretches, so at least some of what he was doing was luck in the hot streak.

Pitchers are going after him, that's for sure. He's now swinging at the first pitch 35.8% of the time, vs his career average of 28.8%, and if it seems like he's swinging and missing a LOT it's because he is: 25.9% of his strikes are swing and miss, vs. his career number of 21.6% and MLB's avg of 17.3%.

And he's now below league average in pitches per plate appearance for the season.

Really, nothing is going well for him in the batter's box, other than that crazy month-long hot streak.

I want him to be good so badly, but it really looks like it's never going to happen for any sustained stretch. Just flashes of Willie Mays to tantalize you before reverting back to a 90 OPS+ guy.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Bradley is 3 for his last 32, with 12 Ks and 1 BB. The only run he's knocked in over that time was himself, when he ran into one for a HR in the 9-2 to loss the NY. He's come up to bat with 20 runners on base in that stretch, and knocked in none of them.

His OPS dropped under .700 with the horrific night at the plate last night. It's incredibly frustrating that he has never learned to bunt against the shift, and continually hits grounder after grounder into it when he does make contact.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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That last sentence is key. I understand DAVID ORTIZ not bunting occasionally (although down 2 in the 9th, bases empty, maybe he should have) but if you're hitting under .250 consistently, that's a skill you must have.
 

Bleedred

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Isn't the mindset with JBJ that if your offense is excellent (which by almost every meaningful statistical category, the 2019 red sox are in the top 10), then carrying his shitty bat is worth it for his gold glove caliber defense? JBJ is who is he is at this point at the plate....a lousy hitter. But with a top 5 offense, he can be carried.
 

Byrdbrain

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The offense can afford a lousy hitter but I don't know if it makes any sense to pay that lousy hitter $10M/year(an estimate I've seen) no matter how good his defense is.
Seems like a place they could save some money with either a guy in center who isn't quite the fielder but could hit a bit better or Mookie could move to center and you pick up a corner outfield guy.

I generally hate it when people throw out general "get this type guy" statements out there but it seems like you could replace JBJ at considerably less than $10M.

I hate saying that because I really like JBJ and I would like him to stay but the numbers don't seem to work.
 

bosox79

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Would they just non tender JBJ or would he have trade value at 1/10? I'd guess they could get something small back in return but it largely depends on how he finishes the year.
 

The Needler

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Isn't the mindset with JBJ that if your offense is excellent (which by almost every meaningful statistical category, the 2019 red sox are in the top 10), then carrying his shitty bat is worth it for his gold glove caliber defense? JBJ is who is he is at this point at the plate....a lousy hitter. But with a top 5 offense, he can be carried.
Whether a bat can be “carried” is not solely related to the rest of the offense. Team pitching/defense matters, too. If you’ve got the best e.r.a. in the league, then you can carry more shit hitting. The Red Sox don’t have that luxury, and despite their mostly otherwise good hitting, JBJ and his negative 2.123 WPA—3rd worst in all of MLB—have done real harm to this team.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
It's also no longer clear that JBJ's defense is outstanding enough to carry his bat. This year the numbers say he's fringe-average at best, and while my eyes want to argue with that, he's clearly not the defensive wunderkind he was 2-3 years ago. Time is a bastard.
 

mauidano

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It's also no longer clear that JBJ's defense is outstanding enough to carry his bat. This year the numbers say he's fringe-average at best, and while my eyes want to argue with that, he's clearly not the defensive wunderkind he was 2-3 years ago. Time is a bastard.

Talk about fringe average...
 

sean1562

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i have enjoyed having him on the team the last few years but i want no part of an extension for him after next season. if he signs a 1 por 2 year deal for like 6 mil a year, sure, he can be outfield depth, but I have to imagine his hot stretches will just get shorter and shorter as he gets older. thank him for his time and let him walk
 

BJBossman

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That last sentence is key. I understand DAVID ORTIZ not bunting occasionally (although down 2 in the 9th, bases empty, maybe he should have) but if you're hitting under .250 consistently, that's a skill you must have.
I have a friend who used to work at Baseball Info Solutions (the data is from 2017), but basically that bunting against that shift had a league wide BA of something like .666.

It's absolutely ridiculous that jbj hasn't learned how to do it.
 

Pandarama

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If Grady Little were still alive, he’d say folks don’t drive in from Sandusky to see JBJ bunt.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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I have a friend who used to work at Baseball Info Solutions (the data is from 2017), but basically that bunting against that shift had a league wide BA of something like .666.

It's absolutely ridiculous that jbj hasn't learned how to do it.
What odd about the JBJ saga is that in college he could and did bunt. In fact, it was a JBJ bunt single in the 2010 college World Series that that triggered a game winning rally for South Carolina over UCLA. At the time Bradley was on fire, batting .421, and he laid one down and caught the defense napping. Earlier that season he had a key sac bunt to help win the deciding game of the SEC tournament . The bunt wasn't a big part of his game in college, but he pulled it off in pressure situations.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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It isn't a matter of not knowing how to bunt. It is a conscious choice not to bunt.

And in general, he's not wrong to swing away.
 

Strike4

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Talk about fringe average...
As a side note, I would love to see a big prestige article on Ellsbury...like what does he do all day? Work out? I looked at his Twitter account awhile back and there's no activity since 2017. It would be an article like that one about Tiger Woods and his military fantasies.
 

BJBossman

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It isn't a matter of not knowing how to bunt. It is a conscious choice not to bunt.

And in general, he's not wrong to swing away.
When he's hitting like he has been....yes he is. He's not a good enough hitter to justify giving up almost free bases like that.
 

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I wonder what @theNeedler and his WPA analysis has to say tonight after JBJ hits the game winning home run. Jackie has now homered in two straight games. This could be the start of another of JBJ's hot streaks. So frustrating a ballplayer with his extreme high and lows.
 

The Needler

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I wonder what @theNeedler and his WPA analysis has to say tonight after JBJ hits the game winning home run. Jackie has now homered in two straight games. This could be the start of another of JBJ's hot streaks. So frustrating a ballplayer with his extreme high and lows.
I have to say “Yay! Great home run!” Do you think JBJ has hit well overall or in high leverage situations this season? Weird flex, buddy. Good one.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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I was reading a Fangraphs article (linked below) about Devers' breakout season and one of the things they talk about is how ridiculous he is going the opposite way. He has the fifth highest wRC+ when he goes oppo, at 258, and his line going oppo is .467/.459/.944. Somehow JBJ is fourth in MLB in wRC+ when hitting the other way, at 261, with a line of .477/.470/.938. I don't have time to look it up right now, but his stats going up the middle and pulling the ball must be absolutely atrocious.

 

bosox79

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I was reading a Fangraphs article (linked below) about Devers' breakout season and one of the things they talk about is how ridiculous he is going the opposite way. He has the fifth highest wRC+ when he goes oppo, at 258, and his line going oppo is .467/.459/.944. Somehow JBJ is fourth in MLB in wRC+ when hitting the other way, at 261, with a line of .477/.470/.938. I don't have time to look it up right now, but his stats going up the middle and pulling the ball must be absolutely atrocious.

Not really.

Up the middle .295/.293/.470
pulled .267/.267/.515.

To the outfield: 145 PA .573/.566/1.098
to the infield: 141 PA .051/.051/.101
 

bosox79

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Actually, they are terrible.

League averages this year for LHB
Pulled .328/.327/.648
Up the middle .349/.345/.568
Opp field .337/.332/.517
 

Rough Carrigan

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Maybe nothing at all but at Wednesday night's game my buddy and I noticed that on a ball in left center that either he or Benintendi could get, Benintendi took it where usually the CF gets precedence and as he did, JBJ was saying something too him rather animatedly. Then a couple innings later there was a ball to right center that either JBJ or Betts could take and instead of deferring to the CF, Betts took it and JBJ was saying something to him. Maybe nothing at all and maybe it was completely playful but it looked odd.
 

nvalvo

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Since this thread was bumped, it occurred to me to check in on JBJ's recent progress.

Following a 75 PA swoon of .511 OPS that brought his season OPS down to the .690s, he's gone on a SLG-driven tear in his last 39 PA. 10/34, 3B, 4 HR, with an OPS above 1.000.

That has his season OPS back up at .728, close to his career mark of .725.