OBG08: Jim Edmonds

Before we get to Jim Edmonds, here’s a quick recap of where things stand to date. Eventually I’ll post a comprehensive list of our projections and upload a spreadsheet so everyone can ridicule us or whatever, but for now, if you haven’t gotten your guesses in, please go to the appropriate entry and do so.

Or not. Your call.

Anywho, on to Edmonds. I really do not have a good feel for what he’s capable of at this stage in his career. He’s 38 years old and he barely cracked 400 plate appearances each of the past two seasons. His offensive skills appear to be in precipitous decline (I love that phrase, even if I don’t love what it describes in this particular case).

Among the 10 most similar players at his age, three remained productive in their twilight years, while the rest either stunk or didn’t play much. The three who continued to perform at a high level are Willie Stargell, Andres Galarraga, and Bob Johnson.

Stargell and Galarraga benefited from playing a less physically demanding position (first base), while Johnson benefited from the fact that World War II took many great players away from baseball. This isn’t entirely fair, of course, because Johnson was a great hitter, but that 174 OPS+ at age 38 is pretty far out of whack with the rest of his career.

Willie Stargell

Let’s focus on the guys whose careers took place (at least partly, in the case of Stargell) during my lifetime. Stargell’s hitting prowess was disgusting. He never really experienced a decline, he just got to a point where he couldn’t play anymore. (Incidentally, you could make a decent case that if Stargell is a Hall of Famer, then Johnson probably deserves consideration as well, although that is way beyond the scope of our current investigation.

Stargell. Right, we were talking about him. Stargell was hurt for much of 1977 but came back with a vengeance (another phrase I love) at age 38, posting a 158 OPS+. He dropped off some the following year, but still gained a share (with the more deserving Keith “Just for Men” Hernandez) of the MVP vote because, well, that’s the sort of thing MVP voters do.

So, the point is that Stargell remained effective into his late-30s. Unfortunately he’s not a great comp for Edmonds because of their different positions and the fact that Stargell never stopped hitting.

Andres Galarraga

Four things I loved about El Gato Grande:

  • I remember hearing that while he played in Montreal, Galarraga used to take the bus to work. I love that. Nothing endears me so much to a pro ballplayer as a touch of humility.
  • His smile.
  • His footwork around the bag at first base. It was great, and I won’t even qualify that with the expected “for a man his size.” First basemen should be required to watch video of him playing the position.
  • He came back from cancer after sitting out the ’99 season and hit .302 with 28 homers. Oh, and he was 39 years old when he did that. What a freakin’ stud.

Galarraga had a weird career. He was a productive player for Les Expos before Bud Selig and friends ran them into the ground, then he got hurt and stunk for a few years before re-emerging as a force with the Rockies and Braves. This comp isn’t working real well either, because Galarraga posted a 157 OPS+ at age 37. Edmonds posted an 88 OPS+.

Bottom Line

That was a colossal waste of time. Well, not really. It’s always fun to reminisce about old ballplayers.

Still, we need to refocus on our expectations for Edmonds in ’08. I guess I’ve been avoiding that. I want to believe, but this is the best I can do: 400 PA, .244/.337/.415.

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35 Responses »

  1. 300 PA’s .245/.295/.350 and a new CF by the all-star break. I really think Edmonds is done…

  2. 550 PA, .255/.320/.400. I think the injuries had a lot to do with the last 2 years, and I am blindly optimistic that he’s healthy this year. If he is, his numbers will come back a little bit, although not to the Pops Stargell level. Hey, we can dream, right?

  3. It’s hard for me to go over 300 PA’s also. I hope that Hairston can play CF…
    I’ll go .250/.335/.425

  4. I will probably be wrong but I’m saying 190 PA’s .249/.299/.380
    Ouch!!!!! But what the heck do I know???

  5. Do you think we might be better off seeing if Hairston or Antonelli can handle CF and have Edmonds play left? It seemed to realy help Dave Roberts avoid injuries when he played LF as opposed to CF.

  6. With five precincts reporting, we do not believe: 348 PA, .249/.317/.394.

    #5: Tim, I think that much of Edmonds’ value at this point is tied into his defense and if he can’t handle center field, we’re in trouble. If our expectations of his offense are accurate, we may in trouble anyway. As Paul says, let’s hope that Hairston can play a little center (although that idea scares the heck out of me as well).

  7. I’m a little optimistic about Edmonds’ chances for success. Maybe I’m a sucker, but I do believe that he’s healthier this year than in years past.

    450 ABs .255/.347/.414

  8. 420 PA .265/.335/.420

  9. FWIW, BP released PECOTA’s yesterday.

    Here’s what they say about Edmonds.

    250PA .240/.327/.415

    Comps include: Ken Griffey, Tino Martinez, Fred Lynn

    Not to mention PECOTA things that Edmonds is ready to take a complete nose dive. Which isn’t hard to see coming.

  10. Pecota can’t take into account his post concussion syndrome from last year, so I’ll take Edmonds word for it that he’s healthy:

    500 AB’s(hey I’m an optimist) .270/.380/.440

  11. 5. The primary reason for getting Edmonds was so that he could play CF. The move, really, was primarily for defensive reasons, to replace a good defensive CF in Mike Cameron. That’s not to say that the Padres are asking him to chase everything down in the great expanse that is PETCO Park and hit .130. Chase everything down and hit .270 would certainly work.

  12. edmonds: .255/.348/.450, 450 PA’s … a little optimistic, I guess.

  13. .250/.340/.425 400 PA’s

  14. With 10 precincts reporting, things have picked up a little: 396 PA, .254/.334/.412.

  15. I say 465 PA, .260/.360/.460

  16. sidebar (which may have already been noted earlier)

    from Jayson Stark “The Padres are so thrilled with the conversion of former third baseman Chase Headley to left field that they may forgo pursuing another outfielder before Spring Training.

  17. 400 PA’s .250/.330/.390 Petco will kill his power just like it did OG’s.

  18. Pecota’s not that pessimistic on Edmonds’ production. That line is actually a nice bounce-back from last year once you factor in his new park. The problem, of course, is we’re in huge trouble if Edmonds only gets 250 PA.

    I’m more of a believer than Pecota, since I believe Edmonds when he says he’s healthier. 428 PA, .253/.339/.415.

  19. I had predicted a .251-14-70 season …


    … although I realize that the blogging community relates better to BA/OBP/SLG, so here goes …

    .251 /.366 /.460

    I think he’ll be closer to his 2006 numbers without as much power, thanks to the pitching-friendly confines of Petco Park. The problem is that we currently do not have a backup for Edmonds. Hairston isn’t really an experienced LF so I really don’t want to see him in CF for more than a few games. I don’t think Edmonds is going to play more than 115-130 games (maybe 425-500 AB’s if we’re lucky) so that leaves another 30-40 games and app. 125-200 AB’s for someone else.

    I really don’t think KT is done dealing dealing. I still think we need someone who can play all three outfield spots because of the questions at each spot and I don’t know that we have that player on the roster. That’s why X Nady made the most sense to me out of all the names floating around. He’s not a great CF but he’s played there before (30 games for SD in ’06) and he can share time with Hairston and provide insurance for Giles.

  20. 19: Not to be overly snarky, but it’s hard to imagine Nady being a better CF than Hairston even with that experience. Most defensive measures have him below average in the corners. That’s saying nothing of his offensive limitations.

    If Nady played for the Padres in 06, in addition to poor command of the strike zone he’s got good control of the space-time continuum.

    Guys like McLouth or Luke Scott are more appealing than X.

  21. X was not that bad in the games he played in CF in 05 at Petco when Roberts was hurt.

  22. 21: Nady had a 763 RZR in CF that year, worse than Roberts, who was himself inadequate. Cameron’s been in the 900 range. Even Brady Clark managed an 840. 763 is worse than Bill Hall’s 2007, by a lot. I haven’t looked at any other measures, but “not that bad” would seem to cover a whole range of fielding sins.

    Sure, he can play CF. If Bud tells him to play center, that’s where he’s headed. But I don’t see a reason to trade for an 800 or lower OPS bat who plays sub-par defense. Hairston’s a good bet to do that at a minimum.