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95% Phillies, 4% Eagles/Flyers/Sixers/Big Five, 1% Nonsense .... Contact us: Scott Graham ~ Andy Musser

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jayson Werth's breakout year

2009 will be the first season where Jayson Werth will be an opening day/every day starter. We got a glimpse of him last year as he accumulated 482 PAs, which is a decent amount. He performed pretty damned well too. Offensively, Werth put up a BA/OBP/SLG of .273/.363/.498. Very respectable. He was 20/21 in stolen bases due to his above average speed, which also helped him play very well in the outfield (RF and CF). His above average arm strength combines with this speed to make him a defensive asset to the Phils.

There are a lot of good signs from his offensive output in 2008, aside from the usual BA/OBP/SLG numbers that stats-people like to use. Werth accumulated 57 BBs (1 of which was intentional), 24 HRs, and 16 doubles. He did strikeout 119 times, but as you'll come to find (or if you're one of our 3 loyal readers) Musser and I don't really pay much mind to the K. High strikeout totals usually come with power, and as long as the player can draw his fair share of walks, it really doesn't matter. Over his career, Jayson Werth has averaged .114 BB/PA (intentional walks ignored). This total falls behind only Pat Burrell of all the 2008 Phillies. Howard is at .096, but with IBBs inserted, I'm sure it would be close. While some people discredit the walk, I think it should be highly valued. A walk forces the pitcher to throw a minimum of 4 pitches in an AB, puts a runner on base (the object of every AB), and as long as the batter gets his share of hits, significantly helps out the team.

I am going to predict that 2009 will be a BIG year for JW. Aside from absolutely slaughtering lefties (.303/.368/.652) in 2008, Werth has significantly improved against righties. He has been gradually gaining confidence in the box against the RHPs after having his hand/wrist broken a few years ago. He bailed out less and less as last season progressed, and 41 of his 57 walks last year came against righties in just 140 more PAs against them (64.5% of PAs vs RHP). His contact/power at the plate will only continue to improve, and his speed will always be valued. I think it's EXTREMELY important that Werth bat in the top 3 of the Phillies lineup this year. Everyone made a big deal a couple weeks back about how Werth will be used to break up righties (possibly batting 5th?). Werth has the 3rd highest career OBP on the Phils. This means his getting on base before Howard is quite important. A little while ago I wrote a proposed lineup explaining what I thought would be the most beneficial batting order for the team.

Last year was a pretty good year for Werth, and things only seem like they will improve. Good stuff. Plus, he's a righty!!


Anonymous said...

any word yet on whether hell play with the hulk hand from the parade?

Scott Graham said...

I just received word that he will use it as a batting glove/bat holder, and will use it to beat down his opponents while on-base