Friday, January 20, 2012

Been There, Done That

This isn't another Billy Butler post, except it kind of is. I was talking about the Royals with a friend of mine who believes that if KC traded Butler for a starting pitcher, and then traded Mike Montgomery for Mark Trumbo (whatever), they'd run away with the division. Right. You all know how I feel about Butler so, yes, there was laughter involved in my response. Because Butler is better than Trumbo. Unswayed by talk of Butler's consistency and his superior on base percentage he hit me with the money quote: "I'd rather KC acquired a DH  who can hit 30 home runs with a low OBP than keep Butler". People with short memories may have forgotten that the Royals tried this once, it didn't work. Remember Mike Jacobs?

Seriously, take a look at Jacobs 2008 season and Trumbo's 2011.


PA R H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS+
Jacobs 519 67 118 27 32 93 36 119 .247 .299 .514 108
Trumbo 573 65 137 31 29 87 25 120 .254 .291 .477 113
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Jacobs had a horrible 2009 season as his OBP stayed below .300 (.297) and his power all but disappeared (.401 SLG%). The acquisition sort of made sense but many predicted it would end in disaster and, of course, it ultimately did. When players like Jacobs struggle power-wise they have no fallback skill that adds value to a lineup. Remember kids, OBP is king for a reason.

I don't know how Trumbo will do this year, I suspect not as well as last season, but I do know what kind of production Butler will provide. And it's pretty damn nice.

2 comments:

Ray W said...

But Jacobs had that ugly goatee that's got to count for something, no ?

Jeff Parker said...

Um yeah, no.