Minggu, 08 Januari 2012

Kendrick Contract Extension/BBR Part 10

The Angels have provided an opportunity for me to do a special editionof “Breakout, Bust, or Rebound?” for their second baseman Howie Kendrick.  The first part of the program will focus onour BBR outlook on Kendrick, and then we’ll discuss the contract at the endsince it focuses more on the long-term outlook for Kendrick and his team.
There’s a reason that the Angels pursued a contract extension for HowieKendrick: his 2011 end results were awesome and he is still only 28 yearsold.  To get an idea of what we’relooking at, here are Kendrick’s 2011 end results:

583 PA/ .285 BA/ .338 OBP/ .464 SLG/ 125 OPS+/ 120 wRC+/ 14 SB (6 CS/70% SB Rate)

Those are great results from someone in the American League.  Most would consider that all-star worthy, andthat’s exactly what Kendrick was in July of 2011.  His successes in 2011 look even moreimpressive when you consider what he did compared to the average 2ndbase slot for a major league team:

.255 BA/ .316 OBP/ .378 SLG/ 91 wRC+

As you can see, Kendrick was much better than your average secondbaseman in 2011 at the plate.  Throw in aridiculous 16.7 UZR, 0.7 dWAR and a 3.2 base running value (per fangraphs) andsuddenly you’ve got a great overall season. These rates helped Kendrick earn a 5.8 fWAR and a 4.3 rWAR, which madehim one of the better infielders in all of baseball in 2011.  However, BBR doesn’t look to what Kendrickdid in 2011.  We are concerned with whathe’s going to do in the future.  I amlabeling Kendrick as a bre…bus…rebou…nope, not calling him anything justyet.  We’ll get to that later.  For now, let’s look at some other stufffirst.

The first part of understanding the potential thinking behind a BBRselection on my part or a contract extension on the part of the Angels is tolook at what Kendrick has done in the last few years from an end resultstandpoint and a rate standpoint.  Let’slook at the end result patterns first:

2009: 400 PA/ .291 BA/ .334 OBP/ .444 SLG/ 104 OPS+/ 105 wRC+/ 11 SB (4CS/ 73% SB Rate)
2010: 658 PA/ .279 BA/ .313 OBP/ .407 SLG/   99 OPS+/   96 wRC+/14 SB (4 CS/ 78% SB Rate)
2011: 583 PA/ .285 BA/ .338 OBP/ .464 SLG/ 125 OPS+/ 120 wRC+/ 14 SB (6CS/ 70% SB Rate)
Total: 1641 PA/ .284 BA/ .327 OBP/ .436 SLG/ 109 OPS+/ 107 wRC+/ 39 SB(14 CS/ 74% SB Rate)

And here are the other rates:

2009: 5.0 BB/ 17.8 K/ .152 ISO/ .338 BABIP/ 12.2% HR/FB
2010: 4.3 BB/ 14.3 K/ .128 ISO/ .313 BABIP/   6.9% HR/FB
2011: 5.7 BB/ 20.4 K/ .179 ISO/ .338 BABIP/ 16.5% HR/FB
Total: 4.2 BB/ 16.9 K/ .141 ISO/ .339 BABIP/   8.8% HR/FB
It is rather remarkable how well Kendrick’s end results and rates lineup.  Kendrick has a good sample size foreach year and a good number of PA to judge him on from the three-year span.  What we can see is that 2010 was a down yearfor Kendrick, because his HR/FB rate was terrible, his BABIP suffered a 25point drop, and his walk rate was rather low. Even though his career averages suggest he’ll regress, it is unfair toKendrick to use them because he got such spotty playing time in the first threeyears of his career (played 72, 88, and 92 games).  It is better to judge him based on hisaverages over the last three years where he has played at least 100 games ayear, and it’s even BETTER to look at just the last two years since they havebeen full seasons:
2010: 658 PA/ .279 BA/ .313 OBP/ .407 SLG/   99 OPS+/   96 wRC+/14 SB (4 CS/ 78% SB Rate)
2011: 583 PA/ .285 BA/ .338 OBP/ .464 SLG/ 125 OPS+/ 120 wRC+/ 14 SB (6CS/ 70% SB Rate)

2010: 4.3 BB/ 14.3 K/ .128 ISO/ .313 BABIP/   6.9% HR/FB
2011: 5.7 BB/ 20.4 K/ .179 ISO/ .338 BABIP/ 16.5% HR/FB

Here we see a tale of two seasons, and the reality is that Kendrick islikely to be somewhere in-between (especially when the numbers from 2009 arelooked at).

Real Life Value to the Angels

As mentioned before, Kendrick’s value to the Angels is great, becausehe primarily plays second base.  However,he also can efficiently play other positions. The acquisition of Albert Pujols also should help Kendrick defensivelyas it will allow him to play more up the middle instead of playing towards thehole.  Offensively, Kendrick is a beastfor the position that he plays, and he really shouldn’t be overlooked goingforward.  Based on the numbers postedabove, I would anticipate the following rates from Kendrick for 2012:

5.2 BB/ 18.4 K/ .161 ISO/ .338 BABIP/ 13.2% HR/FB

Those rates should help Kendrick in achieving an overall slash linethat looks something like this:

.291 BA/ .331 OBP/ .439 SLG/ 121 OPS+/ 114 wRC+/ 14 SB (5 CS/ 74% SBRate)

These numbers should put him at roughly a 4 WAR on both fangraphs andb-ref, which makes him a great guy to consider for an extension.  He is a late-blooming 28 year old who will beplaying his 3rd full season in the majors, so it’s hard to just usethe typical age graph for reference here. Players that are 28 typically are still plateauing from peak, butplayers in their third full season typically have one of their best years.  This makes me believe that Kendrick will havea strong 2012 and 2013, but start regressing once he hits 30.

Fantasy Value

If you took Kendrick late, traded for him when his stock was low, orpicked him up off the waiver wire, you probably finished in the top 3 in yourfantasy league in 2011.  As far asfantasy numbers go, Kendrick played 140 games and put up the following numbersin a traditional 5x5 setting:

.285 BA/ 86 Runs/ 18 HR/ 63 RBI/ 14 SB

So far, I haven’t had to mention much about lineup change whenprojection a player’s future numbers, but this is a case where I have to.  With Albert Pujols anchoring the lineup andthe potential for a healthy Kendrys Morales, the Angels should be able to scorea lot more in 2012.  Kendrick could batanywhere from 2-5 depending on how the Angels build their lineup, so I’m goingto give a couple different potential projections based on the rates I postedearlier:

Projection One- #2 Spot in Lineup:

.291 BA/ 95 Runs/ 14 HR/ 71 RBI/ 14 SB

Projection Two- #5 Spot in Lineup:

.291 BA/ 83 Runs/ 14 HR/ 92 RBI/ 14 SB

Those are actually better overall fantasy numbers despite Kendrickhaving worse overall offensive rates.  This is a good example of why rate stats arebetter to look at than end results, because the changes around Kendrick in theoffense (more Trout, Pujols, and Morales) will allow his overall end results toincrease a lot.  I like Kendrick in afantasy setup for 2012.  I like him somuch that I would suggest taking him in the first five rounds, because hisoverall numbers should not be too much worse than guys like Kinsler and Ugglawho are likely to go in the higher rounds.

The Contract

Ah, here’s the thing I am most concerned with.  Based on reports, the Angels gave Kendrick a4-year extension worth $33.5 million. This means that the AAV for the contract will be $8.375 million, whichis a complete robbery on the Angels’ part. This deal is great for us to use, because we’ve already got metrics touse for projecting his future value from our previous installments of “ExtensionWatch.”  Here are the next four years ind/WAR based on our previously used model:

2012: 4.0 d/WAR
2013: 4.3 d/WAR
2014: 4.6 d/WAR
2015: 4.9 d/WAR

This creates the average d/WAR of 4.45 million dollars per unit of WARfor all extension candidates over this period of time.  I’ve already talked a little bit about what Iexpect from Kendrick in 2012 and beyond, but here are my estimates for hisaverage WAR (an average of rWAR compared to fWAR):

2012: 4.1 WAR
2013: 4.1 WAR
2014: 3.6 WAR
2015: 3.2 WAR

This projection gives us an overall total of 16 wins of value.  Based on our market projection for extendedplayers, this means a completely market fair contract would call for roughly$71.2 million for Kendrick over the next four years.  Well, the Angels paid roughly half ofthat.  That means that Kendrick canperform like this over that span and be worth the contract:

2012: 2.05 WAR
2013: 2.05 WAR
2014: 1.8 WAR
2015: 1.6 WAR

What we are looking at here is one of the better team-friendlycontracts signed in a long time.  Even ifKendrick is worth about half of what I have projected him to be, he is stillworth being paid 35.6 million dollars. Kendrick has out-performed the average year on the most recent model ineach of the last five years of his career, and that is with very spotty playingtime, so I am confident that this will be a fantastic deal for the Angels.  I think Kendrick got robbed and should havewaited to become a free agent in a rather weak free agent market for hitters.

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