2013 Reds / How Valuable Is...

How Valuable Is…Drew Stubbs?

Over the last few off-seasons, we’ve gone through some key players on the Reds, and discussed how valuable they were. Let’s kick this year’s series off with, possibly, the most polarizing player on Cincinnati’s roster, Drew Stubbs.

When we did this two years ago, everyone was pretty optimistic about Stubbs. Two years later, the water is much murkier.

In 2011, Stubbs suffered through a second straight season in which his numbers dropped. Stubbs hit .213/.277/.333 (that’s a paltry 610 OPS) with 14 HR, 40 RBI, and an OPS+ of 61. Yes, you read that right: 61. That’s almost unimaginable for a 27 year-old who posted a 105 OPS+ in his age 25 season. Isn’t Stubbs supposed to be in his prime?

Yes, Stubbs’ defense is still great. In fact, I’d say his defense is underrated; he’s really good. Still, despite the great defense, when your WAR drops from 2.8 to 1.6 to -0.2 over three years when you’re supposed to be improving, you have problems. Serious problems.

This is really almost unfathomable. What’s the problem? Is it time to give up on Stubbs? Is Billy Hamilton really the answer?

So, let’s hear the Nation’s collective wisdom about Drew Stubbs. Is he overrated, underrated, or properly-rated? What is his future with the Mighty Redlegs?

133 thoughts on “How Valuable Is…Drew Stubbs?

    • @steveschoen: Stubbs was above average offensively in 2010. He was just slightly below average in 2011. Both of those are acceptable from a center fielder. This year was not.

      “Above average” in 2010 got him demoted in the lineup in 2010. 200+ K’s in 2011 would be a bit more than slightly below average IMO.

  1. Time to get him traded, son. What this team needs is people who can consistently bat and get on base. That’s not Drew. He saunters up to the bat, strikes out, and goes back to the dugout. As far as defense, yes, he’s decent, but Ludwyck demonstrated himself to be a star during the Giant’s series.

  2. I wouldn’t have a problem with him as a bench player, but I don’t believe he will be a bench player as long as Dusty is running the team.

    • I wouldn’t have a problem with him as a bench player, but I don’t believe he will be a bench player as long as Dusty is running the team.

      Yep.

  3. The question is, how many tricks does Jocketty have up his sleeve this year? He dropped 3 bombs last winter. (Latos, Marshall, Madson). He also made two small trades moving Janish and Juan Francisco for future pieces.

    How many blockbusters this year? I’m going 2.

    • How many blockbusters this year?I’m going 2.

      One would be enough this year, provided his other big move is putting Chapman in the rotation and handing Scott Rolen his retirement paperwork.

    • The question is, how many tricks does Jocketty have up his sleeve this year?He dropped 3 bombs last winter.(Latos, Marshall, Madson).He also made two small trades moving Janish and Juan Francisco for future pieces.

      How many blockbusters this year?I’m going 2.

      And notably, the return in every one of those deals/ signings was pitching. Hopefully this year he focuses on position players (and maybe a solid tandem partner for Hanigan)

      • The question is, how many tricks does Jocketty have up his sleeve this year?He dropped 3 bombs last winter.(Latos, Marshall, Madson).He also made two small trades moving Janish and Juan Francisco for future pieces.
        How many blockbusters this year?I’m going 2.And notably, the return in every one of those deals/ signings was pitching. Hopefully this year he focuses on position players (and maybe a solid tandem partner for Hanigan)

        You forgot to mention the infamous Wilson Valdez trade. Walt gave up a good up and coming LH reliever for that POS.
        Look to the Phillies again though for a backup C. Kratz. He sent a bomb or two out of GABP and has a great arm. Big powerful guy, but just broke into the majors last year at 32. Phillies have an all-star, Ruiz, at C.

  4. Maybe there should be a thread on the things we all think should happen with the Reds’ lineup/pitching staff compared to the things we think WILL happen. Call it the Fantasy vs. Dusty (Reality) thread. Example: Fantasy – The Reds should not re-sign Scott Rolen if he chooses to play again. Dusty – Rolen will start 100 games at 3B.

  5. I would love to see the Reds package Stubbs and Leake for a solid LF or CF. I know Billy Hamilton is learning to play CF in winter ball, but he is probably still a year or two away. Not sure who would bite on this possible trade, but I would love to see Jockerty check into it!!

  6. I honestly don’t see how it is even possible for the Reds to bring Rolen back. Someone brought it up earlier (which I then verified), a player cannot sign a contract that pays him less than 80% of his salary the previous year so they’d have to pay him $6.5 million. I don’t see that happening.

    According to the same logic, I don’t see why they’d bringing Ryan Madson back either. They’d have to pay him $4.8 Million.

    • I honestly don’t see how it is even possible for the Reds to bring Rolen back. Someone brought it up earlier (which I then verified), a player cannot sign a contract that pays him less than 80% of his salary the previous year so they’d have to pay him $6.5 million. I don’t see that happening. According to the same logic, I don’t see why they’d bringing Ryan Madson back either. They’d have to pay him $4.8 Million.

      I had never heard that. That’s crazy.

    • I honestly don’t see how it is even possible for the Reds to bring Rolen back.Someone brought it up earlier (which I then verified), a player cannot sign a contract that pays him less than 80% of his salary the previous year so they’d have to pay him $6.5 million.I don’t see that happening.

      According to the same logic, I don’t see why they’d bringing Ryan Madson back either.They’d have to pay him $4.8 Million.

      Yikes and yikes.

  7. Btw, I’m all in for Upton. But, hasn’t he only ever played RF? Can he, or more importantly, is he willing to play CF? If so, I say go all in for him. He’d be the perfect candidate to slide over to LF when Hamilton is ready. Then again, it’s easy for me to spend someone else’s money.

  8. I have always been of the opinion that the Reds were always a OFer away from being a Wolrd Series team. I wanted them to get Span or Bourn.

    They HAVE to replace Stubbs at this point by now, right? The have to know he is basically the only weak link in the whole lineup.

  9. @WVRedlegs: OH YEAH!!! Jeremy Horst (a VERY promising left handed reliever) for Valdez.

    Unfortunately he’s a non-tender candidate if there was ever one. That trade didn’t work out. Horst pitched 32.1 innings, allowed 4 earned runs, and had a WHIP of 1.12. I won’t even quote some of his other stats. They’ll make you sick.

    • @WVRedlegs: OH YEAH!!! Jeremy Horst (a VERY promising left handed reliever) for Valdez.
      Unfortunately he’s a non-tender candidate if there was ever one. That trade didn’t work out. Horst pitched 32.1 innings, allowed 4 earned runs, and had a WHIP of 1.12. I won’t even quote some of his other stats. They’ll make you sick.

      Horst had a very good second half. He was coming into his own. Not that the Reds bullpen needed much improvement, but having a LH Horst would have made the bullpen just a bit better. Especially since Bray bounced back and forth to the DL most of the season. Wish we had Horst back for next year.

  10. The more I read about Bourn, the more I think the Reds might be able to afford him. The problem is the years. Bourn would be crazy to not get a long deal. He’s got 3 to 4 years of high production left barring injury. This is his only shot to get a 5 or 6 year deal at high dollar.

    Regarding BJ Upton. He’d slide in nicely at #4. Odd to see a CF as a #4 hitter. Costs a lot though and his contract is up in one year. Doesn’t solve the leadoff hitter unless you figure BP to stay there.

    • The Enquirer is going to an online subscription plan.I’ll miss you John Fay.

      At least The Enquirer (Gannett) has more sense or is less greedy than the folks running the Columbus Dispatch. The Enquirer is offering an “online only” subscription for ~$10 a month. The Dispatch to date is offering online access only as an add on to a standard subscription so it costs 20 bucks a month for online access to the Dispatch. That is insanity in my mind since they had to fold the 15 buck a YEAR access to their sports section five years ago when they had a similar plan, i.e. only hard copy subscribers could access online content. I think they are greatly over valuing their OSU sports coverage because there are several good to excellent donation/ advertising sites that do exclusively OSU sports.

  11. I think it’s interesting that in a thread titled “how valuable is Drew Stubbs,” no on e has brouth up fangraphs value metric.

    Because of his baserunning and defense, fangraphs had him at 1.3 WAR, which they value at $6 million on the open market.

    That seems a little high, but this thread is way hyperbolic in terms of how little value Stubbs has.

    It was a bad year at the plate for sure, but even then, he did hit 14 HR and steal 30 bases at an 81% clip. So that’s a worse case scenario for Stubbs to me. It seems like some of you must not watch a lot of other teams (with comments like “no other manager would have run Stubbs out there), do you know how many guys hit 14 HR out of the 8 hole? Or stole 30 bases?

    That would be zero on both counts. The high for HR was 11, and for SB was 13. I am totally fine with Stubbs as the 8 hole hitter. I think he will be better than this year, because players usually are after a terrible year. He’s got nowhere to go but up, and his floor was still pretty dang good for a #8 hitter.

    The larger problem to me was putting Stubbs and Cozart at the top of the order all hyear.

    • The Enquirer (Gannett) has more sense or is less greedy than the folks running the Columbus Dispatch. The Enquirer is offering an “online only” subscription for ~$10 a month. The Dispatch to date is offering online access only as an add on to a standard subscription so it costs 20 bucks a month for online access to the Dispatch. That is insanity in my mind since they had to fold the 15 buck a YEAR access to their sports section five years ago when they had a similar plan, i.e. only hard copy subscribers could access online content. I think they are greatly over valuing their OSU sports coverage because there are several good to excellent donation/ advertising sites that do exclusively OSU sports

      He didn’t hit 14 HR nor steal 30 bases out of the 8 hole. As you stated, he was in the 1-2 holes with Cozart for a vast majority of the year. For the fastest man in the league, 30 SB is poor. As much pop as he has in his bat, as many AB’s as he did get, 14 HR’s is poor. If he had been in the 8 hole all year, then yes, people would probably wouldn’t be talking nearly as much.

  12. If the Reds do decide to make Aroldis Chapman a strter for next year, I hope they have Chapman all winter watching old tapes of the A’s Dave Stewart. Didn’t he also pitch on the Jays 2 good back to back years?? To learn how to be even more intimadating with more than just a 100 mph fastball. He could pitch. And he had that menacing look. Menacing look. Chapman has too much of a boyish look. He has already created about a half of a persona, mystique, or aurora, around him. I’d like to see him complete that persona. The more confidence he gets the more dominant he’ll be.

  13. With two outs, runners on 2B & 3B and Peoria trailing 5-3, Billy Hamilton smacks a triple to CF then scores on a WP. Speed kills! In the same game, Lutz has a single, a BB and 2 runs scored in 4 PA with his 2nd SB of the AFL season.

  14. Mark Gonzales‏, White Sox beat writer for the Chicago tribune, tweets, “Early AFL observations: Cincy speedster Billy Hamilton will make a smooth transition from SS to CF. Glided to two balls hit deep for outs.”

  15. A modest proposal: if you are caught stealing, that AB should be considered an out when calculating OBP.

    • @RC:

      A modest proposal: if you are caught stealing, that AB should be considered an out when calculating OBP.

      RC, I like the thinking in your proposal, but the implementation presents problems. I like the idea of statistically rewarding for positive contributions and statistically penalizing for negative contributions. The main issue with this calculation, is the hit and run or the run and hit play. The runner thrown out at 2B as a caught stealing would be penalized for the poor performance of the batter.

      Along similar lines for statistically penalizing negative contributions is the GIDP. This play results in two outs and that should be reflected in the batter’s BA & OBP, or at least some modified BA & OBP. The negative impact of a double play is acknowledged in not crediting an RBI on a double play when a runner scores. Double plays are just daggers in the back of an offense and I don’t see the statistical accounting for these plays.

      Does anyone know if the GIDP or CS plays are factored into any of the WAR calculations?

  16. Stubbs or Heisey should be the 4th OF next year. The team needs to figure out which and then move on.

    I don’t see any reason to believe either of them will be substantially better in the future. Both saw a huge drop off in power numbers this year. Heisey got a nice BA bump but is still of somewhat limited utility because he does not effectively hit LH pitching. Also, like Stubbs, he has a propensity to get himself into negative counts and striking out by chasing pitches he should lay off of and looking at pitches he should be attacking.

    The odd man out can be traded for what he will bring or nontendered.

  17. I wonder if Drew has a vision problem. Seriuosly. A batter has a only tiny fraction of a second to process information about a pitch and make the necessary adjustments. It seems to me that not only does Drew swing at a lot of pitches outside the strike zone, but he takes a lot of pitches that are in the heart of the plate. Also when he swings and misses, it’s often by a lot. I don’t remember many at bats where Drew fouls off several pitches. It’s as though he doesn’t pick up the visual cues as to the type of pitch, its speed, and location in time. I realize that he doesn’t appear to have much difficulty on defense. But you have much more time to process and react to visual cues in the field than you do at the plate. Just a hypothesis. But I wonder……

  18. @Shchi Cossack: And, as many have pointed out on this blog before, any time you change the way a current stat is calculated, it effects historical statistical information. The baseball card industry would be destroyed. :wink:

  19. @RC: I’m not really sure how getting caught on base erases the fact that you got there in the first place. As the name indicates, OBP measures at what percentage a player gets on base. What they do at that point is measured by a whole different set of metrics.

  20. Stats are not meant to reward or penalize. They are meant to be unbias facts about a specific aspect of the game by which a player might be judged.

  21. If you know the history of the phrase “a modest proposal”, you’d know I wasn’t *entirely* serious about that OBP thing. Although it could be a new stat… OBP-…

    But who would really care about messing with the historical info contained in OBP, a stat which only stat nerds care about, according to some (probably including our manager)? [NOTE: Still kind of kidding.]

    My point, if I have one, is that if a good base stealer is successful 80%-ish of the time, then 1 time out of 5 we’re giving away not only an out, but a baserunner as well. I’m just not that excited about the stolen base as an offensive weapon – it’s good when it works, but an inning killer when it doesn’t. The ability to consistently take two bases on a single is more important than occasionally stealing one, I would think. Believe me, I remember how exciting it was to be watching when Deon got on base. But generally, the thought of stealing more bases as a route to better offense doesn’t do a lot for me.

    • If you know the history of the phrase “a modest proposal”, you’d know I wasn’t *entirely* serious about that OBP thing. Although it could be a new stat… OBP-…

      Yes, that phrase should signal to the reader that what follows will be anything but modest and only mildly serious – it will be a hyperbole.

  22. I would like to see a new stat on pitchers. And it would not change a thing historically. It would be called BBTS. Base on balls that score. Free runs. Just how many of those walks a pitcher gives up that come around to score. Its a stat that will get plenty of attention in one run games.

  23. @Sam Jackson: Seriously? Who cares what his value is? I would answer that but I’m afraid I might come off insulting. A lot of people, let’s just say that. Do you know what else is comical RL Nation? Remember when Stubbs went on that 2 week tear and won player of the week? Which of you wanted to trade him then? In hindsight I guess maybe we should have. I guarantee GM’s would’ve been more interested then than they are now. Know why Sam Jackson? Because they care about his value.

    • What’s a hyperbole? Do they play it on New Years Day?

      I wish! They don’t play any of the good bole games on New Year’s Day anymore. Who had that genius idea?

  24. Who was that old balding grey hair man talking to the Rays GM shown briefly on TV at the WS game last night???? Hmmmmm.

  25. I’m glad everyone seems to be on board about Hamilton not being up this year except for maybe a September callup. If the Reds brought him up for September this year like many were calling, they would’ve used the option on him for the ’13 year. But since they didn’t, they’re saving it for another year, and won’t bring him up until this September. So we need a stopgap.
    I think it’s highly unlikely Bourne is signed. Although ideal, too many other big market teams need a leadoff hitter and will overpay. I can’t believe people are clamoring for BJ Upton, he’s had 160 K’s the last 3 years and is a .240 hitter.
    Stubbs’ trade market value was low going into last year, so it’s worthless this year (dead last for CF in WAR).
    Which leaves us this: Juan Pierre. He’s cheap, and is there any question that this is the guy Dusty wants? It’s his veteran leadoff hitter, and he can be a cheap option for 1 year. Let’s just hope Willy Patterstubbs doesn’t become Willy Patterstubbierre.

  26. @NastyBoys3: Since Pierre can only play LF (and only average defensively in LF at best), he is not an option to replace Stubbs. If the Reds can not or do not resign Ludwick, then Pierre may be a low-cost, temporary option for LF or a LF platoon. His platoon split last year was pretty severe, but throughout his career he has hit LHP & RHP equally well. He may also lack the durability at this stage of his career to play everyday.

  27. Tim Dierkes reported for MLBTR that the Angels are highly unlikely to re-sign Torii Hunter. I believe Hunter can still play an effective CF and could be a reasonable two year FA aquisition for the Reds. Another option for CF would be signing Grady Sizemore to an incentive heavy contract (possibly even one year with an option) and platooning him in CF with Stubbs. If Ludwick is not resigned, platoon Heisey and XP in LF. That could provide a nice defensive OF, a solid bench & a much improved top of the order.

  28. If they can’t get Boune I don’t see any upgrades from the FA market. It would have to come from a trade. But honestly, what do I know? I was excited when they signed Willie Taveras.

  29. Please, enough with the talk about Juan Pierre. No way. Too old. No defense and no arm for the OF. And enough about Michael Bourn. That isn’t going to happen either. Too costly. And BJ Upton? Please, just what the Reds need, another Drew Stubbs. Grady Sizemore?? Why in the hell would the Reds sign an OF with a medical report longer than a Bengals player’s rap sheet???

  30. If there was any sense that the org. would consider moving Bruce to CF, why not kick the tires on Shin-Soo Choo again?

    Of course, I don’t have any sense that the org. is considering that at all. And I’m not at all sure it’s a good idea. But, man, I like Choo.

  31. Imagine a scenario where Dusty loves Jacoby because he values loyalty over talent. Imagine that players love Jacoby because he helps the good hitters stay good, feeds their egos but does not confront them with a need to adjust. Of course it’s just imagining, I’ve not talked to them. But Stubbs’ failure to change his approach says that something is wrong. He has two strikes quicker than I can say “strike two!” and it never changes.

  32. @RC: I would love an OF answer along those lines. Bruce to CF is worth a try and makes the OF solutions less expensive for a lead off hitter. Korea or Japan would be something new for the Reds.

    Ichiro loved NYC and is looking for 5-8 million?! That seems do-able and the Reds look a lot more like a contender than the Yankees at this point.

    We are talking about leadoff then this team assumes Ludwick is re-signed because there are a lot questions for the linup if Luddy walks and the replacement is a Shane Victorino . . .

  33. Stubbs could have some value as a late-inning replacement, unfortunately if he on the roster, idiot will put him in the lineup and he will continue to torpedo the offense…Lowest OBP among ALL major league starters…and Cozart was second-lowest in the NL…and who batted one and two for us most of the year? Hope somebody picks us up a center fielder of major league quality although I doubt we’ll see it for 2 more years.

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