Brandon Crawford

On the Brandon Crawford bandwagon, for better or worse

It’s not a fun time to be on the Brandon Crawford bandwagon. Crawford’s offense has been worse than the already low expectations most had for him, and his defense — which got him to the majors — has been shaky with 6 errors on the season.

Put it all together and it doesn’t look pretty.

Here is how Grant Brisbee at McCovey Chronicles described the state of the bandwagon:

The Brandon Crawford bandwagon was already a broken Power Wheels Jeep being pulled by a burro. Now the burro is dead. An opossum is chewing on the dead burro and actually pulling it backwards. You don’t have to get off, but I hope you don’t have any appointments. It’ll be a while.

So why in the hell am I still on this bandwagon?

Well for one, I am incredibly stubborn in not giving up on young players, sometimes even going to the point of giving them too much time to develop, like an anti-Bochy. Two, I think a big portion of his early season struggles is due to rotten luck and that with patience he can provide positive value and maybe even be a respectable league average player.

This season Crawford has put 61 balls in play (not counting bunts) and has 14 hits. That is a batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .230. As the usual range for the majority of players is between .290 and .310, this points to bad luck.

You may be saying, “Maybe he just isn’t hitting the ball hard and that’s why he hasn’t gotten hits.” Well if we take a look at the type of balls he has put in play we can calculate an expected BABIP for Crawford.

Using the xBABIP tool created by the Hardball Times, based on his batted balls this season we would expect his BABIP to be .312. Using my own tool to determine xBABIP, based on his career BABIP for each batted ball type and then regressing that toward league average, I would expect his BABIP to be .307. Either way, it looks like he’s been a victim of some bad luck.

It’s unlikely that he’ll continue to get a hit on only 23% of the balls in play when his batted ball data suggest that it should be near 31 percent. Going forward I would expect that his BABIP is more likely to be in the .280 to .300 range than in the .220 to .240 range. You can only hit line drives at people so many times.

The projection model I’ve built projects him to put up a .235/.301/.350 triple slash line with a .290 wOBA for the rest of the season. If he plays above average defense (according to UZR he has, but the sample is still too small) he should manage to be an above replacement level player.

Using my rest of the season projections (based on 450 PA and a UZR/150 of +7) and then adding them to what Fangraphs says he has done already this season you get this:

Batting

Fielding

Replacement

Positional

RAR

WAR

Rest of season

-13.7

4.9

12.9

4.8

8.8

0.8

Total

-18.5

        7.6

15.6

5.8

10.5

1.0

The Giants could certainly do worse than that; last year, non-Crawford shortstops produced just 0.3 fWAR.

From the comments that Bruce Bochy made in the postgame press conference it seems like he isn’t ready to give up entirely on Crawford. That’s good, because he’s probably the best option the Giants have outside of making a trade. Even with a trade, the likely candidates available are all Orlando Cabrera types. Everyone remembers how well that went.

So, for better or worse, I am on the Crawford bandwagon. Feel free to jump on board and hope that we all don’t die of dysentery during the long journey.

16 Comments

Leave a Reply

16 Comments on "On the Brandon Crawford bandwagon, for better or worse"

Notify of
avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Audio and Video Files
 
 
 
Other File Types
 
 
 
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Stan
Guest
Member
Stan

And why? Whats the point?..why say,admit, that all he’s done in his career is not hit or field…and on that you have confidence in him?
I think he ‘s more of the 27 players who have played third for the A’s since 2009 type,then Chris Spier.
Hey,how come the Giants never honor him? best SS they ever had…

MoragaJohn
Guest
Member
MoragaJohn
Scott, IMHO, metrics being what they are, I see Brandon’s first month a bit more simplistically. I think the change in his stance at setup has been a key difference… lowering the bat to his shoulder has reduced the complexity of his swing and has given him a few micro-seconds longer to “see ball. hit ball”. He’s using the whole field and IMO, if given a the chance, the hits will come. That being said, he is now letting his offensive failings effect him defensively. That’s not good. Bottom line, our young players need to feel comfortable in order to… Read more »
E
Guest
Member
Having the threat of being taken out of the lineup if they fail cannot be good for their confidence and there cannot be good for their production. I hate what I perceive as the Giant’s mantra in dealing with their young players. ——————————————— Its something all teams and all players do and have to deal with respectively. The pressure to perform every pitch and inning and game never leaves. Those who can use to their advantage, thrive, those that can’t, wither. Management, meaning front office, field manager and coaches can have a big impact on whether this pressure can have… Read more »
MoragaJohn
Guest
Member
MoragaJohn

@E, would you not agree that there is a palpable, albeit subtle difference between the everyday pressure to perform and the “screw up once and your out pressures” placed on our young players? They are not the same pressures. You might say one results in healthy competition and is positive and the other augers of punishment and even vindictiveness. Totally different.

E
Guest
Member

I believe thats what I was not so well trying to communicate. Patient, new-knowledge guys can communicate that pressure does exist, but to use that pressure as a teaching tool as you intimate, as opposed to a stick or “control” technique which is what old-school, old-knowledge water boarders like Bochy and Sabean are. They use pressure as a threat. Fools.

MoragaJohn
Guest
Member
MoragaJohn

Could not agree more… “fools” maybe… lacking psych 101 for sure.

E
Guest
Member

My comments are too long for here, so I gave it a post over at my place. http://wherehaveyougonejoe.com/public_html/article.php?story=20120504131112970

noah
Guest
Member
noah

all well and good on hitting, but what about his sudden inability to catch the ball? Unless he gets his head on straight, he’s on his way to being one of the worst defensive SS in MLB. Clearly, he has the ability to play really good defense, but he just doesn’t seem to have the head for major league ball. Hoping I’m wrong, but not holding my breath.

3rdKing
Guest
Member
3rdKing

i read that to my girl last night and she about died laughing…she’s happy crawford is no longer in the lineup so and she is a crawford fan….

devnull
Guest
Member
devnull
Whether you’re on or off the Crawford “bandwagon”, what do you do if it’s _not_ Crawford at SS? I’m mostly in the “still too early to make a call” on Crawford, because I think there’s potential at the plate — he seemed to have pretty good discipline last year (vs. hacking at a lot of bad pitches) even though it didn’t translate into a lot of hits and I think it’s mostly the same story this year. The big problem/difference this season being that his offensive struggles have apparently started creeping into the mental part of his defensive game too.… Read more »
Stan
Guest
Member
Stan

Johnnie LeMaster must wonder how many millions and his left nut Sabean would give to have him in his youth again?..Johnnie could at least field.

T
Guest
Member
T

Its obvious that the Giants are going all in on Crawford. The Giants decided not to bring back Keppinger or Fotentot, hence giving more playing time to Crawford. With Freddie Sanchez & Pablo out, the Giants do not have great depth in the infield and more or less, have to play Crawford every day. Furthermore, Crawford is a bargain for the Giants as he is making just $0.5 million this season. Any veteran shortstop will cost much more.

I do not see the Giants giving up on Crawford just yet and I see getting a full season.

Stan
Guest
Member
Stan

KNBR beats the good looks of Crawford drum.
I bet he’s so vain he thinks this post is about him-don’t you,don’t you?
uh,wait it IS about him..

wpDiscuz
What is Bay Area Sports Guy?

It is the top independent sports site covering the teams that play in the best sports region in the United States. BASG is not an ordinary fan blog. It is a place where sports news is broken and analyzed by writers with access who are not afraid to question the status quo, writers who also produce original content in the form of videos, photographs and podcasts.

Questions/Comments? Email basg@bayareasportsguy.com
Fill out my online form.

Copyright © 2017 - Bay Area Sports Guy. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Terms of Use and BASG Shop Terms

To Top