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Free Agent Profile: Nomar Garciaparra

Nomar Garciaparra

Nomar Garciaparra is sure to be one of this offseason’s hottest free-agent commodities, with at least 5 teams already showing various degrees of interest in the sweet-swinging infielder. One of the things that makes Nomar extremely valuable is his position flexibility — after playing shortstop for most of his career, Garciaparra played a brilliant first-base for the Dodgers in 2006 and would be open to a move to third. Whichever team adds Garciaparra to its roster for 2007 is sure to get a solid ballplayer. Here’s a look at what he should do in 2007 and which team Garciaparra is most likely to end up on.

Nomar Garciaparra (Infielder)

Here are Garciaparra’s “basic” statistics for 2006…

  • Batting Average: .303 — below career average of .318, but still great
  • On-Base Percentage: .367
  • Slugging Percentage: .505
  • OPS: .872
  • Doubles: 31
  • Triples: 2
  • Homeruns: 20 — many teams expect more from a 1B
  • RBI: 93 — see “Homeruns”
  • Runs: 82
  • Stolen Bases: 3
  • Walks: 42
  • Strikeouts: 30 — very good for 422 at-bats

Those numbers are very solid, but some of Garciaparra’s “deeper” statistics are even more revealing of the quality he brings to the plate…

  • Bases Empty: .270/.329/.438 — could certainly be improved, but still ok
  • Runners on: .333/.401/.568 — excellent
  • RISP: .368/.461/.640 — ridiculously good
  • RISP w/2 outs: .268/.379/.500 — hmm…huge drop from RISP

Each of Garciaparra’s “situational” statistics shows a good amount about him. Nomar doesn’t do extremely well when there’s no one on base — in other words, he’s less effective when the pitcher is throwing out of the wind-up. When a runner is on, Nomar’s numbers jump from average to terrific — he does very well when the pitcher is going from the stretch. With RISP and less than 2 out, you can count on Nomar to drive guys in. If there’s 2 away, Nomar’s statistics slip considerably, again, possibly because some pitchers tend to go back to the wind-up with 2 down. He’s not the most premium hitter in the league, but Nomar can certainly get the job done. Here are some more of his uber-impressive numbers…

  • With the count at 0-2: .323/.344/.484 — .323 with 0-2? WOW!
  • Runner on 3rd with 0-1 out: .480/.553/.720 — just give up on getting him out there…
  • Bases Loaded: .556/.538/1.333 — speechless

That statistic on 0-2 pitches is unbelievable. A .480 average in a runner on 3rd with less than 2 down is very valuable, because that means 1/2 the time Nomar will get him home via a base-hit, and if you add the sac-fly’s, Garciaparra is almost a lock to bring a runner home if he’s on 3rd with less than 2 away. If the bases are loaded, just walk Nomar and give up the run — you aren’t getting Garciaparra out in that situation.

A couple of drawbacks or not-so-good statistics…

  • Full count: .200/.333/.280 — awful/average/catastrophically bad
  • On 2-0 pitches: .182/.182/.182 — horrible/disgusting/call an ambulance

Despite those faults, Garciaparra is still a very solid hitter, and as I said earlier, his durability will make him a very welcome addition to almost any ballclub. So who will try the hardest to bring Nomar in?

I’ll be stunned if the BoSox don’t try to bring Nomar back to Boston

The Dodgers, Red Sox, Angels, and Giants figure to be major players in the Nomar auction. Half of those teams are in the LA area, so there’s a good chance that Nomar will not be moving far, if at all. That said, there are two teams away from La-La Land that will likely try to woo Nomar to play for them. The first of those is the Giants, who will likely be looking for a 1B and 3B this offseason. Brian Sabean is making it a priority to bring in a premier bat to aid the Giants impotent offense, and that priority would become a certainty if Barry Bonds chooses to depart San Francisco. The other, and probably more likely team to earn Garciaparra’s services is the Boston Red Sox. After many terrific seasons for Boston, Garciaparra left, to the disappointment of many Fenway faithful. Red Sox Nation would love to see Theo Epstein try to bring Nomah (as he’s known in Boston) back, and with potential openings at 1B, 3B, and SS, the Red Sox have plenty of places to put Garciaparra. One drawback is that Garciaparra would much rather play 1B, a position that’s ably occupied by Kevin Youkilis, but the Red Sox can certainly find a way to work around that issue.  Don’t discount however, the Dodgers effort to keep Garciaparra in Chavez Ravine.  If JD Drew opts out of his contract as some rumors have suggested he might, Garciaparra will quite likely remain a Dodger for 2007 and beyond.

All things considered, I think Nomar Garciaparra will stay a Dodger at the end of the offseason. The Dodgers have room for him and he’s become well-liked among the Dodger Stadium fans so there’s no reason for GM Ned Colletti to let him walk away. 

I think Nomar will hit around .300-.310 with 25-30HR, 90-100RBI, and about 85-90 runs scored in 2007.

Tomorrow’s profile: Frank Thomas

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Trivia!

The last question (see: Free Agent Profile: Barry Bonds)…

Barry Bonds hit his 73rd HR of 2001 off which pitcher?

The correct answer to it…

Dennis Springer (Dodgers)

Today’s question is…

Nomar Garciaparra’s brother Michael currently plays for which team’s AAA affiliate?

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One Response to “Free Agent Profile: Nomar Garciaparra”

  1. A user friendly blog,where do you get your info? Amazing!


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