Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Morning Food For Thought

(Courtesy of the AP)

Alfonso Soriano Career BB Rate: 6.0%
Alfonso Soriano 2013 NYY BB Rate: 8.6%

Soriano Career K Rate: 21.2%
Soriano 2013 NYY K Rate: 27.6%

Soriano Career HR/FB Rate: 15.4%
Soriano 2013 NYY HR/FB Rate: 27.6%

The focus this offseason has been addressing the offensive weaknesses at catcher and in right field, and justifiably so.  There hasn't been a lot of talk about Alfonso Soriano and what he'll do as an encore to his dynamite 58 games in 2013.  While it's safe to assume he'll be an upgrade over Vernon Wells, let this serve as a reminder to not go overboard with expectations.  Soriano's BB rate in pinstripes last year was abnormally high, he struck out more often than he did when he was with the Cubs, and his frequency of home runs to fly balls hit was almost double his career average and unsustainably high.

Don't lose sight of the fact that Soriano is 36, turning 37 before the start of the 2014 season, and has numbers indicative of a player who outperformed his true skill level in his 58-game Yankee sample size and could be losing bat speed.  He'll contribute next year, but that contribution won't be close to the near 50-HR pace he was on after the trade.

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