June 4, 2013

The Yo-Yo of Jimmy Rollins

Still my favorite picture of Jimmy Rollins
Last year, I wrote a post about Jimmy Rollins. Well, last year I wrote several posts about Jimmy Rollins, but I'm talking about one in particular in which I described an apparent change in Jimmy's approach. Click here if you wish to read the whole thing, but the blurb form of it is that Jimmy was striking out more, walking less, getting on base less, but hitting for more power.

The difference in overall performance was negligible, as his wRC+'s in 2011 and 2012 were 103 and 101, respectively. Rollins had just changed forms; he essentially molted into more of a power hitter.

Well so far in 2013, it looks like Rollins has molted once again. This season he has settled into an average of his 2011 and 2012 forms, and his wRC+ has stayed relatively constant at 102. For those of you who like graphs, I've prepared this graph describing Jimmy's performance over the past few years. OBP+ denotes Jimmy's OBP relative to his average from 2011-2013, with 100 as exactly average and 103 being 3% above his own average. SLG+ and OPS+ are calculated the same way. They are not relative to league average.

And for those of you who prefer tables:

The Phillies are truly lucky that Rollins has been aging so gracefully, as he posted a combined 8.4 WAR over his age-32 and -33 seasons, the highest total among Phillies position players. This year, he's well on his way to another three-win season, and given his penchant for finishing strong, I'll take the over on that estimate. From where I'm standing, his 3-year/$33M contract really looks like a bargain.


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