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Monday Rockpile: Jose Lopez and the Mystery of the Missing BABIP

Let's take a look back at the past 2 weeks of Jose Lopez, as viewed from my perspective.

14 days ago: "Rockies interested in Jose Lopez" Hey, I traded for Jose Lopez in my OOTP league. I also got Brandon League along with him. Then again, I also had to trade away Hammel and Deduno. But hey, Aaron Cook was good that year. So was DLR. Ubaldo was OK. Morales was decent. Pelfrey was pretty solid too. Verlander was kind of a disappointment. Street sucked. Good thing Mariano Rivera filled in well for him. Heh. Video games.

12 days ago: "Rockies still in on Jose Lopez" Oh jeez, this guy is awful. He can't field. He can't hit. He can't take a walk. SEATTLE is throwing him away. How about we DON'T trade for him, mmmk?

11 days ago: Bowling sure is fun! What is this? A Text Message?

Rockies just traded a AAA pitcher for Jose Lopez

(Seattle Buddy) Hey, what do you know about Chaz Roe, Colorado just traded him for Jose Lopez


10 days ago: Well great. Now we have 4 middle infielders fighting over one spot. Lopez is gonna be a really weird utility man. I guess it's pop off of the bench.

Don't fool yourselves. Lopez is the starting 2B in 2011.

....crap, he's right.


5 days ago: Look, there's no way Chris Iannetta's season was JUST him falling apart, there has to be more to it than just that. /downloads xBABIP spreadsheet, runs numbers, writes giant article

Hm. I wonder if there's anything worth looking at for Jose Lopez. Well, he batted .239/.272/.339 in 2010. .254 BABIP. Let's see what the xBABIP calculator says... ok, .306 xBABIP, based on LD%, etc. Hm. What if those were all missed singles, what happens then?

.285/.315/.385; .700 OPS. That's still not great, but it's better than .611 OPS.

What about 2009? He was pretty good in 2009. He batted .272/.309/.463. Weird, only a .268 BABIP. Let's see... xBABIP is .306...

.307/.342/.498; .840 OPS

What about his career line? .266/.297/.400; .697 OPS. That's with a .280 BABIP.

How about if we adjust it to a career .308 xBABIP?

.292/.322/.429; .751 OPS. And that's with half of his games in SafeCo. Factor in Coors' SLG boost and likely BABIP boost, we could be looking at a near .800 OPS hitter. It's nothing we haven't seen before (Barmes and Baker both posted ~.791 OPS in 2008, and several others before them), but the point is that there's a chance of getting reasonable production out of 2B in 2011. For anyone wondering, Lopez defensively profiles as a slightly below-average 2B with average range and somewhat rough hands (-0.6 UZR/150). Also amusing is that by age, Jose Lopez compares favorably to Bill Mazeroski (who incidentally never posted a 100+ OPS+ in his entire Hall of Fame career) and Brooks Robinson (also HoF) - two players known for their phenomenal gloves. Not really saying anything there, I just found it amusing.

1 day ago: I think that Jose Lopez might be one of the unluckiest batters in MLB. I really hope he can get luckier. Maybe it's not even luck, maybe it's just who he is. He's a dead pull hitter, and the average distance his home runs go is about 380 feet. Factor in some thin-air love and a LF wall at 347 feet, and maybe 2009 won't look like such a fluke after all.

I think I just used a series of spreadsheets to get myself excited about a baseball player.

I think I need to get out more.

For what it's worth, in my OOTP game, Jose Lopez batted .278/.306/.469 in his season with Colorado. Colorado went 101-61.

/writes giant article