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2011 Rockies Player Review: Jason Giambi

Those of you out there in computer land are probably pretty sure by now how I feel about Jason Giambi: I'm basically in agreement that he's really questionable for an NL team, especially with his general lack of positional versatility, but I'll be damned if he isn't just the most absolutely entertaining person to have around. The Rockies must never get rid of Jason Giambi, if only because of this video.

So now that we've moved past my arbitrary love for the guy, we probably have to look at his on-field performance at some point.

Statistically, Giambi had a very strong offensive season. Defensive metrics say he was about average in the field, and given his preseason role of "PH and guy who starts when Todd Helton doesn't start", we're not terribly concerned about his defense, provided that he was competent enough to catch the baseball, which he was.

Now, Giambi posted a very strong season offensively. His batting average was pretty lame at a mere .260, but he hit for all kinds of massive power, likely powered by his +4 forearms of old man strength. Many pundits of the Giambi Firestorm, however, claim that that one game where he completely embarrassed the Phillies was the extent of his offensive prowess, and outside of that one game he was relatively mediocre.

Full Season .260 .355 .603 .958
That One Game .600 .600 2.400 3.000
Everything But That One Game .246 .347 .532 .879

So just based on those fancy looking numbers, yeah, that one game DID inflate Giambi's season numbers from ZOMG AWESOME to "dang, that's pretty good for a 40 year old man". When we consider that Helton posted an AVG/OBP heavy .850 OPS, Giambi's SLG inflated OPS suddenly complements Helton quite nicely.

So let's sum this up.

As the "other" 1B, Giambi did quite nicely. When you consider that most of us were OK with his .792 OPS as a 1B in 2010, that line is downright impressive by comparison. "A" by my book for that role.

As the primary LH PH, Giambi posted a mighty .462 OPS, down from his .798 OPS in 2010 in the same role. That's a gigantic "F" as far as I see it.

As a hilarious dude that makes the fans excited, I still think he gets at least a "B". Maybe an "A". Nah, "B".

As far as the senior veteran mentor player guy... well, we can't really grade that. How many wins is a mentor worth? How much weight should his role carry? That's another entire discussion, and not really one we can assign a grade to.

So objectively speaking - that is, just looking at batting lines - Giambi was a definite positive player in 2011. That batting line coming out of a part-time player deserves an "A" in my mind.

Trying to weight his roles makes this slightly more complex. As a starter, he was awesome. As a PH, he was putrid. If we consider the roles equal, that drops his overall grade to a "C".

Perhaps we settle on a "B" for the Giambino? Or does the fact that he isn't really SUPPOSED to be starting knock him down to that "C"?


The Rockies have picked up Giambi's $1M option for 2012. Let's hope this isn't the season that his age finally betrays him.