Starscreams | Expectations, pt. 2 (52.09)

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Starscreams | Expectations, pt. 2 (52.09)

Post by mragland » Mon Sep 19, 2022 8:47 pm

Starscreams: A Valencia Stars Baseball Blog

Expectations, pt. 2

Brianna Robles, Starscreams contributor

The bad news for the Stars is that in some respects they've actually been underachieving a little bit so far in April. The Stars' have fallen considerably short of their expected run differential of 48 (at 39, a Δ of -9) and win expectancy currently sits at 18-7, which is three wins above their current actual record of 15-10. One might conclude that the Stars should then rise in the standings in the weeks and months to come as their win-loss record more closely hews to the quality of on-field performance. Valencia remains the favorite to win the division according to StatsPlus, for example.

But looking at the present team defensive BABIP of .219 (average is typically around .300), it's hard not to draw the conclusion that there's a lot of luck hiding in there, and luck is bound to run out sooner or later. The Stars will begin to give up more runs per game the rest of the way. This could, of course, be offset by improved run production, and there certainly is room for improvement there. Despite some high profile performances, Valencia run production has been fairly mediocre.

You'd like to see better results from four hitters in particular. First on that list would be outfielder Jim Ashford (.167/.188/.318) who looks like he's playing through a herniated disc in his back, or double vision, or some condition equally detrimental to swinging a bat effectively. Club management hasn't traditionally been shy about hurting veterans' feelings and Ashford is already losing playing time to Omer Dijkstra. It is at this point difficult to be optimistic about Ashford's future in Valencia or the BBA as a whole, but players will surprise you, and speaking of BABIP luck, Ashford's BABIP can't stay in the basement forever, can it? He's still registering big league exit velocities, so perhaps things will work themselves out.

Another player who got off to a painfully slow start at the plate was Sergei Bobrovsky, but he has really turned things around in his last 6 games, going 9 for 22 with 3 home runs. We haven't seen enough of him to know whether this is just who he is (a streaky hitter who runs either very hot or very cold) or whether this apparent turnaround will be more sustained, but it is a little easier to imagine consistent success this year for Bobrovsky than for Ashford.

Center fielder Habib bin Ameen had a very good (for him) spring, but that has been followed by a fairly bleak April. He has slashed .247/.322/.346 thus far and is generally struggling to maintain a better than replacement level of play. For a hitter who's supposed to have above average power, his zero home runs in 81 at-bats is not encouraging.

Finally, there's shortstop Quintin Trewartha. Offense will likely never be a large part of his game, but he was fun to watch this last week (5 for 16 with a home run). It's reasonable to hope that he can bring his wRC+ up to last year's 54 mark, but his start to the season has been very tough to watch. We're not even going to publish his slash stats here because children might be reading this.
Morris Ragland
President, Baseball Ops, Beirut Cedars (8/25/46 - 10/23/47)
President, Baseball Ops, Valencia Stars (10/24/47 - present)
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