Kevin Frandsen Is Not Our Biggest Fan

Last night, after it was reported that the Phillies had agreed to a deal with Kevin Frandsen and tendered contracts to their other arbitration-eligible players, Frandsen went on Twitter to ask how a certain blog was enjoying the deal.

The hashtag “Dmyass” (as in, “D? My ass!”) refers to receiving a D grade. Of course, the good folks at The Good Phight do a lot of wonderful things, but issuing grades to Phillies players isn’t one of them, as bloglord Liz Roscher pointed out:

Frandsen was referring to the report card of his found here, written by our own Paul Boye. All five of us gave him a D grade of some sort, given that he hit .234/.296/.341. With the very obvious opening for a joke, I replied back to Frandsen:

Frandsen countered:

I thought the entire exchange was humorous and hold no ill will towards Frandsen. I enjoy Frandsen as a person (he seems like a nice guy) and as a player (he’s exciting to watch), and I also think that our report card was very fair, though I can certainly understand why players would not particularly enjoy this exercise, especially if they were given poor marks. If, in some alternate universe I happened to be a professional athlete, I would hate blogs. It’s impossible for us (bloggers) to know and thus give proper credit for the absurd amount of time and effort players put in to be athletes at the peak of competition. For guys (and gals) like us to wipe Cheeto dust off our fingers and then issue a top-tier athlete a D for his effort would seem petty.

That said, we here at Crashburn Alley pride ourselves on being as objective as possible, which is why many of you make this one of your daily stops. For Frandsen in particular, we were pretty damn accurate. In August 2012, when Frandsen was hitting well over .300 and leading the league in pinch hits — when many were calling for the Phillies to make him the third baseman of the future — I wrote this:

As you may infer from his high batting average, Frandsen is sitting on a sky-high BABIP as well: .364. His career average BABIP is .272. While hitters have a lot more control over their BABIP than pitchers, they are still prone to the single-season flukes.

[…]

The idea of Frandsen at third base in 2013 has been thrown around a lot lately, but his production thus far is almost entirely a fluke and very unlikely to be repeated next year. He will go back to being a guy with an OPS in the mid-.600?s and the Phillies will still be left looking for a legitimate third baseman.

Frandsen’s BABIP dropped from .366 in 2012 to .245 last season. As such, he finished with a .637 OPS. But the funny thing is that his .245 BABIP is a bit fluky in the opposite direction as well, so he’s likely due for an upward correction in 2014. And after the season ends, when we hand out the report cards, we’ll probably end up giving him some higher grades. Unless players make noticeable adjustments — for pitchers, perhaps adding a new pitch; for hitters, perhaps a toe tap as Eric Longenhagen illustrated with Marlon Byrd — they tend to follow the same statistical rules we have observed about the MLB population in general over the years. That doesn’t diminish their efforts; it makes them human.

As an addendum, I thought Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy said something wise in response to Ryan Sommers on Twitter:

It is our hope that we are consistently in the other two percent.

(If you missed any of our report cards, you can find the entire list here.)

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18 comments

  1. Ryan

    December 03, 2013 08:01 AM

    Unfortunately for Frandsen, A LOT of GMs make decisions based on the stats cited in his report card. Fortunately for him, RAJ is not one of them (dumbass).

  2. LTG

    December 03, 2013 09:32 AM

    So, a D is a below average grade. And Frandsen is making below average money this year. Am I missing something? Where is the vindication? I guess he got a raise…

  3. yizzit

    December 03, 2013 09:46 AM

    98% of the unflitered garbage can usually be found in the comments section of any blog.

  4. Phillie697

    December 03, 2013 11:47 AM

    Maybe someone should ask Frandsen how the Phillies are doing with him on the team… He went to Twitter to brag about a $900K, one year contract. Stay classy Kevin Frandsen, stay classy.

  5. hk

    December 03, 2013 12:03 PM

    Kevin,

    Crashburn Alley, and those of us who read it, are very aware that they don’t make their moves off this blog. If only…

  6. BobSmith77

    December 03, 2013 12:05 PM

    When does blog do anything largely but retrospective analysis with a heavy stat focus?

  7. Bubba0101

    December 03, 2013 12:09 PM

    I thought the initial assessment was a good one. If Frandsen were on the 07-09 teams and solely been used as a pinch hitter and ended up leading the league in pinch hits then his grade would have been a lot higher Im sure. But as is, the phils used him for much more than just pinch hitting and thus his talents did not match up, so he got a D. He’s playing Major League baseball and making close to a million bucks. He scores an A+ for that in the grand scheme of things one could be doing in their lives, but that wasnt the basis for grading. Performance on the Phillies during the 2013 season was the basis.

  8. Bubba0101

    December 03, 2013 12:11 PM

    hk,

    If they were making moves off this blog then we’d have Kazmir locked up right now, a platoon at first, and about 7 total years and hundreds of millions less in burdensome contracts left to age and smell. Oh yeah, and a new GM. Not that theyve ever said that explicitly here but we read between the lines…

  9. Matt

    December 03, 2013 01:50 PM

    Frandsen’s just playing hard to get ; I’m sure deep down he’s honored to be chosen to get your D

  10. Larry

    December 03, 2013 09:35 PM

    First I’d like to say that Crashburn and the Good Phight are 2 decent sites to read. Kevin Frandsen’s “D” wasn’t harsh or really unfair.

    “That said, we here at Crashburn Alley pride ourselves on being as objective as possible,”

    BB,

    I do think you play favorites and some of the grades you gave weren’t objective at all IMO.

    I want to challenge you on 2 examples of Cole Hamels and Cesar Hernandez where you yourself gave both of them an “A-”

    Your expectations about Cole from one of your articles before the season started was that you picked him for the Cy Young for 2013. You probably had no expectations for Hernandez.

    Cole hurt the team big time in the 1st half this year. He makes a monster salary. I posted this when you graded him:

    “2 of the reasons why Cole Hamels struggled so much in 2013:

    1. He has to work on his pick off move. He gave up the most stolen bases in the NL. (25)

    2. In all of baseball including the AL, he gave up more doubles than any other pitcher (62) which was 12 more than any NL pitcher.

    With all the steals and doubles, teams were always in scoring position, hence his ERA was 3.60. The bigger problem was obviously the doubles 18 more than his career high.

    On a side note he had a career high in HBP with 9 which didn’t help his cause either.”

    Then I posted this:

    “Yeah when I look at the defense of Michael Young, DY, Revere, and Brown the 1st half of the season, that can’t help any pitcher. Though if I calculated it right, Cole gave up the 2nd most extra base hits in baseball with 86. (HRs + Triples + Doubles). It’s amazing that his ERA was only 3.60.

    Cliff Lee was right in line with the doubles he gave up, 2 less than last year 41, with 11 more innings pitched this year. So I’m not sure what to think. My gut says it wasn’t all Cole’s fault with the eye test of the horrible defense. However, 62 doubles is a lot. In fact, it’s the 2nd most allowed by any pitcher in over a decade.

    It’s also the most ever in the NL East. This got me curious about the all time record which says Cole is now tied for 7th most in a single season in baseball history. The other guy who is 7th, pitched 74.2 more innings his season than Cole did this year. This information blew my mind. I would like to see a chart where these doubles went. Did Michael Young have a lot to do with this?”

    How does this deserve an A- with your expectations, his salary, and these bad stats?? You can’t give me the WAR excuse see the A- you gave to Hernandez. His WAR wasn’t good, here were Hernandez’s stats:

    rWAR -.04 below replacement level
    fWAR -.04 below replacement level
    wOBA .305
    ISO .041
    wRC+ 90
    OPS .674
    dWAR -.04
    UZR/150 -25.8 Obviously UZR in a SSS

    Any explanations Bill?

  11. Dante

    December 04, 2013 10:50 AM

    So Frandsen, if a D was an unfair grade, what would have been fair, in your estimation of your performance?

  12. Scott G

    December 04, 2013 12:18 PM

    He led the league in PH that yielded a 0.250 BA.

    Greg Dobbs led MLB in 2008 in PH. He then hit .247 the next year, and we all know where he fits in on the All-time MLB players list.

    I mean I don’t really have a problem with Kevin Frandsen. I like watching him. But come on dude, since 2006 you’ve amassed 1114 ML PAs. That’s probably slightly less than 2 full seasons for MLB regulars lucky enough to not get injured. There’s a reason for this.

  13. KH

    December 05, 2013 02:53 PM

    Larry, I am not sure I agree with all your reasoning but Cole Hamels did not deserve a A- this ear I agree with that. Felt more like a B or maybe even B- year to me.

  14. Larry

    December 05, 2013 09:05 PM

    KH,

    Why do you feel Cole Hamels didn’t deserve an A- ?

    B- is more acceptable on some levels, but if anyone grading under expectations was very disappointed with Cole’s performance the 1st half for that insane salary and so called “Ace status” He gets a C in my book with the 2 months he put up great #s.

    By month

    April- 1-3, ERA – 4.78, WHIP 1.33, Grade- D
    May – 0-6, ERA – 4.95, WHIP 1.35, Grade- D-
    June – 1-2, ERA – 3.94, WHIP 1.22, Grade- C-
    July – 2-2, ERA – 2.57, WHIP 1.09, Grade- A
    Aug – 2-0,ERA – 2.00, WHIP 1.00, Grade- A+
    Sept – 2-1, ERA- 3.71, WHIP 1.00, Grade- C+

    That’s pretty fair and unbiased by month and doesn’t deserve an A-…..add the 7th most doubles allowed in baseball history, most sbs against in the NL. How can that earn an A- ?

    Maybe that’s why Kevein Frandsen was upset, because he wasn’t graded on the Cole or Hernandez curve, especially with most pinch hits in the league. If you look at Frandsen vs Hernandez stats, how in the world does one of them get an A- and the other D….I’ts not like Frandsen made big bucks in 2013, well under 1 mil. He had better fWAR and rWAR than Hernandez, better ISO, same OPS, better dWAR. No wonder Frandsen is pissed.

  15. Larry

    December 05, 2013 09:21 PM

    If you look at all 5 grades by each author for each Phillie, there was way too many “A” s and “B” s. You would think not only did the Phillies win the division, but they won it easily. I was a huge supporter of Darin Ruf this year, but even he would tell you he wasn’t worth an “A” this year. Eric even gave him an “A+” ?? He had a ton of Minor League stats to look at with good power and a good OBP. The expectations shouldn’t have shocked anyone. He was worth the B- grade to be fair. Cliff Lee should have been the only Phillie who got an “A”……The fact that Lee who was 5th in CY Young voting didn’t get the highest grade on the team is strange to me. If Ruf got an A+ from one of the authors, shouldn’t Lee get an A+++?

    I enjoyed the actual grading articles as everybody else did, but just didn’t agree with a fair amount of the actual grades. Michael Baumann gave Michael Young the “B” grade. One has to wonder if he only gave that grade, because he likes Michael Young’s 1st name?

  16. Larry

    December 05, 2013 09:25 PM

    “If you look at all 5 grades by each author for each Phillie, there was way too many “A” s and “B” s.”

    Ugh……were not was

  17. hk

    December 06, 2013 06:00 AM

    Larry,

    I think the difference in Bill’s and your grades for Hamels depends upon whether you hold the pitcher solely responsible for all of the runs he gave up or if you factor luck and randomness into the equation. By ERA, which you are more than entitled to use in your grading system, Cole Hamels was 46th out of the 81 SP with enough IP to be considered as “qualified” by Fangraphs. In this system, he seems worthy of a C or C-. By SIERA, which Bill is more than entitled to use in his grading system, Cole was 19th among those 81 SP’s. By this system, he is worthy of an A- or B+.

  18. Larry

    December 07, 2013 09:15 PM

    HK,

    I don’t judge it by just 1 stat. I look at many stats.

    “I think the difference in Bill’s and your grades for Hamels depends upon whether you hold the pitcher solely responsible for all of the runs he gave up or if you factor luck and randomness into the equation. By ERA, which you are more than entitled to use in your grading system, Cole Hamels was 46th out of the 81 SP with enough IP to be considered as “qualified” by Fangraphs. In this system, he seems worthy of a C or C-. ”

    You also have to remember that Cole pitches in the worst offensive division in baseball. It’s not fair to compare him to other guys who are pitching in the AL, especially if it was the AL East. They have it a lot harder.

    For example Atlanta scored the most runs in the NL East which was 13th in baseball. The Nats were 15th, Mets were 23rd, we were 27th, and the Marlins were 30th (Last in baseball). Also remember that Cole pitched against the Marlins 5 times this year and I think 4 of them where without Stanton in the lineup. I’m pretty sure no other sp in baseball was lucky enough to face the Marlins 5 times in 2013.

    AL East- Runs scored in MLB:

    Boston was 1st, Baltimore was 5th, Toronto 9th, Rays 11th, and Yankees 16th.

    Cole’s ERA for inter league play was 5.40. For Cole’s career he has a 4.41 ERA 1.287 WHIP .476 SLG% against vs the AL. Realistically he would be a #3 or #4 sp in the AL stat wise.

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