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:
@CrashburnAlley from u it’s irrelevant. They really make decisions off ur blogs. Lead the league in pinch hits is easy huh?
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:
@Phylan because even though 98% of it is unfiltered garbage- there is some really good stuff in there. You can learn about yourself actually
— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) December 3, 2013
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.)