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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rally on Jonny Gomes

Rally, who is responsible for the CHONE forecasting system I use so much around here, really likes the Reds' recent signing of Jonny Gomes:
In his favor, he's moving from baseball's toughest division to the National League central, a very good homerun hitting park, and some other good hitter's parks among his divisional opponents (Wrigley, Houston). I think Jonny is going to win a starting job in spring training (Reds OF then being him, Tavares in center, and Bruce in right), and hit a bunch of homers. If he plays every day I think he'll hit 30. He'll also strike out 150+ times, and play crappy defense. They've pretty much replaced 90% of Adam Dunn for a little over the league minimum. Jonny is a good player to watch for if you wonder if there will be a Ryan Ludwick of 2009.
My quick value projection:

With the Reds, CHONE has Jonny projected to hit 0.255/0.357/0.507 with 24 home runs in 442 PA's. That's 63% playing time. His R150 is +7 RAA, which pro-rated for the playing time projection puts his hitting value at about 17 RAR.

Defensively, as Rally said, he's brutal: projects at -14 RAA per season in a corner outfield slot, which, including a position adjustment (-7.5 r/season because he's a corner outfielder) and pro-rating for 63% playing time puts him at -13.5 runs in 2009 on defense. Overall, that puts his total value at a fairly weak 3.5 runs above replacement. Assuming $4.8 million/WAR, that values him at ~$1.6 million for 2009...which means the Reds probably got a bargain given how little he signed for.

I don't really see him as a good starter because of his defense--you have to be a really good hitter to justify being -15 runs/season in a corner position (e.g. Dunn, Adam). But I can live Gomes in a platoon, and I certainly like him as a power bat off the bench (something that Jocketty mentioned a few weeks back as a need).


  1. Here is to hoping Dickerson vs RHP and Gomes vs LHP is the platoon we see in LF in 2009. You know, unless Dickerson just takes CF from Taveras, in which case the Reds can sign you Justin to play LF and I will be happy.

  2. Be careful there. I am so far below replacement level that I couldn't maintain a spot on our non-competitive softball team during grad school... :)

  3. Both Hopper and Dickerson have also had good rookie debuts (like Gomez) but the difference is they are both plus defensively and have speed. And neither one has collapsed (yet). I can't believe anybody is enamored with a bad clone of Adam Dunn signed at minimum salary. Do we already miss Big Donkey that much? Votto, Bruce, Encarnacion will provide more than enough power for the middle of the order.