Monday, February 17, 2014

Safe or Short Leash: Jayson Werth

Starting Outfield #2:

Jayson Werth:

Pros:

Ahh, the wonders of baseball-reference. Where else can you find out that there is a pro baseball player out there that goes by the name Werewolf in Twitter. Werth is coming off a very strong year and players that had him saw boosts in batting average, decent power (25 homers) and even a little bit of speed (10 stolen bases).

Cons:

He's getting old (turns 35 in May) hasn't been particularity healthy the last couple of seasons (81 games played in 2012 & 129 last year). While last year's home run totals are within line with what he's done (except for 2012), banking on a repeat of his all around performance from 2013 may not be the best idea as he's coming off his best season and his OPS for his career is 94 points lower than it was for his career. He's been sub-replacement level defensive wise the last five seasons which could cost him playing time if he struggles even a little bit.

Comparative Analysis:

His most similar player through age 34 is Trot Nixon. If that parallel continues (which it won't) 2014 would be a disaster for Werth as Nixon's age 34 season was his last (11 games of sub-par production) while Werth is coming off his best season. I think Werth will put decent power numbers but the batting average is unlikely to stay above .300 again. Also, there is a realistic chance that I may need to find a replacement at some point due to injury.

While his job in my starting line up is there for now and he'll likely put up decent numbers, there are enough things to worry about that i've gotta keep an eye on what other outfielders are out there that can help this team win.

Players that got added to the watch list:

Alejandro De Aza
Will Venable
Jon Jay
Denard Span
Gerardo Parra
Rajai Davis