The day following his heroics, I feel it’s the best time to begin looking at how J. P. Arencibia’s production compares to that of John Buck. Arencibia took over from Buck after he signed a 3-year $18 million contract. In comparison, Arencibia is making $417,400 in 2011.
I’d also like to preface the comparison by statiting the following: Buck was signed for $2 million (1-year) as a FA almost immediately after he became available on the market by Alex Anthopoulos, his “loss” on the market following the 2010 season resulted in the Jays obtaining the 46th draft pick in the upcoming draft (a huge upgrade in talent on its own), and he produced 20 HRs with a ,281/.314/.489 line for Toronto in 2010. Let me recap: 1-year FA acquisition which only cost $2 million results in a stellar 20 HR and nice line season at a weak position (C), as well as a chance to land a top 50 talent prospect in the 2011 draft that will be under control by the Jays for a very long time. That, my friends, is Alex Anthopoulos at his best. A simple FA acquisition turned into a productive season and possibly a future core player for the franchise.
To the 2011 production for each catcher:
- 0.6 WAR (0.6 oWAR, 0 dWAR) / 23% CS rate (24 SB, 7 CS) / 2 Errors
- 133 AB/ 31 hits/ 7 doubles/ 1 triple/ 5 HR/ 19 RBI/ 16 BB/ 26 SO
- .233 AVG / .320 OBP / .414 SLG / .734 OPS / 97 OPS+
J. P. Arencibia
- 0.7 WAR (0.9 oWAR, -0.2 dWAR) / 27% CS rate (19 SB, 7 CS) / 2 Errors
- 115 ABs/ 27 hits/ 5 doubles/ 2 triples/ 7 HR/ 18 RBI/ 12 BB/ 28 SO
- .235 AVG/ .305 OBP/ .496 SLG/ .800 OPS/ 123 OPS+
This evaluation is pretty short and sweet for Jays fans. Not only is Arencibia clearly producing at better rate offensively speaking than Buck is, particularly when you consider the power numbers per AB and OPS+ numbers, but he is also holding his own defensively – something he had been criticized for prior to his full-time arrival in Toronto. His CS rate is better than Buck’s, and if it weren’t for all of the passed balls (3), he may have the exact same rating as Buck to boost his WAR ratio to 0.9 overall.
The simple fact is that the Jays are getting better production overall from Arencibia than they may have received if they had kept Buck around for another season. The fact that Arencibia is already giving the Jays above average performance levels this early in his career speaks volumes towards what his impact may become in the future. He is only 25 years old, still has a ton of time left as a Toronto Blue Jays player, is on pace to hit 27 HRs as a rookie catcher – indicating that he could reach 35-40 HRs at some point in the future, and he is doing admirably well handling the pitching staff and learning the position defensively speaking.
In short, J. P. Arencibia has been a very important part of the 2011 Jays, and this was made evident once again last night. Without his game changing 2-run HR, the Jays would have lost the game to the division leading Rays. Arencibia is a beast, a game changer, and he will provide the Jays with well above-average performances from behind the plate for years to come.
For those who believed that there would be a drop-off in offensive output from the catcher position with John Buck leaving, I sincerely hope you’ve changed your minds and have adopted J.P. as a huge part of the Jays future! I always believed he would surprise many people in 2011. My prediciton before the season started, available here, was as follows:
“Something close to a .260/.340/.490 line with 22-28 HRs, and 30-37 doubles”
Aside from the predicted AVG and OBP being a little higher, everything else is right on pace! I also stated the following:
”To all of those who doubted his ability to hit MLB pitching, I say watch him hit in 2011 and 2012, because I’m betting he’ll outdo expectations tremendously and will quickly become one of the core bats in the lineup of the Jays for years to come. While everyone has eyes and ears on Jesus Montero and Carlos Santana, I say that they should pay just as much attention to J. P. Arencibia, because his mammoth power and abilities behind the plate will make him a star in short order.”
And I’m certainly sticking by those comments!!
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