Announcement FanSided Is Hiring! Check Out Our Openings Page. ×

Looking to 2012: Drew Stubbs

If any one player brought out the ire of Reds fans last season, it would have to be Drew Stubbs. It had little to do with his defense aside from the gripe that he never would dive for a fly ball. We should all know what the complaints were about…and I’m not going to dwell on it a whole lot.

We recently heard (again) that Stubbs will be working on his bunting skills when Spring Training commences. If this is yet another push for Stubbs to bat leadoff, there are matters to consider as we will detail in a bit.

Here’s how Bill James projects Stubbs for 2012 and a glimpse at his stats. (via Fangraphs)

Projections and stats

G AB H HR R RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG BABIP
2011 158 604 147 15 92 44 63 205 40 10 .243 .321 .364 .343
2012 136 476 123 14 75 48 52 141 31 9 .258 .336 .403 .340
Total 350 1298 326 45 210 138 133 422 80 20 .251 .325 .406 .335

Stubbs lays down a sacrifice bunt against the Pirates. Will we see more of this in 2012? (Image Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE)

Positives

1. Speed, speed and more speed
In his 2+ seasons, Stubbs has a tidy 80% success rate when it comes to stealing bases (80-for-100). That’s almost a 3% increase from his days in the minors where Stubbs stole bases at a 77% rate (121-for-157). But that speed doesn’t just sit when he’s in the outfield. It transfers quite well.

2. Defense
Stubbs was second on the Reds in dWAR (1.0) to Paul Janish (1.3). He was also second to Janish (12) in Total Zone Runs (10).

As I have stated, the common complaints regarding Stubbs and his defense is that he refuses to dive for a ball. It’s almost as if he will eschew the spectacular play (other than robbing an opponenet of a home run). I have no qualms with this approach. Stubbs would rather keep the ball in front of him and not permit the extra base (or two).

And his arm isn’t half bad either as he notched 8 assists, 5 of those at the plate.

Negatives

1. Strikeouts
Next…

2. Decrease in power
It wasn’t completely lost in the frustration that was the 2011 season, Stubbs was unable to produce the pop he did in 2010. Of course with the bugaboo hanging over his head, I have to believe that got to him more than the lack of power.

But Stubbs wasn’t really a power guy in the minors either. Sure, he possesses the pop, but it isn’t needed with every swing. His lifetime SLG in the minors was .401 and he hit double-digits home runs only once (2007 – 12). Power is something that can develop over time. I would prefer the contact first.

3. Confidence
With the first two “negatives” in his head, you might wonder if Stubbs has lost a little confidence at the plate. If he whiffs, fans are likely to boo and complain. That can rise on the mind.

Wrap

Before 2011, I thought Stubbs had the potential of a 30-30 season. Was I ever wrong. I was hoping he would further adapt to the leadoff role and become something along the lines of Rickey Henderson. There’s only one Rickey (and Rickey himself will probably tell you that.), but one can hold hope.

My hope for 2012 is finding a bit of the loss power while making better contact. If you look at his BABIP, when Stubbs makes contact, good things can happen.

Like what you’re reading? Stay up-to-date on all things Reds by following Blog Red Machine on Twitter (@blogredmachine). Also, please take a minute and “Like” our page on Facebook!

Topics: 2012 Player Projections, 2012 Projections, Baseball, Cincinnati Reds, Drew Stubbs, MLB

Want more from Blog Red Machine?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • beeker

    My hope for Drew is that Dusty lets him hit 6th or 7th and, outside of your suggestion of using the bunt occasionally to open up both his game and holes in the field, leaves him alone. Give him one voice only (Eric Davis?) to listen to about his swing, and then just let him find the fun in the guy. The guy rarely looked like he was enjoying himself last year.

  • beeker

    *game (not guy)

  • beeker

    My hope for Drew is that Dusty lets him hit 6th or 7th and, outside of your suggestion of using the bunt occasionally to open up both his game and holes in the field, leaves him alone. Give him one voice only (Eric Davis?) to listen to about his swing, and then just let him find the fun in the guy. The guy rarely looked like he was enjoying himself last year.

  • beeker

    *game (not guy)

  • Steven Engbloom

    @beeker You’re on point about having the look of not enjoying himself. That can go a long way.

  • Steven Engbloom

    @beeker You’re on point about having the look of not enjoying himself. That can go a long way.

  • dgsapba

    Please remember that Stubbs has qualities that make him an ideal lead-off man if he drops more bunts down,goes deeper into the count and chokes up with 2 strikes, ugh I KNOW no body does that anymore. He needs to watch films of Enos Slaughter and yes even the Mick–also he needs to use all his talents and not be a baby.

  • dgsapba

    Please remember that Stubbs has qualities that make him an ideal lead-off man if he drops more bunts down,goes deeper into the count and chokes up with 2 strikes, ugh I KNOW no body does that anymore. He needs to watch films of Enos Slaughter and yes even the Mick–also he needs to use all his talents and not be a baby.

  • beeker

    @dgsapba It is odd and sad that choking up is such an anomaly now. Heck, he could even watch Phillips. He doesn’t choke up much, but with two strikes he really digs in and fights until he can get something that he can make contact with.

    If they aren’t, the Reds really should let Eric Davis spend lots of time with Stubbs. Eric could help him reduce the holes in his big, looping swing but still maintain that power. If Eric could recreate some of himself in Drew, then Stubbs might make a fair replacement for Rolen down the road. That’s asking for a lot from him, maybe more than he’s got. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t pigeon-hole him as a leadoff guy because of his speed. He has never looked comfortable there, like it fits his style.

  • Steven Engbloom

    @dgsapba He does have the qualities, but you also have to utilize those qualities plus want to bat leadoff.

  • dgsapba

    @Steven Engbloom yes,sir and that may have to be addressed and if a better place can not be found bye-bye Drew

  • beeker

    @dgsapba It is odd and sad that choking up is such an anomaly now. Heck, he could even watch Phillips. He doesn’t choke up much, but with two strikes he really digs in and fights until he can get something that he can make contact with.

    If they aren’t, the Reds really should let Eric Davis spend lots of time with Stubbs. Eric could help him reduce the holes in his big, looping swing but still maintain that power. If Eric could recreate some of himself in Drew, then Stubbs might make a fair replacement for Rolen down the road. That’s asking for a lot from him, maybe more than he’s got. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t pigeon-hole him as a leadoff guy because of his speed. He has never looked comfortable there, like it fits his style.

  • dgsapba

    Fantastic idea, even better make it understood he has talent, but unless he adapts he will be a potential trade maker.@beeker

  • Steven Engbloom

    @dgsapba He does have the qualities, but you also have to utilize those qualities plus want to bat leadoff.

  • dgsapba

    @Steven Engbloom yes,sir and that may have to be addressed and if a better place can not be found bye-bye Drew

  • dgsapba

    Fantastic idea, even better make it understood he has talent, but unless he adapts he will be a potential trade maker.@beeker