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Is Vernon Wells Injured?

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Re: Is Vernon Wells Injured?

Postby Fritzenhammer » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:03 am

I don't think he's injured. Here's a piece I did on him at my blog last week that examines the numbers:

<blog snip>
What's Wrong: Vernon Wells

I was quite happy to draft V-Dub on one of my teams this year, for a number of different reasons. I managed to snag him at a time in the draft when I thought he represented good value, and I'm a Jays fan - talk about the perfect confluence of potentially competing interests.

I was happy, that is, until the season started. Wells has disappointed thus far, and the usual chorus of 'over-rated' has sprung up yet again. Lets have a look at some numbers:

AVG AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO SB XBH GO/AO BABIP
.259 220 34 57 17 5 29 18 35 5 23 0.58 .288

The two most concerning numbers have to be the .259 average, and the 5 homeruns, especially considering V-Dubs quick start to last season, where he hit 9 HR in the month of April alone. Wells BB/K ratio stands at 0.51, which is off his 2006 pace of 0.6, but not enough to get terribly worried. (ie a 10 walk/10 K swing over the course of the season would have him right back in line). However when combined with the fact that he seems to be flying out more than last year, (0.58 ratio of ground outs/ air outs as opposed to 0.87 in 2006) a picture starts to develop.

2006 aside, Wells has always been known as a slow starter. The question is, has he lost it? Are we looking at the first third of a down year, or something else entirely? Here are those same stats, projected over the same number of at bats as last year, in comparison with his 2006 totals:

Year AVG AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO SB XBH GO/AO BABIP
2006 .303 611 91 185 40 32 106 54 90 17 77 0.87 .312
Proj .259 611 94 158 47 14 81 50 97 14 64 0.58 .288

Of note is the fact that V-Dub is on pace to hit more doubles than he did last year, and is also on pace to score more runs.

What does all this mean?

I think the numbers above indicate a hitter who isn't seeing the ball well rather than a hitter who has lost something over the previous year. I can hear it now, "oh great, all those numbers, just to confirm that he's in a slump".

What I mean by this is that these numbers, combined with all the at bats I've seen this year lead me to believe that Wells is a hitter that is one adjustment away from a hot streak. He's flying out more than usual and getting under some pitches he's used to driving. In addition, his batting average on balls in play is down 24 points from last year, and 11 points from his career BABIP of .299

Wells isn't hurt, and he's too young to be in decline - he's just streaky, a little unlucky, and hasn't found his groove yet.

So while a slight correction down from last years numbers can be expected given his rough start, the best part of Wells season is ahead of him, and he'll likely score more runs this year with the current Jays lineup (however injury - ridden).

In my opinion, this makes Vernon Wells an excellent buy low candidate - I fully expect his numbers to trend upwards as he hits his stride, and the Jays lineup gets healthier.

<end snip>

I'd be interested in hearing a few other opinions. If you want to see the numbers formatted a little better, hit the blog link in my profile. I've been watching VW all year long, and I think it's just a matter of time - selling him at a discount now would be a bad idea.

FH
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Re: Is Vernon Wells Injured?

Postby thax » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:56 am

great info right there...definitely makes me feel better as a V Wells owner

and agree...he's too young and talented be putting up these numbers. he's known as a streaky hitter and I fully expect him to get out of this slump pretty soon. until then, I have no problem with him riding the bench on my team
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Re: Is Vernon Wells Injured?

Postby ha_jai » Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:21 pm

Yes, excellent read. Insightful and informative. Hope Wells can bounce back and be a productive player. Anyone know why he is not stealing? Thought the Jays were going to let him run more.
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Re: Is Vernon Wells Injured?

Postby Fritzenhammer » Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:32 pm

ha_jai wrote:Yes, excellent read. Insightful and informative. Hope Wells can bounce back and be a productive player. Anyone know why he is not stealing? Thought the Jays were going to let him run more.


Thanks for the compliments.

As for Wells stealing, opposing pitchers seem to be making more of an effort to hold him - I wouldn't say he's been particularly hesitant to run. Batting in the 2 hole I'd expect to see him go a bit more - apparently he has the green light, so it's all up to him. Lately it seems like he's been getting hits late in games, where he looks less likely to run.

I'd be surprised if he didn't finish with 10-15 steals this year, at any rate.

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Re: Is Vernon Wells Injured?

Postby charliebrown2 » Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:53 am

he's not stealing because he cant even GET ON BASE!!!!

this guys has been so frustrating to own...i mean even Atkins is slowly starting to turn it around. Good thing I have Pence
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Re: Is Vernon Wells Injured?

Postby Fritzenhammer » Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:52 pm

I feel you there - I can't wait for the hot streak that erases all this pain.

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Re: Is Vernon Wells Injured?

Postby The Loveable Losers » Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:59 pm

Fritzenhammer wrote:What I mean by this is that these numbers, combined with all the at bats I've seen this year lead me to believe that Wells is a hitter that is one adjustment away from a hot streak. He's flying out more than usual and getting under some pitches he's used to driving. In addition, his batting average on balls in play is down 24 points from last year, and 11 points from his career BABIP of .299


As a frequent watcher of Blue Jays games I can say this fits in really well with what I'm seeing. His timing is off and he's not picking up the ball well. He's out in front or late a lot and he seems fooled quite often on breaking pitches (he's convinced they're fastballs). I think there's a very good chance that you're dead-on - he's one adjustment away from a hot streak. Whether he makes that adjustment or not is another question but from everything I've heard about him he doesn't seem like the type that's going to sit back and get complacent just because he got a big contract.
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Re: Is Vernon Wells Injured?

Postby Fritzenhammer » Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:06 pm

The Loveable Losers wrote:
Fritzenhammer wrote:What I mean by this is that these numbers, combined with all the at bats I've seen this year lead me to believe that Wells is a hitter that is one adjustment away from a hot streak. He's flying out more than usual and getting under some pitches he's used to driving. In addition, his batting average on balls in play is down 24 points from last year, and 11 points from his career BABIP of .299


As a frequent watcher of Blue Jays games I can say this fits in really well with what I'm seeing. His timing is off and he's not picking up the ball well. He's out in front or late a lot and he seems fooled quite often on breaking pitches (he's convinced they're fastballs). I think there's a very good chance that you're dead-on - he's one adjustment away from a hot streak. Whether he makes that adjustment or not is another question but from everything I've heard about him he doesn't seem like the type that's going to sit back and get complacent just because he got a big contract.


Yes the one stat I left out is post-pop-up expletives - V-Dub is near the top of that one for sure...:) He really seems to get worked up when he misses a pitch.

I'm in the process of trading for Wells in a couple of leagues - right now would be a great time for him to start that turnaround.

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Re: Is Vernon Wells Injured?

Postby The Loveable Losers » Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:35 pm

Fritzenhammer wrote:
The Loveable Losers wrote:
Fritzenhammer wrote:What I mean by this is that these numbers, combined with all the at bats I've seen this year lead me to believe that Wells is a hitter that is one adjustment away from a hot streak. He's flying out more than usual and getting under some pitches he's used to driving. In addition, his batting average on balls in play is down 24 points from last year, and 11 points from his career BABIP of .299


As a frequent watcher of Blue Jays games I can say this fits in really well with what I'm seeing. His timing is off and he's not picking up the ball well. He's out in front or late a lot and he seems fooled quite often on breaking pitches (he's convinced they're fastballs). I think there's a very good chance that you're dead-on - he's one adjustment away from a hot streak. Whether he makes that adjustment or not is another question but from everything I've heard about him he doesn't seem like the type that's going to sit back and get complacent just because he got a big contract.


Yes the one stat I left out is post-pop-up expletives - V-Dub is near the top of that one for sure...:) He really seems to get worked up when he misses a pitch.

I'm in the process of trading for Wells in a couple of leagues - right now would be a great time for him to start that turnaround.

FH


I just got a deal where I gave up VW and the equivalent of a 15th round pick in 2008 for Zambrano and the equivalent of a 10th round pick in 2008 VETOED by the league on the grounds that VW is worthless. And this was before Zambrano turned things around the last two starts. So his value is at an all-time low and some people truly believe that's where it belongs. One of the owners that vetoed the deal in one league is seriously considering moving Wells to me for Dan Uggla.

Oh, and as for pop-up expletives I think VW is definitely near the top. He always looks like a guy that wants to hit something and can't find a thing to hit.
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Is Vernon Wells Injured?

Postby kemper5 » Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:48 pm

I just do not see him doing anything close to what his average has been over the last 5 years. In 5 years he has averaged 28 HR's, 98 RBI's and has had a .287 ave. Now, with 1/2 the season almost in the books and fast approaching Vernon has to produce basically a 25 HR, 70 RBI's and a .300 ave from here on out just to even break even on his averages. Even though I hate to say it, I do not see this happening and see a very 15-18 HR, 65-72 RBI, .270 season which is far off his mark. He will have to catch absolute fire and not let down to put in his usual 30 HR, 100 RBI type season. Go Vernon :B
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