What do people think of Victorino? Despite having a decent year last year, I'm wondering if we can expect improvement this year.
Last year was kind of a funny year for Victorino. His BA was the lowest of his (full-time) career by a pretty good margin, which could scare people away thinking he's in decline. He might be in decline, but he also appears to have had a pretty unlucky year.
Victorino's BB% was about in line with his career numbers, as was his K%, but his BABIP took a nosedive. I'm not sure why this happened. It could have simply been bad luck, which would suggest that a regression may be in order and we see a rebound (of sorts) from Victorino. On the other hand, he hit a career high HR, and his ISO was the highest of his career. That could be indicative of Victorino trying to hit for more power, resulting in more flyballs and fewer line drives (which could drive down the BABIP).
If the former, than Victorino could really be in for a nice year. 15+HR, 30+SB, 90+R, 60+RBI and back to his typical .280+BA would be a safe projection in that case. If he's trading average for power, then he's not quite as intriguing a player (though could still see a bit of a rebound in BA).
So anyone in the know have a read on this? Where are people projecting Victorino goes? 5th round? 6th round? If his BABIP indicates an unlucky year, that could turn into a nice value pick.
"The game has a cleanness. If you do a good job, the numbers say so. You don't have to ask anyone or play politics. You don't have to wait for the reviews." - Sandy Koufax
Charlie Manuel had this to say "First of all, I think he got a little bit more home-run happy. That might have had something to do with it. But also, I think it might have been the fact that we’ve been successful. We’ve won games and went to a couple World Series. It might be a relaxation thing or something like that."
He goes on further to criticize Victorino's focus. Now I think the more relevant part is the first half, where Manuel talks about The Flying Hawaiian swinging for the fences. There aren't huge discrepancies from his career numbers, but FB% was up 2.5 points from his career average, contact rate was down 2.5%, his swinging strike rate was up almost half a point, and his contact rate was down a point and a half. Like I said, small deceases across the board but paired with Manuel's assumption we can guess that Victorino may have been trying to hit more homeruns. This likely accounted for some, but not all of Victorino's BABIP. The swing of his peripherals isn't large enough to account for all of the decline, some of it was likely just bad luck. Victorino attributes the down year to a mechanics problem, and if the "mechanics problem" can be fixed then an average rebound could be expected. If a re-tweaked swing gets Shane back hitting linedrives and using his speed, I think an average rebound could be expected. I bet he hits around .280 this year.