If you haven't heard, Coco Crisp has broken his left pinky finger again while sliding into a base, and he is likely out for the remainder of the season. With all of the talk about 2011's $5.75MM option and how much of this year's strong performance he'll carry into 2011, I'd like to get a little distance from the predictive talk and just marvel at how dynamic of a performance his 2010 season really was.
Now, first off, there's no dodging the big black mark about Coco—he's fragile. Two broken pinkies cut out a large chunk of his playing time, leaving him close to 200 plate appearances shy of qualifying for the batting title. And yet, his performance was so great that we're left to wonder what could have been.
This kind of thing is far easier in little bite-sized factoid form.
If he qualified, Coco Crisp's bat would rank second among all centerfielders.
Coco's .360 wOBA is only surpassed by Colby Rasmus's .374. And even if you included all of the part-time centerfielders (Josh Hamilton, Carlos Gonzalez, etc.), Coco would still rank fifth. That production is a career best for Crisp.
At the rate he was playing, Coco Crisp would have been a top 20 player in all of baseball.
His 3.1 WAR leads every player on the Oakland roster not named Daric Barton. But with a full season of 650 plate appearances? He'd have accumulated 6.1 WAR, which is easily All-Star level.
The last time an Oakland centerfielder put together a better offensive season than Coco this year? Dave Henderson, in 1988.
No, seriously. You have to go back 22 years to find an A's centerfielder with a season wOBA higher than Crisp's .360. Dave Henderson batted .304/.363/.525 for a wOBA of .387 that season.
Both UZR and Dewan +/- agree that Crisp has saved the 9th most runs on defense among all centerfielders—and he's had half the playing time of most of the guys above him.
If you go by UZR/150, which adjusts everybody's playing time to 150 defensive games, Coco Crisp is the second-most talented centerfielder in the majors, behind Tony Gwynn, Jr.
Even in his limited playing time, Coco Crisp has been worth every penny. Oakland really hasn't made too many great free agent signings like this.
Athletics lead the series 1-0
|Mon 09/20||WP: Boof Bonser (1 - 0)
SV: Craig Breslow
LP: Scott Linebrink (3 - 2)
|3 - 0 win|
|Wed 09/22||12:35 PM PDT|