Offseason Homework Assignments - Coco Crisp

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

This week we take a look at Oakland’s centerfielder/lead-off man – Coco Crisp.

In one of the least surprising moves of the offseason, Oakland picked up Crisp's option for 2014. Let's review his 2013 and project for 2014.

By the numbers

Crisp went off and had arguably the best offensive season of his career with career highs in wRC+ with 117 and home runs with 22. Below are his stats. Along with the uptick in power, Crisp also had a career high BB% and career low K% of 11.1%.

G

PA

HR

R

RBI

SB

BB%

K%

ISO

BABIP

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

131

584

22

93

66

21

10.4

11.1

.183

.258

.261

.335

.444

.339

117

Part of the power surge was due to a change in his spray chart. Crisp became basically a dead-red pull hitter. I applaud this. He was a below average hitter to center and opposite so why keep throwing away at-bats, especially to the opposite field. 33% of pulled flyballs cleared the fence, something Crisp probably won't be able to repeat.


Pull wOBA

% PA

Center wOBA

% PA

Opposite wOBA

% PA

2013

0.464

51.0%

0.245

34.4%

0.230

14.6%

Career

0.402

42.8%

0.319

31.8%

0.259

25.4%

Beyond the walks and the home runs, 2013 was actually down year for Crisp. Take a look.


PA/W

AB/1B

AB/2B

AB/3B

AB/HR

PA/SB

2013

9.6

5.9

23.3

171

23.3

27.8

Career

12.5

5.3

19.3

97.9

45.3

19.6

Part of this is that Crisp had his lowest BABIP for a full season at .258. Some of this is due to his career high in fly-ball % (39.6%) and career low ground-ball % (40.8%) of which he beat out a near-career low at 4.9%. Still, xBABIP comes in quite a bit higher so one might feel comfortable saying his .258 was a bit unfortunate.

The season stats don't tell the whole picture for Crisp, who had a drastic left/right split.

Split

PA

BB%

K%

BB/K

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

ISO

BABIP

wRC

wRAA

wOBA

wRC+

vs R as L

318

10.70%

9.00%

1.18

.292

.364

.509

.873

.217

.280

57.8

17.8

.376

142

vs L as R

188

10.00%

14.70%

0.68

.218

.294

.351

.645

.133

.229

18.3

-4.8

.285

79

The left hand split is some kinda nice, but the right hand split is some kinda awful. Seriously, those at-bats would have better suited given to Chris Young (wOBA of .313 against lefties). If that doesn't make a point I don't know what does.

Crisp was also quite a bit better away from the Coliseum. Not too surprising considering a good portion of his production was due to barely clearing fences, which takes a little more umph in Oakland.

Split BB% K% BB/K AVG OBP SLG OPS ISO BABIP wRC wRAA wOBA wRC+
Home 11.30% 12.00% 0.94 .228 .313 .392 .705 .164 .227 28.6 -0.6 .311 100
Away 9.70% 10.40% 0.94 .288 .353 .488 .841 .199 .283 47 12.1 .362 130

Areas for improvement

Hip LHP

The last three seasons, Crisp has wOBA'd .285, .298, and .264. Crisp can't hit LHP pitching anymore. He can't. Oakland has to recognize this and gives those at-bats to Gentry. Giving Crisp days off against LHP gives Oakland the best lineup, gives Melvin a valuable bench player for late game substitutions, and keeps Crisp fresh. Of course, who do I expect to see leading off on March 31st if the Indians start a lefty - Crisp.

Bunt more

That's right, bunt more. Crisp went 6 for 9 last year on bunt attempts and he is 33% successful for his career. 33% matches his career OBP, by the way.

Defense

Crisp doesn't rate as a great defensive CF, at least in the last 3 years. Crisp's throwing arm especially brings down his rating. I don't see him developing a Howitzer at age 34, so I guess we are going to keep seeing guys going 1st to 3rd on singles through the middle.

Swing analysis

I already did this here, but to recap his LH swing was better in 2013 than in previous years, but still not something I would use as an example. Crisp's RH is terrible. I don't know if it has gotten worse (Crisp used to be a decent hitter from the right side) or if it has always been bad. Either way I am giving my software a break after the Swing Grading series.

Projection

I hope my wife doesn't read this, but I am predicting a down year for Coco. At least down from 2013. I can't see the HR-rate staying that high considering the evidence against it. I am going to go .255/.325/.385 with 13 HR. Of course, I would love to see the RH at-bats go away, which would improve his slash line.

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