Have You Heard of Blake DeWitt?

I’m postponing my epic post about Trevor Bauer because right now, I just need to vent. (You’ve been warned.)

So. The Dodgers. Yeah, you guys, over there, in the hats that match the one I’m wearing right now. One of your bench players really sucks. His name is Juan Castro, and he has a career OPS+ of 56. That’s right, his offense is 44% worse than the average Major League player. So what is he doing in the Majors? Well, posting a 7.6 UZR/150 at shortstop, but that isn’t really my point.

But let’s put that in terms that are easier for most people to understand. From 2002-2008, he’s provided a little less than a third of a win — one third of one win, over the course of 7 years — to teams on which he’s been. Let that sink in for a moment.

Now, on to the real topic of this post. Blake DeWitt. In 2008, DeWitt was worth 1.6 wins to his team. His OPS+ was 91 — meaning his hitting was 9% worse than the average Major League player’s — during a season in which he was called up from Double-A and somewhat unceremoniously inserted into the everyday lineup. And he had an 8.5 UZR/150 at third base. (That’s the position he was supposed to be playing. He only had to play second base because Jeff Kent’s knee fell off, and I won’t even get into that, because I think we all know how I feel about that homophobic son of a … oh. Yeah. *ahem* Moving right along.)

Look at it this way:

That’s a Wordle giving us a visual presentation of this idea that DeWitt is 5 times better than Castro. And because of the different time spans, we’re actually looking at a much bigger discrepancy than is illustrated in this modern-looking diagram.

But wait, there’s more! Let’s pound this point just a bit deeper into your brain, shall we? Over that span of 2002-2008 (which, by the way, I’m using because it’s the time for which Fangraphs has RAR and WAR data available), Castro was worth -$1.4M dollars in a fair free agent market. He literally should have been paying teams to let him play for them. DeWitt, on the other hand, was worth $7.1M in 2008 alone.

Go look at that Wordle. Are you impressed by Juan Castro? Are you?!


4 thoughts on “Have You Heard of Blake DeWitt?

  1. As a fan of the team that suffered through Juan Castro as the starting shortstop (wait, let that sink in! starting shortstop!) for what seemed like eons, all I can say is HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAawwwwwwww, poor Dodgers. The Twins may not be blessed in the OPS+ department or even the successful-sacrifice-bunt department with their current shortstop, but at least Nick Punto can field.

    (Console yourself with this: You don’t have Tony Batista at third base alongside Juanie. THAT is to know despair.)

  2. Crane, have I told you lately that I love you? Moar stats posts, plz.

    (Also, open question for our readers: Are y’all familiar with the stats Crane is throwing out there? Just holler if you aren’t. We’ll happily explain, or hit you with a link to a better explanation than we could serve up.)

  3. This post IS awesome, but not just for the stats. Living in a AAA town, we get to see the guys who should be called up but don’t get it, and the ones that shouldn’t be called up and get to go to the bigs. Sometimes it’s beyond baffling. Although, we are the AAA-affiliate of the Pirates, so that might explain some things…

    @Minda – I’ll freely admit that I had to go and look up some of the definitions. :)

  4. As a Reds fan, I completely feel your pain; we were stuck w/him twice too.

    Also, fantastic stats and even better graphic representations!

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