It was quite a season for Mark Teixeira. Like I said last week, it was either the best bad season ever or the worst good season ever. While his .248/.341/.494 line looks week, it still produced a .361 wOBA and a 124 wRC+. Those are fine numbers, but they represent the second straight non-Tex-like year out of Tex. His walk rate (11.1) and his Iso (.246) were right in line with his career averages (11.5 and .250 respectively). However, 2011 featured another sharp drop in BABIP. From 2009-2010, Tex’s BABIP dropped 34 points. From 2010-11, it dropped 29 points. I’ve covered this manty times before, so I don’t need to say much more about it.
The year started off fantastically for Teixeira, which was an oddity in and of itself. In April, he tore the cover off the ball with a .405 wOBA and a 154 wRC+. He dropped off a bit in May, but was still quite productive at .375/134. June was an odd month for Tex. His walk rate was in double digits, but his OBP was a lowly .312 due to a .151 (!!) BABIP. Despite that, he rode a .330 (!!) Iso to a .367 wOBA/128 wRC+. July saw Tex’s OBP go back up to (a still low) .323, but his Iso dropped to .160. In turn, his wOBA/wRC+ slide continued and he turned in a .334/106 split for the month. August bucked the trend as Tex went back up to .351/117, but in September, he dropped back to .330/103.
In terms of fWAR, Tex still pulled in a mark of 4.2, the third highest mark for an AL 1B behind Miguel Cabrera (7.3) and Adrian Gonzalez (6.5) and ahead of Carlos Santana (3.8). This mark is an increase of one full win over 2010, but one full win behind 2009. This year’s performance was valued at $19M, which is below his $22.5M salary this year. So that’s a deficit of $3.5M from Tex this year, which is unfortunate. Given his relatively poor year, though, I thought the mark would be even farther in the red. This is more a function of Tex’s salary, though, and not necessarily his production.
It’d be unfair to say that Tex is broken, but a second straight year of a big BABIP drop and an increasingly fly ball heavy batted ball profile is a bit discouraging. We’ve heard that Tex is going to work with hitting coach Kevin Long during the offseason and hopefully he can run into a few more hits in 2012. I won’t complain about his walks and his power output, but that low BA is dragging down his OBP and making him hit into more outs. As my post from July pointed out, even a return to his career numbers would up his production immensely.
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