Tuesday, August 03, 2004


In the wake of the BALCO scandal earlier in the year, I suggested that some hooligans were going around impersonating famous MLB players. Well, it seems the insanity isn't over.

I don't know who's playing 3B for the A's this year, but it sure as hell aint Eric Chavez.

The man wearing Chavez' jersey is hitting .277/.406/.534 (.316 GPA) this year, well above Chavez's career .277/.352/.505 (.285 GPA). If it weren't for that guy in New York, he'd easily be the best all around 3B in the American League this year.

If you really think this is Eric Chavez, then you'd no doubt marvel that his IsoPwr is as high as its ever been, yet his BB/SO has finally cracked 1.00 and his .174 BB/PA rate is almost double his previous best. He's the player Billy Beane has always dreamed of.

He's just not Eric Chavez.

OK, maybe you're saying Chavez is 26 years old, and career years tend to happen around this point.

True. But he's also hitting .333/.435/.600 (.346 GPA) in 105 AB against LHP.

Eric Chavez, on the other hand, is a career .235/.296/.403 (.234 GPA) in 816 AB against southpaws.

And despite all the improvements this guy has actually regressed slightly against righties, one of the things Chavez always did really well. Over his career Chavez is .293/.373/.546 (.304 GPA) against righties, but this guy is hitting .239/.388/.491 (.297 GPA) in 159 AB against RHP. Those GPAs are similar, but consider: he's hitting for the same amount of raw power, but those hits are down and his walks are way, way up. He's getting to that GPA in a largely un-Chavezian way.

Which leads me to ponder: Will those balls start to drop against RHP and improve his overall numbers? Will his newfound discipline stick when he starts to slump, or will he start pressing and resume swinging at balls in the dirt? Has he finally made real adjustments agains lefties, or is this just some sample-sized misunderstanding?

Occam's razor. It's not Eric Chavez.

Thanks to David Pinto for bringing Eric's eye to our attention.

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