Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jason Giambi - A look back

Jason Giambi has now played 6 years with the New York Yankees following his 6 full years in Oakland. While most would consider Giambi a pretty major bust, I thought it would be a good exercise to see how the two halves to his career compare.

Jason has now played 752 games with the Yankees after playing 899 from '96 to '01 with the A's; that's a difference of almost 25 games a year. One thing we can say for certain is Jason has not stayed healthy enough. But how does his production stack up?

First, lets look at Jason's Power Numbers:

HR's - A's - 181, Yankees - 177
AB per HR - A's - 17.8, Yankees - 13.9
SLG % - A's - .553, Yankees - .525

So Giambi's power number were pretty close; he hit more home runs per AB, but his slugging numbers went down slightly meaning less hits.

Giambi's other big ability is his his ability to get on base. How does that compare?

OBP % - A's - .415, Yankees - .409
BA - A's - .311, Yankees - .263

Considering the significant drop in BA it is impressive how Giambi has maintained his ability to get on base. However, the Yankees were expecting an all around top level hitter, not an all or nothing slugger. A couple of more important stats:

AB per K - A's - 5.6, Yankees - 4.2(Over 500 abs, that is the difference between 88 and 120ks)
AB per BB - A's - 5.8, Yankees - 4.6
ABs - A's - 3222, Yankees - 2476

So Giambi's dip in BA can be attributed to a higher strikeout rate which he made up for by a more discerning eye.

Giambi's average numbers do not tell the whole story because he really had monster years in 2000 and 2001 (.333/43/137 & .342/38/120). The end result is the Yankees got an all or nothing brittle superstar, not the MVP caliber beast they thought they were getting. However, his numbers are surprisingly close between the two halves of his career and he performed almost as well as could be expected considering his age.

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