Revisiting Hitters Who Switched Leagues in 2010

In 31 plate appearances with the San Francisco Giants, Pat Burrell has raised his wOBA (weighted on-base average) to .336 from the .283 level when left Tampa Bay. His National League slash line is a robust .407/.452/.741. Without fact checking, it's unlikely Burrell had a more productive stretch during his 572 plate appearances with the Rays which left me pondering how have the players who changed leagues fared versus their 2009 production and against their wOBA Marcels projection?

To be considered, a player must have had 100 plate appearances in both 2009 and 2010. First the six players who jumped to the American League:

Yr/Yr

Vs Proj

Austin Kearns

0.092

0.076

Orlando Hudson

0.020

0.018

Jason Kendall

0.000

0.004

Jim Thome

-0.003

0.004

Miguel Tejada

-0.051

-0.032

Garrett Atkins

-0.028

-0.067

Average

0.005

0.001

So Austin Kearns and Orlando Hudson have surpassed both 2009 and expectations, while the two players who came to the American League East Tejada and Atkins have failed miserably. On average,  the group has played to their projection and slightly improved on 2009. What about the new National Leaguers?:

Yr/Yr

Vs Proj

Type

Aubrey Huff

0.102

0.067

Miguel Olivo

0.065

0.086

B

Eric Hinske

0.060

0.072

Marlon Byrd

0.055

0.054

B

Rod Barajas

0.048

0.031

B

Placido Palanco

0.035

0.026

Melvin Mora

0.034

0.018

B

Jamey Carroll

0.010

0.018

Gregg Zaun

0.000

0.015

B

Orlando Cabrera

-0.012

-0.014

Bobby Crosby

-0.013

-0.018

Adam Kennedy

-0.024

0.000

Jason Bay

-0.034

-0.005

A

Jerry Hairston JR

-0.046

-0.054

Aki Iwamura

-0.079

-0.070

Average

0.013

0.015

Huff, Hinske, Barajas, and Mora, all ALE defectors have outperformed. Gregg Zaun is in-line with 2009, but exceeding expectations. Jason Bay and Jerry Hairston have significant park factor swings working against them, which leaves Aki as sole defector without an excuse (injury?). The group as a whole improved their wOBA .013 year/year and .015 vs. the projection.

It should surprise no one that 15 of the 21 league jumpers headed to the National League in 2010. If I'm looking for free agent scraps, average ALE retreads may appear un-sexy on the surface, but often will outperform their National League peers with glossier stats. 

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