Fred had the job of replacing the one of if not the most feared hitter to ever wear a Giants jersey in left field. That cannot be easy for anyone and I do not envy the task of trying to crawl out the shaddow that was left out there.
Fred has been a polarizing figure during his career by the bay with some thinking that Fred is a decent major leaguer with others falling on the side of thinking he is a bum.
Let's do a quick comparison of some tripple slash lines (AVG/OBP/SLG) to see where he comes down here:
Player A: .281/.339/.449
Player B: .228/.290/.365
Player C: .277/.355/.420
Player D: .265/.306/.401
Player E: .274/.343/.423
Player F: .284/.316/.415
Player G: .245/.292/.403
These are the career numbers of Fred Lewis and the other Giants outfielders. Would it surprise you if I told you that Lewis is player C and has arguably the second best tripple slash line for his career.
Here are the identities of each:
Player A: Aaron Rowand
Player B: Andres Torres
Player C: Fred Lewis
Player D: Eugenio Velez
Player E: Mark DeRosa
Player F: Nate Schierholtz
Player G: John Bowker
Fred compares very well with both Aaron Rowand and better than Mark DeRosa who Giants signed to a 2 year $12 million deal this winter.
This type of move is pretty typical for the Giants front office. Fred Lewis doen't have the track reccord and reputation of a Mark DeRosa or a Aaron Rowand but he is a league average player these are not the types of player that good teams just give away especailly when he still only makes the league minimum.
Over at Fangraphs they have a nice write up on Fred. Here are some of the highlights:
His 109 wRC+ suggests an above average player. 2009 was a down year for Lewis, however, as his ISO dropped from .158 to .132. As a result, his wOBA and wRC dropped to .327 and 98 respectively, the first year in which he has been below average in either statistic. The projection systems see him as slightly above average this year, and ZiPS in particular expects a return to 2008 levels.The Giants gave away Fred Lewis a decent major leaguer for cash or a PTBNL. These are not the moves of savy GM with a roster that is not overflowing with talent.
Defensively, both UZR and +/- are fans of Lewis, despite his poor reputation among Giants fans in Tom Tango’s Fan Scouting Report. Both systems have Lewis between +9 and +11 over his 326 game career, which would still make him a below average position-neutral defender over 150 games.
Overall, not only does that make Lewis an MLBer, but it makes him nearly an average player. There is no way that Lewis is only the 6th best outfielder on the Giants roster. Aaron Rowand is projected to have a similar or worse year. Nate Schierholtz has similar projections. Andres Torres is 32 and projected to be well below average at the plate by both CHONE and ZiPS... Eugenio Velez has put up 201 games of replacement level baseball in his career so far, and the projections don’t see improvement in his future – only a data-starved Marcel projects a wRC+ greater than 90.
Good bye and good luck in Toronto.
Update: Grant over at McCovey Chronicles has some nice thoughts on the Lewis trade. Check it out. Chris at Bay City Ball weighs in with some similar thoughts.