I am on a bit of shortstop kick here lately. So up today is a discussion of everybodies favorite name to draw out and say outloud, Juan UUUUUUUU-RRRRRIIIIIBBBBEEEE.
When Juan Uribe signed with the Giants last season there were very few expectations. He was coming in on a minor league contract and had put up some poor numbers his last 3 years with the White Sox. However he did have the family ties to the club and was a low risk guy to take a chance on as a backup infielder.
All he has done the last two seasons is produce, This is from a nice piece written up on Fangraphs:
Since his arrival in San Francisco, Uribe has been an important part of the lineup, contributing 4.6 WAR in 215 games. Last season, his wOBA was .351 thanks in part to a rejuvinated .325 BABIP. The power also came back, as Uribe slugged .495, the best mark of his career since 2004. His walk rate decreased to 5.8%, but with the extra bases coming, nobody complained.He has slowed done a little bit going though a rough patch in July but it certainly hasn't hurt the team who have been carried by the Buster Posey show. If the Giants except to win the NL west Uribe will be a major reason for that success.
This season, Uribe’s BABIP has turned Mr. Hyde to 2009′s Dr. Jekyll. Aat .268, one would think a drop that dramatic would cripple Uribe like it did from ’06-’08. However, the infielder currently has a .328 wOBA, solid stuff from a guy playing premium positions. But how has he been able to relatively maintain his offensive value? He’s walking more. A lot more. He’s walking in 8.4% of his plate appearances in 2010, the single highest rate of his career. He does have three intentional walks this season to last year’s two, but that hardly makes up a significant chunk of his newfound patience. ZiPS thinks he’s good for a .330 wOBA for the rest of the year. Simply put, Uribe has adjusted his game this season in light of a depressed BABIP. As has been said before, staying afloat in Major League Baseball requires Darwinian-like adaptation. Juan Uribe has learned how to survive
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