Monday, August 2, 2010

Bowkermania! Comes to an End

The flame of hope that Bowkermania would return to San Francisco has been distinguished.

John Bowker has been traded along with Joe Martinez for lefty specialist Javier Lopez. The price seems high for what in my opinion is a pretty marginal bullpen guy; a quick look at his stats to me says that he is finesse lefty with some control issues.I will try to take this as subjectively as I can, but let it be known I do wish Bowker had a better chance.

Was it a great shot? No not really.

Was it enough to really get a sense of the type of player he would be? Maybe but probably not.

His largest amount of playing time came in 2008 where he played in 111 games and had 350 plate appearances. That was a real shot right there, and if nothing had really changed for Bowker and he slid quietly out of baseball after that I think I would have been ok calling him a four-A guy.

However in 2009 Bowker overhauled his approach and went from a classic Giants free-swinger to a much more disciplined hitter. His walk rate jumped like he all of a sudden was the equivalent of the AAA Barry Bonds.

His OBP which had been about 50 points above his AVG jumped to over 100 points above. This development is what makes me feel that Bowker needs another shot. So far it doesn't seem to a one time occurrence either as he has replicated his patience again this season.Since he developed his new approach he has gotten 163 sporadic plate appearances in 2 seasons. 

The Giants had made up their mind about the type of player he was and unless he came up on fire he had the label of AAAA player and would be bounced from the starting lineup after his first 0-fer. Even after a hot spring that got him named to the starting lineup he was pulled after the first game. The last 2 seasons I don't think that there is much more the Giants could have done to make his transition to the big leagues much harder.

I hope that like other scorned guys with the AAAA label from the Giants he gets a second chance to prove himself with his new team. I think that Bowker has some good upside still, he at best could be a slightly above average outfielder with 20-25 homer pop. At worst he could be a platoon partner to a right handed batter and produce 15 hommers and be a league average kind of guy.

 I don't think that he would ever realistically be an all-star caliber player but there is something to be said about having some guys who can produce at an average level that don't cost much.It seems the Giants would rather go after average guys who were all-stars in the past that cost 3-4 times as much.

Enough about Bowker here are the things to know about the guy that we got Lopez:

He has one more year of club control and is eligible for free-agency in 2012.
He has a career K/BB ratio of 1.33, K/9 of 5.54 and BB/9 of 4.17

He is primarily a fastball slider guy who mixes in a changeup. The fastball for his career has been his best pitch coming in at 3.5 runs above average, the slider comes in below average at -3.0 runs above average and the sometimes used changeup at 0.3 runs above average.His splits say that he is better against lefty's, FIP vs. L: 3.80 FIP vs. R: 4.82.

These are not the best numbers in the world and he adds to a bullpen that already has issues with the strikezone. This doesn't exactly ease my fears.

John Bowkers last games with Fresno (July 21-30):

A very nice stretch of games for Bowker who has a hit in 5 multi hit games over his last 10 games. He was hitting for power with 3 homeruns and a double.

10 games 41 at bats .293/ .341/ .537 .877 OPS 12 hits, 1 double, 3 home run, 8 RBIs, 3 walks, 6 strike outs.

Stat Line with Fresno:
5 games 197 at bats .310/ .388/ .594 .982 OPS 61 hits, 12 doubles, 14 home runs, 36 RBIs, 26 walks (3 intentional), 37 strike outs.

.266/ .327/ .473 10 home runs

1 comment:

  1. True I don't think he had a fair chance. Hopefully, he will get a shot in Pitt.