First and foremost Jose Guillen is not the big bat that Giants fans have been looking for.
He is a mid 30's guy who swings for the fences. That is about all the good things that can be said for him. I am sure the thing that made Brian Sabean's eyes light up are that in 5 of the last 7 seasons he has 20 home runs and even topped 30 in 2003.
However after that he has very little value as can be seen in his WAR average over that same period is 1.46 with a 0.7 for this season.
He is not exactly a contact machine in fact he is pretty bad. He has a career contact rate of 78.9% and a rate of 78%. He has also been a bit of a free swinger this season swinging at a staggering 36.9% of pitches outside of the zone.
He has a below average walk rate, a career rate of 5% and at best a league average strike out rate that has hovered around 20%. This is a big reason for his very poor OBP which this season is a meager .314 that is Bengie Molina territory (he had a .312 OBP this season).
The other thing that would make this easier for me to swallow would be if he had some platoon splits and absolutely mashed against lefties but that doesn't seem to be the case. His career numbers show that he is pretty even against both righties and lefties. He has a triple slash line against southpaws of .272/ .333/ .466 and against righties he has a line of .274/ .326/ .456.
His defense has deteriorated to the point that in Kansas City he was primarily a DH, with the Giants he would most likely be put in right field, his career UZR/150 there is -4.2 not exactly a gold glove guy roaming in the biggest part of AT&T park.
That is pretty yawn inspiring, but that is expected when you are taking the rejects from a last place team that was happy to get anything in return for a guy they were going to put out with the trash. The other warning signal is that he has a reputation as a guy that is a bit of a malcontent but hopefully the push to make the playoffs and a good clubhouse helps counteract that.
If Guillen is a bat off the bench this is pretty good and he is a better power bat then what the team has available in AAA. In this role I hope he has lots of big hits and maybe even some walk off homers. That being said I don't really want to see him get many starts because as regular player he is past his prime and isn't much better then a replacement player.
UPDATE 10:24am: Bruce Bochy is saying that he is the everyday right fielder. Hand to forehead time. Bochy can't resist the veteran presence that he brings. That means Travis Ishikawa is the odd man out. The crazy thing is that they have about the same WAR value even with Ishikawa having about 300 less plate appearances.
I wonder how long it will take before he is hitting clean up?
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