My other post title for this was “How odd is Aubrey Huff?” because you probably know by now, whether you call it a dead cat bounce, the roller coaster, upsies-downsies, the odd-even syndrome, you know Aubrey Huff has problems with playing in years that end in an odd number. Why? Iono. Gotta be between the ears though that causes him to do all the nothing he was doing after the 2010 World Series though. I believe they call it “resting on your laurels.” Most people by now grudgingly agree that yea, ok, you helped us to the first WS title we’ve ever seen in SF, you can get your pass… but no more! Dude’s getting paid $10MM in 2012, AKA “money I will never ever make.” As we look at the Giants preparing we look at what needs to happen and no doubt about it, Huff is a big key.
Yea. I’ll say. In fact, while we’re at it, you wanna take a look at his stats from all those odd years he’s played in the bigs? Of course you do. Let’s not pretend you have something else to do:
For those looking at the letter combinations going “WTF?” “ISO” stands for “Isolated Power” which is measured by Slugging percentage minus batting average. Let’s just say an ISO over .200 is pretty good to keep it simple. If you’ve had the uh… pleasure? of reading my stuff before I’ve talked about wOBA and wRC+ before. Both good individual measures for evaluating a player. 100 though for wRC+ is considered league average, so keep that in mind if this is the first time you’re seeing it. The 6 year average is for those 6 odd number years you see there and the 5 year average takes out the year 2011 since he played a lesser number of games then. 2003 was a pretty good year for him, wasn’t it? Tampa sure must’ve loved that when they were horrible. Now let’s compare those numbers to something like his even numbered years:
The year that was taken out for the 5 year average was the year 2000. In those 5 years though, take a look at the magic Huff has been up to in his even years: every year 20+ HR, K% below 14%, ISOs above .200 just about in every year save for that .197, pretty good batting averages, OBPs, wOBA and wRC+ in every year but 2006 where you could say he was a little better than average. The only thing the odd years have over the even years is the number of G and PA he averages, which is interesting but in the end you look at the numbers they put up for a guy like Huff who’s making 8 figures.
Huff says he’s doing the pilates thing that made him what he was in 2010. The dude is -gulp- 35 and he may need to do a little more than pilates to get him back to 2010 form. But he makes it sound like it’s hit him: I gotta be in shape to compete. Pablo’s realized that, Timmy’s realized that, Matt Cain realized it a while ago and Melky figured it out the same time Pablo did. Huff’s figured it out at age 35. Should we expect the world of Huff? No, that wouldn’t be fair. Should we expect a line of over 500 PAs, 20 HRs, 9-10% BB%, an ISO at .180+ and a wRC+ at 110 or higher? Yea, I think that’s absolutely fair and kinda believe in my “I like to believe people” brain that he can do that. I’m not gonna bet anything on it, but that’s what I expect from him.
So to answer the question, “Can Huff 2010 in 2012?” I say the realistic answer is “No,” although he shouldn’t be too far away, but I invite and beg him to prove me wrong.