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Bonifacio v.s. Coghlan


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There's three things I'm going to look at. If somebody has another field to add let me know but they're the only three I can think of that really matter. That would be hitting, baserunning, and fielding.


The issue is that people will look at OPS and go boom, that's it, look away. But base running and defense shouldn't be ignored. However, you can't blame the mindset. Hitting stats tell as close of a picture as possible, they're not 100% to a hitters skill but pretty damn close. Fielding and base running, it's probably optimistic to say these tell 50% of the story. So without being able to completely qualify it, it's a lot harder to understand it's impact. So something to remember is that the numbers ahead aren't 100%.


First thing to do is look at hitting.


Over 650 PAs, which is roughly 150 games:


PA     AB      H     2B    3B   HR    BB    SO     BA       OBP      SLG      OPS      TB     BABIP    SB    CS    XR
650    585    158    35    3    12    65    87     0.270    0.343    0.402    0.745    235    0.300    15     5    81.81
650    602    161    20    10    3    48    120    0.267    0.322    0.349    0.670    210    0.330    40    14    69.82

The first line is CC, the second line in Bonifacio. That, to me, is realistically what to expect out of them. It has CC with a 10% BB rate, 15% K rate. Bonifacio with a 7.5% BB rate, 20% K rate. Bonifacio with a .080 ISO, Coghlan with a .130 ISO. .300 BABIP for CC, .330 BABIP for Bonifacio.


So obviously CC is the better hitter. Rounding up, you're basically looking at 82 runs created by Coghlan with his bat and SBs and Bonifacio with 70, so a 12 run difference.


Now defense is a lot harder to quantify. not just because of that stats, but because we don't really have a sample size to go by. Bonifacio has only played 393 innings at second base in the majors, Coghlan just 7 lol.


The guys over at Baseball Prospectus have tried to quantify MILB defense. However, the methods they use are far from great. Hell, even the guys writing articles at BP use different fielding stats like UZR and plus/minus rather than their own. But it's all we have to go by atm.


Going by their numbers, Bonifacio has been at about +3 runs over 150 games since '06. Coghlan has been at a whopping -13. However, he was at -18 in 106 games in 2007, his first time playing second base. In 2008, he was -2 in 114 games. Quite an improvement.


So far in the majors, Bonifacio has a +0.4 UZR in in 393 innings and a +3 in 371 innings for plus/minus (don't have this years data). Most of his downfall has been through errors, just a .960 FP at the position. But errors should be expected, he had just a .964 FP in the minors and scout reports said that while he has plus range, he does commit a lot of errors. His range should certainly overcome his errors and still be a plus defender. The scouting reports for Coghlan say that he should be around an average defensive 2nd baseman.


Personally, I'm under the assumption that Bonifacio is going to be at around +5 to +10 runs on defense, with Cohglan being +0 to -5 runs. So basically about a 10 run difference on defense.


That means that if you give a +12 edge to Coghlan with the bat and a +10 edge to Bonifacio with the glove, that's only a +2 edge for coghlan.


Which then leaves base runnings.


Now we already covered SBs above, so just looking at normal base running.


Bonfacio's speed is obvious, but he's made a lot of stupid mistakes on the path this year. Coghlan has above average speed but nowhere close to Boni, but he's also a smart base runner.


Bill James has a base running stat, Baserunning Gain


"BR Gain (or Loss if a negative number) is the total of all the types of extra baserunning

advances minus the (triple) penalty for all the BR Outs compared with what would be

expected based on the MLB averages. Zero is average. Plus numbers are above average and negative numbers are below average."


Bonifacio is at +8 BR gain. However, Coghlan is at +6 in less pa. If we pace it out over 650 PAs, taht means Bonifacio would be at +14 and Coghlan would be at +16. This shows that Coghlan's smarts have beaten Bonifacio's speed so far this season. But Bonifacio shouldn't continue to make those stupid mistakes.


The biggest thing is that Bonifacio has potential to be at the top of the league. Combining but sbs and baserunning, the guys at the top of the league are around +30 right now (Crawford, Utley), so will probably finish in the 50's by the end of the season. If bonifacio can get to that level, he'd likely be better than Coghlan. But that's an if.


Either way, even if they are break even on the basepaths, there shouldn't be that much of a difference overall.


However, again, this is assuming a lot of things, like defense. Not only that, but Coghlan has a lot of potential. If he can get a .170+ ISO like he has in Greensboro and AAA before calling up, that not only raises his SLG but also his babip and should improve his BB/K. He could be a mid .800 OPS bat, which is huge from a second baseman.


Meanwhile, Bonifacio really does not have much breakout potential at all. He does not have power potential so pitchers will always attack him, and he doesn't make nearly enough contact to be somebody like Juan pierre. He's at best a low 700 OPS bat, so if both hit their absolute best we're now talking about 20+ run difference on offense. And if Coghlan hits it and Bonifacio doesn't...yeah.


However, I really don't think Coghlan will hit that and will continue to be in the mold of a mid 700 OPS bat with Bonifacio being an upper 600 OPS bat. So at that point it just really depends on how their defense pans out lol.


But if Bonifacio is our long term second baseman, and from that seems to be the indication, that would make Coghlan one of our best trading chips. Lots ands lots of teams would embrace a young cost controlled secondbaseman like CC.

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Trading Coghlan to make room for Bonifacio would be a mistake, IMO. But, hey, what do I know, right?



Coghlan has always been a trade chip and one that many teams would pay dearly for. Even with his slow start to date it's clear he has a bright MLB future. You would think the Orioles would be interested for Sherrill but he isn't I don't think perceived by them as corner infield material which is what they're looking for in exchange. Not trading him for Sherrill is absolutely okay with me, I'm not sold on the latter, but then again you see Matt Capps implode and who knows who to trust in the pen these days.

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