Nationals Baseball: "Wither" Laynce Nix

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

"Wither" Laynce Nix

I appears that Mike Rizzo is running a gambit on Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix hoping that one (or both) might be able to bring him back some draft picks at the end of the year. While I don't love the plan, you can see some logic in it. Gomes is pretty much a shoe-in to be a Type B free agent. Nix is close, and with Gomes eating up at bats vs lefties, perhaps Laynce can sneak his way in as well. Unfortunately Nix is crashing as the year ends. Here are his splits :

APR: .314 / .333 /.600
MAY: .301 / .333 / .566
JUN: .254 /.289 /.465
JUL: .207 /.281 / .362
AUG: .125 / .176 /.125

That's a precipitous fall and as worrisome as the average is the power drop is even more concerning. IsoSLG goes from .286 -> .265 -> .211 -> .155 -> .000. The zero, of course, is a fluke of limited at bats but the drop isn't. He's really hitting the ball worse and worse as the year goes on. I'm not sure he's going to make it to B status. If that's the case then the Nats may have very well given up two fair minor leaguers for nothing.

Of course Nix isn't a key to next year and beyond, and neither were the two guys given up, so it's not like this is the worst thing in the world. Zimmerman is a key (.429 / .500 / .607 in August). They'd like Morse (.452 / .469 / .677) to be. That's better good news than this whole Type B thing is bad news.

On a side note - I strolled over to Adam Dunn's page and looked at his splits.

APR: .160 / .300 / .267
MAY: .204 / .356 / .387
JUN: .136 / .240 /.258
JUL: .145 / .270 /.276
AUG: .167 / .259 / .292

Outside of May, where he both walked a bunch and hit for respectable (but not Dunn-ian) pop he's been remarkably consistent in his suck. That's weird, right? Guys fluctuate all the time. You have good months and bad months, months you hit a bunch of homers and month you walk a ton. Dunn has had very little variation. Super low average, some walks, not enough power. Every month.


traderkirk said...

What two guys?

Harper said...

Manno and Rhinehart (traded for Gomes) I'm saying that even if they don't get a B out of Nix OR Gomes it's ok. Those two are likely something between fringe major leaguers and top level organization fillers. You'd rather have them then have nothing but it's not going to slow progress in any way.

Sec314 said...

Nix has proved to be a poor man's Willingham. Some power, some hard-nosed play, but inconsistent and injury prone.

I was surprised that Rizzo could not deal him (or Coffey) for at least a low A prospect. But actually, I'd rather have Hairston on my bench than Nix, which obviously the rest of the league already figured out.

traderkirk said...

Oh. That's correct. Though in Nix's case if he got B status, you are playing with house money.

Wally said...

The degree of Nix's fall-off feels injury related. He was due for a regression, but not this bad.

I don't think Nix/Gomes was solely about a B pick. I think it was a low cost way to get Davey some pop from LF. The pick was a bonus; and also not guaranteed, since one or both could accept the arb offer. While winning games right now doesn't have as much value as finding another piece for the future, it also doesn't have zero value either.

JDBrew said...

I'm sure it's just my lack of understanding about the free agency rules. But why is Gomes already considered a
type-b free agent whereas Nix isn't quite yet? Nix actually has better numbers then Gomes this year, by only a little, but still slightly better. Is it because of last years numbers? I know Gomes by far out produced Nix last season. Does that account for the difference in status?

Harper said...

Wally - thought about that. You saw the same complete lack of power from LaRoche right before he went down.

I can see it not being completely about the pick, but if it wasn't mostly about the pick then I can't make sense of it.

JDB - exactly. You are ranked (against guys playing similar positions) based on the last 2 years of stats. Top 20% are A, 20-40% are B. The exact formula isn't known but the guys that try to match it are generally pretty close.

Wally said...

Harper said...
I can see it not being completely about the pick, but if it wasn't mostly about the pick then I can't make sense of it

Just to get a few more wins cheaply, no? Rhinehart may actually start to take up space meant for other, younger prospects, and he is probably coming up on the 6 year FA period. Manno, I agree, they could have kept for a while. But if Gomes adds a win over Stairs + Nix against lefties, isn't that a good trade?

Wins now aren't the main focus, but they don't have zero value.