Grady Sizemore: DL Returnee

Grady Sizemore (knee) – Grady has accumulated 117 plate appearance so far this season with generally decent results. The 28 year old has been on the DL twice (knee injuries) and has missed 154 games since May 19th 2010. This season he has been productive with a 0.266/0.316/0.569 triple slash line. Since returning from the 2nd stint on the DL, he has performed worse (0.226/0.273/0.355) than before (0.282/0.333/0.641).

Grady has always been a productive hitter, but this season the fantasy production is coming from an increase in power, not from getting on and stealing bases. His 0.560 SLG and 0.294 ISO are career highs. Most of the extra power is coming from home runs. He is hitting more fly balls (50%) than any time in his career to go along with another career high 16% HR/FB ratio. His fly ball distance has increase by about 30 feet from 2 years ago. Also, the increase in power can be seen since he has hit more doubles (14) than singles (9) this year.

His desire to hit the long ball has affected his OBP (not this avg this season). He is swinging at more pitches (49% in 2011 vs 43% for his career) and making less contact (72% in 2011 vs 82% for his career) this year. The free swinging nature has led to a 4% walk rate (career low) and a 30% strike out rate (career high). The lack of walks has led to a 0.316 OBP which is 36 points below his career numbers.

Finally, the production from his speed looks to be dead. 0 stolen bases. 1 caught stealing. Out of the 14 doubles he has hit, he as not legged one out for a triple. His 2011 speed score of 2.8 groups him with the catching trio of Kurt Suzuki, Miguel Olivo, and Yadier Molina. His bum knee has drained his speed, for now, and I would not count on any substantial SB in the future.

The Indians seemed to have noticed the lack of speed. After coming off the DL the first time, he only batted in the lead off spot. Since returning from his second trip, he has batted in the 4th or 5th spots in the lineup. Since he is no longer leading off and looks to be protecting others in the lineup, I would expect to see a drop in the Runs score, but an increase RBIs.

Sizemore looks for now to be a different player since he has come back from the DL. It is not a bad change, unless you drafted him looking for a higher OBP and some steals. Right now he has the chance to improve with better speed and strike zone judgment -or- decline because of a lose the power. No one really has a clue (except David Allen and he won’t share his crystal ball). Owners can feel free to hold onto and see what the future holds for the new Grady Sizemore.

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR once, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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11 years ago

I wonder if Grady was hitting the weights during his long recovery from knee surgery. Maybe that explains the additional power? All speculation, of course.