2013 Dodgers in Review #10: SS Nick Punto

90topps_nickpunto.255/.328/.327 335pa 2hr .296 wOBA 1.9 fWAR A

2013 in brief: Surprisingly valuable backup, especially when filling in at shortstop.

2014 status: Free agent.

Previous: 2012

******

You know, credit where credit is due: Nick Punto was really, really useful this year. We joked about 2012′s massive Boston deal being “the Nick Punto trade” because you just knew that Ned Colletti was going to get his gritty utility infielder somehow, but Punto paid off for this team and then some.

And really, that’s not how I thought it would go early in the season, when I was busy telling anyone who would listen than BABIP was a real thing and that it was going to get real ugly, real quickly. Still, in mid-May, when things were really bleak and I was desperate to find some positive things to talk about, Punto made the list:

I will be the first to admit that there’s no way in hell that Punto is sustaining a .417 BABIP. When he falls, and he will, he’s going to fall hard. But maybe that won’t be so important later in the season, when Mark Ellis & Hanley Ramirez & Jerry Hairston are healthy, and Dee Gordon may have shown enough to stick around, and ownership has bought Chase Headley and 1987 Ozzie Smith and 1964 Brooks Robinson.

It’s important now, with everyone hurt and Cruz atrocious. Hitting .333/.418/.423… well, it matters a lot.

That uppance did come, of course, because Punto hit an absolutely awful .162/.202/.192 in June & July. But a funny thing happened: after spending most of the first two months spotting at second and third as Gordon & Justin Sellers each tried and failed to fill in at shortstop, he became Hanley Ramirez‘ caddy… and he was really, really good at it. When the bat wasn’t always there, the defense absolutely was, and as the BABIP pendulum swung back the other way, he hit .294/.371/.412 over the last two months.

Due mostly to that stellar defense, Punto was worth two wins over replacement, but even that probably doesn’t give him full credit, because “replacement” assumes that there’s a replacement-level option in the system. As Gordon & Sellers showed us, that’s not always the case.

I’m not sure if we’ll see Punto back next year, but he’s at least made me say something I thought I never would: come on back, Shredder.

******

Next! Justin Sellers, for some reason!

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198 comments
nsxtasy
nsxtasy

I hate these letter grades.  Punto, MEllis, and Schumaker all put up similar numbers and were similar in value to the team, yet their grades are A, C+, and D.  Doesn't make sense.

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

Oh hey, no Autoplay glitch

P_F_P
P_F_P

...Wow. Okay. So the "mandingo" fight from Django Unchained wouldn't have been one of the ten most brutal scenes in 12 Years A Slave. Wow, wow. See it.

BingeSquinger
BingeSquinger

Damn, I guess Mike Scioscia himself was at my school today

BIah
BIah

Overheard in a nearby conversation today, "If a saint poops then would that poop be a relic?"

My university sometimes...

DavidGriffBecerra
DavidGriffBecerra

So apparently msti is all having fun offline tonight.

And I'm just here wondering why I'm 1.4 TLR before 10

Lobo
Lobo

This has to be the slowest day in MSTI history.  Only 168 comments ALL DAY?

efb
efb

I WANT DODGER BASEBALL BACK ALREADY WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

*VND*
*VND*

Butt fumble!!!

efb
efb

you guys are funny

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

Shredder saved us from having to watch Justin Sellers and Dee6 Gordon give away at bats and flub costly errors. Hence the A.

Lobo
Lobo

@DavidBecerra Did you intentionally use "cos" as in the cosine function so it would be sine, cosine, and tangent?


If so, well done

*VND*
*VND*

Is that where all the donuts went?

BIah
BIah

@Lobo There were probably slower days last year when the livefyre era was just getting started, no?

ShutUpMeg
ShutUpMeg

This made me giggle for a long time

*VND*
*VND*

This is also excellent

DavidGriffBecerra
DavidGriffBecerra

Oh when I'm more TLR tonight I'm gonna get myself in trouble with this

BIah
BIah

@LA_Woman Can't, Mike updating Livefyre deleted all comments made before July 29, 2012

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@Lobo @BIah  Yep, I don't think so. Our historian/statistician should probably check that out...

Lobo
Lobo

@^<<**(chị yêu)**>>^ Ha, no.  We are classy in the same way the Dodgers are classy.  Classy uniforms, classy style of play, etc.

*VND*
*VND*

Cardinal fan, is that you?