Shane Robinson Elects Free Agency: Good or Bad for the Angels?

Updated: November 19, 2016

On November 16th, Angels’ outfielder Shane Robinson elected free agency instead of accepting his assignment to the Salt Lake Bees, the Angels Triple-A squad. The 32-year-old utility man decided to test his luck on the market and hopefully find a bench role on another team next season. Although Robinson wasn’t a well-known name, is it good or bad for the Angels that he elected free agency?

For the 2016 season, the Angels gave Robinson a one-year deal worth $507,500, so the MLB’s minimum salary. Since Robinson’s contract was small, it would have been a bargain for the Angels if he produced at a high level. The problem is that he didn’t produce at all offensively.

In the 2016 season, Robinson’s wOBA (weighted on-base average) was .227, which is terrible compared to the league average wOBA of .320 for outfielders. His batting average of .173 is painful to look at, as well as his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) of .200, which is way below the average of .300.

Even though he was limited to 111 plate appearances, these statistics show how little Robinson contributed on offense. The only thing he did right on offense was draw ten walks for a BB% of 9.0%, which is around the league average.

Although he wasn’t a good offensive player, the bright side of Robinson’s game was defense. He played left field in 34 games for the Angels, putting up a fielding percentage of .983 and a DEF (defensive runs above average) of 4.1. DEF measures how much value a player brings defensively, so Robinson definitely provided value in the outfield.

With the addition of Cameron Maybin, there is no way that Robinson would’ve seen much time in the outfield. Maybin is way better offensively, as shown by his batting average of .315 and his wOBA of .352 throughout the 2016 season, and he will get a lot of playing time in left field because of this.

In baseball, the one statistic that tells it all is a player’s WAR (wins above replacement). Pretty much, WAR describes how much value a player brings to the team. The Angels are lucky to have the MVP, Mike Trout, because he leads the MLB with a 10.6 WAR. It is pretty much the total opposite for Robinson. His WAR was 0.2 in 2016, which according to Fangraphs, makes him a “scrub” positional player.

Even though he was a bench player, he really did not contribute much to the Angels. Good luck in free agency and thanks for being a part of the team, Mr. Robinson. The Angels can definitely upgrade and should fill Robinson’s role very quickly.

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