Player pages: Baseball Reference, Fangraphs, SB Nation
Shane Victorino: MVP candidate. Strange as it might have sounded last spring, and even now, those words were on more than few lips by the time late summer rolled around in 2011.
Two things derailed Victorino's longshot candidacy: First, a truly brutal September that saw the centerfielder post a .186/.258/.319 line. Second, his two stints on the disabled list, one in May for a hamstring strain, and one in July for a thumb sprain, that limited him to 132 games, suppressed his counting stats and, in the latter case, may have affected his performance for the rest of the season.
At any rate, Victorino had by far the best season of his big league career, with a .279/.355/.491 line, with 5.1 rWAR and 5.9 fWAR, both best among Phillies position players. Prior to last season, I wrote the following about Victorino in the Maple Street Press 2011 Phillies Annual:
The switch-hitting Victorino slammed left-handed pitching [in 2010] to a .321/.381/.539 line, but only managed .235/.306/.386 versus righties. But taking into account his abnormally high BAbip against lefties (.341), and unsustainably low BAbip facing righties (.247), and his relatively even 2009 numbers versus lefties and righties, it's reasonable to expect some movement toward the middle on both fronts.
Fortunately, I was only half right. Victorino improved his numbers batting left-handed to a solid .270/.333/.455, but absolutely thrashed lefty pitching, batting .308/.424/.608 right-handed. His .441 wOBA against lefty pitching was third best in the National League, trailing only MVP runner-up Matt Kemp and MVP winner Ryan Braun. All this despite somewhat low BAbip numbers from both sides of the plate: .292 BAbip batting left-handed, .287 BAbip batting righty.
At age 31, Victorino ought to have at least a few more productive seasons. The first catch? He's only under contract for 2012, and stands to become a free agent at the end of the year. Without an obvious replacement in the minor leagues, and no real permanent fallback on the big league roster (John Mayberry's workmanlike substitutions notwithstanding), there's going to be a good bit of pressure on the Phillies to re-sign Victorino, at a pretty substantial price, particularly if he approaches his 2011 numbers. The situation mirrors Jimmy Rollins' status from this past offseason in a lot of ways, with Victorino being closer to the prime of his career.
The second catch? With multiple stretches on the disabled list over the past few seasons, it's fair to label the high-energy Victorino as injury prone at this point.
As much as Cole Hamels's impending free agency looms over spring training and the season, should an extension not be negotiated, the Victorino contract situation could prove to be almost as worrisome, although the center fielder has been a little less, shall we say, "hard-nosed" in his public stance vis-a-vis returning to Philadelphia for 2013.
As far as what to expect for 2012, should he remain healthy, Victorino should prove once again to be one of MLB's best outfielders, a well-rounded combination of speed, defense, and pop. Real contention for an MVP award might be unlikely, but we can dream, right?
Contract details (courtesy Cot's Contracts)
- 3 years/$22M (2010-12)
- signed extension with Philadelphia 1/21/10 (avoided arbitration, $5.8M-$4.75M)
- 10:$5M, 11:$7.5M, 12:$9.5M
- 2012 salary increases 1) by $1M to $10.5M with either MVP in 2010 or 2011 or 2nd place in MVP vote in both 2010 and 2011, 2) by $0.5M to $10M with 2nd or 3rd place in MVP vote in 2010 or 2011, 3) by $0.25M to $9.75M with 4th or 5th place in MVP vote in 2010 or 2011
- award bonuses: $0.1M for MVP ($75,000 for 2nd in vote, $50,000 for 3rd). $0.1M for WS MVP. $50,000 each for Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, All-Star, LCS MVP. $50,000 each for AP, The Sporting News or Baseball America All-Star
- limited no-trade protection
|1999||18||LAD-min||Rk||55||254||225||53||63||7||6||2||25||20||5||20||31||.280||.335||.391||.726||88||3||0||6||3||0||GRF · PION|
|2000||19||LAD-min||A-||61||273||236||32||58||7||2||2||20||21||9||20||44||.246||.310||.318||.628||75||3||3||12||2||1||YAK · NORW|
|2001||20||LAD-min||A,A+||114||499||441||73||124||21||9||4||32||47||13||39||62||.281||.346||.397||.743||175||3||5||13||1||0||WLT,VRO · SALL,FLOR|
|2002||21||LAD-min||AA||122||550||481||61||124||15||1||4||34||45||16||47||49||.258||.328||.318||.646||153||6||4||16||2||0||JCK · SOUL|
|2003||22||LAD-min||AA,AAA||77||338||307||43||91||10||6||3||24||16||8||22||46||.296||.347||.397||.745||122||4||3||4||2||1||JCK,LVG · SOUL,PCL|
|2005||24||PHI-min||AAA||126||559||494||93||153||25||16||18||70||17||9||51||74||.310||.377||.534||.912||264||4||5||5||4||2||SWB · IL|
|2007||26||PHI-min||AA,A||3||11||11||1||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||1||.273||.273||.273||.545||3||1||0||0||0||0||REA,LWD · EL,SALL|
|2008||27||PHI-min||AAA,A+,AA||5||18||16||1||6||0||0||0||1||0||1||2||1||.375||.444||.375||.819||6||0||0||0||0||0||LHV,CLW,REA · IL,FLOR,EL|
|2010||29||PHI-min||AAA||2||6||6||1||4||0||1||1||3||0||0||0||0||.667||.667||1.500||2.167||9||0||0||0||0||0||LHV · IL|
|2011||30||PHI-min||AA,A||6||25||21||3||6||1||0||1||5||1||2||2||4||.286||.360||.476||.836||10||0||1||0||1||0||REA,LWD · EL,SALL|
|162 Game Avg.||162||638||572||96||160||29||10||14||62||28||7||49||73||.279||.344||.438||.783||104||251||8||9||5||2||2|
|PHI (7 yrs)||886||3546||3184||536||897||164||58||79||350||155||35||274||401||.282||.347||.444||.791||106||1414||38||50||28||10||10|
|SDP (1 yr)||36||83||73||8||11||2||0||0||4||7||2||7||17||.151||.232||.178||.410||14||13||5||1||1||1||0|