KJ – The Splits

Kelly Johnson 2007 Batting Splits – Baseball-Reference PI

1. Most hitters hit better when they get ahead in the count, but it’s particularly dramatic in Johnson’s case. For instance, ahead in the count 2-0, he’s hitting .480 and slugging 1.160. Down 0-2, he’s hitting .150 and slugging .375. In all two-strike counts, he’s hitting .178/.287/.280.

2. Hitting .300/.388/.467 with nobody out, and a virtually identical .297/.397/.475 with two out, but .228/.335/.441 with one out. I doubt this means anything.

3. Hitting .272/.366/.405 against lefties. That’s nothing to worry about from your second baseman, but not within a mile of what Escobar is hitting. Biggest problem is a lack of power, with only two homers and seven doubles against lefthanders.

4. .852 OPS in the first half, .817 in the second half. This is all batting average — walks and power have stayed the same — and probably meaningless.

5. Has hit a lot better on the road (.301/.389/.506 ) than at home (.256/.363/.417). The one exception is for doubles; he’s hit 18 at home and only 8 on the road.

6. His best spot in the order has been, by far, sixth, where he’s hit .377/.457/.689, but he’s only started 15 games there. Otherwise, Johnson has been best hitting leadoff (.272/.374/.447), which he’s done about half the time.

51 thoughts on “KJ – The Splits”

  1. I wonder if Kelly is more likely to be traded than Edgar. You could have Escobar play 2nd for a year and get superior defense and comparable if not better offense than you’d get from Kelly. A young, cheap hitter like Kelly would seem like a better bargaining chip to bring back a starting pitcher than Edgar.

  2. Edgar is not going to continue to hit at this level. This is his BEST season at age 31 or whatever. Leaves me skeptical. Trade Edgar for what you get. Play Aybar/Prado as Util IFs, who sub in for KJ/Yunel/Chipper when they are injured/tired/slumping. Lillibridge is in the equation too.

    The big question next year, apart from OF alignment, is what to do with Thor. There is no way he clears waivers

  3. Include Thor in the Edgar-for-a-starter deal. Or keep him, since we probably need someone as a backup 1B, and he’ll be cheap.

  4. I agree, but I’m willing to see how the team budget shakes out before I consider which of our “good players” I’m willing to deal.

    I would imagine that if the right starting pitcher becomes available you could see teams ask for any combo of players, depending on their needs.

  5. I’ve been staying up to date on KJ’s year more than any Brave this season. He can look like a star one month then ok the next then….. I sure wonder whats going on this month. Injury? League catching up to him? Too much platooning?
    .326 .473 .593 1.066 March/April
    .259 .322 .426 .748 May
    .256 .356 .360 .717 June
    .356 .427 .658 1.084 July!!!!!
    .269 .382 .452 .833 August
    .209 .280 .284 .564 Sept/Oct

    Personally I think that he is a keeper. If it came to trading him or Escobar I choose KJ because of his more rounded offensive skill set and the because I doubt that Yunel hits .330 again. I still think that Escobar is the more tradeable between him and Renteria. I don’t think that it is out of the realm of possibility that KJ plays LF again either full time or platooinig with Diaz depending on whether we sign Andruw or not.

  6. Dang, hit send too soon.

    If KJ goes back to the outfield then we keep Escobar at 2b and keep Edgar. For those that believe we can get a decent starter for Edgar and Thor put down the crack pipe. Career year fluke or not I sure as heck wouldn’t just give Renteria or for that matter Escobar away for some journeyman schmo pitcher.

  7. I’m pretty sure KJ will play 2B, if he’s playing for the Braves. They’re high on Brandon Jones and I suspect he’s been penciled in as Diaz’s platoon partner for 2008. Plus, as has been said before, KJ’s bat looks a lot better at 2B than in the outfield, though it’s no slouch anywhere.

    If we put KJ on the market, though, I expect the caliber of pitcher we could get in return would dramatically increase. Think Billy Beane would be willing to discuss KJ+ for Dan Haren?

  8. I think KJ has done all we have asked and a little more. He is getting better with the glvoe too.

    I think we have to move Renteria because of the price tag, but it might be safer to move KJ because if Escobar goes into a funk we can find a second baseman.

    I think Thor is gone too. We can find a Julio type guy somewhere. Tony Clark will be out there. Mike Lamb. I don’t know how Sean Casey would feel as a back up. Of course Kelsko might be a nice guy off the bench.

    Here is a list of free agent starters

    Tony Armas (30) – $5MM mutual option for ’08
    Kris Benson (33) – $7.5MM club option for ’08
    Paul Byrd (37) – $8MM club option for ’08
    Shawn Chacon (30)
    Roger Clemens (46)
    Matt Clement (33)
    Bartolo Colon (35)
    Josh Fogg (31)
    Casey Fossum (30)
    Freddy Garcia (32)
    Tom Glavine (42) – $9MM player option for ’08
    Livan Hernandez (33)*
    Jason Jennings (29)
    Joe Kennedy (29)
    Byung-Hyun Kim (29)
    Brian Lawrence (32)
    Jon Lieber (38)
    Kyle Lohse (29)
    Rodrigo Lopez (32)
    Greg Maddux (42) – $8.75MM player option or $11MM club option for ’08
    Eric Milton (32)
    Tomo Ohka (32)
    Russ Ortiz (34)
    Odalis Perez (31) – $9MM club option for ’08
    Andy Pettitte (36) – $16MM player option for ’08
    Joel Pineiro (29)
    Kenny Rogers (43)
    Curt Schilling (41)
    Carlos Silva (29)
    Julian Tavarez (35) – $3.85MM club option for ’08
    John Thomson (34)
    Brett Tomko (35) – $4.5MM mutual option for ’08
    Steve Trachsel (37) – $4.75MM club option for ’08
    Koji Uehara (33)
    Jeff Weaver (31)
    David Wells (45)
    Kip Wells (31)
    Randy Wolf (31) – $9MM club option for ’08
    Jamey Wright (34)
    Jaret Wright (32)

  9. Smitty,

    It honestly would make very little sense to sign Clark, Lamb, Casey or Klesko. The guy backing up Teixeira isn’t going to be playing much, barring injury. Why pay him more than the league minimum?

    And that list caused me to throw up in my mouth just now.

  10. What’s the consensus on Kelly’s defense? I think he’s been pretty lousy. He has absolutely no range going to his backhand side. I’m willing to cut him some slack this being his first year at a new position. He needs to improve, though.

  11. I agree with Jeremy.

    KJ’s not my idea of a good defensive 2B, but, because I love his offensive upside, I’m perfectly willing to be patient with his glove.

  12. I think KJ’s been better than I expected in the field and at the dish. He’s cheap, underrated, and exactly the kind of guy you need to hang on to. And Bobby Cox has been remarkably consistent in praising KJ’s ability to turn two. Bobby’s appreciation for a player can often be exaggeration, but he wouldn’t bring it up this often if he didn’t mean it.

    On that list, I’m with you, Stu. Nearly everyone on that list is both an injury risk AND terrible. The only pitchers I liked as I was scanning the list were Joe Kennedy, Jason Jennings, and Kip Wells — all current or former Rockies. I think I’m insane.

  13. KJ has been servcicable at 2b. He makes the routine plays, and on occasion can make a web gem. I would rather keep him the Edgar for the long term, and let Escobar play SS. We need starting pitching, period. I think Edgar and a whatever package we offer can get us a #3 type starter. Now, if a package including KJ and somebody can get us a top-notch starter, then all bets are off the table…forgive me if I ramble, I had oral surgery today and have been popping percocet like tick tacks….

  14. I do think the one thing KJ really in fact does well is make the quick throw turning two. He gets rid of the ball basically simultaneously with hitting the bag.

  15. I guess when there’s no hope anymore, it’s time to drop the ball all over the field.

    Not exactly laying down, but enough to give Mets fans pause.

  16. Ron,

    If it comes down to trading either Escobar or Johnson, I vote Escobar.

    The whole reason the Braves want to trade Renteria is free up his six million salary.

  17. You could have Escobar play 2nd for a year and get superior defense…

    Where do you get this?

    Kelly Johnson at second base: 131 games, .979 fielding percentage.

    Yunel Escobar at second base: 21 games, .963 fielding percentage.

    Escobar’s total fielding percentage is .962, his fielding percentage at shortstop is .975 and at third base it’s .923.

  18. After hearing that the Mets are now down 3-0 to St. Louis, Skip chimes in: “I’d say the ‘pucker factor’ in New York is very high right now.”

    An understatement.

  19. Philles win + Padres win + Mets loss = Mets, at least for one night, not in the playoffs.

    Phillies would lead division (they won the season series) and the Padres would lead the wildcard. The Mets would no longer control their own destiny.

  20. After all the Shea-fan blabber this year, I was kinda amazed that the Yanks clinched the post-season before the Mets. But the idea of the Mets actually missing the playoffs never crossed my mind.

    Now it makes me smile.

  21. The Mets would no longer control their own destiny.

    Well, technically if the Mets and Phillies end the season in a tie for the division and neither one wins the Wild Card, there will be a one-game playoff.

  22. It’s just so painful to see the Braves not to win the division which is so winnable this year…

    I blame Kyle Davies, Mark Redman, Lance Cormier and Buddy Carlyle.

  23. Well, technically if the Mets and Phillies end the season in a tie for the division and neither one wins the Wild Card, there will be a one-game playoff.

    I thought the winner of the season series was the division winner if the regular season ends with the Mets and Phillies holding the same record?

  24. if you’re a Mets fan, what’s worse right now – that Pedro is getting beat in crunch time, or that Joel Pineiro is beating your team when it needs to win? Yes, I too smile.

    Along with wishing ill-will on the Mets, I’m hoping the Brewers beat out the Cubs.

    I do want to warn everyone, though, that if Philly makes the playoffs, and then rides this wave to glory – the fans in Philadelphia will be so awful that you’ll be wishing for Mets fans. (this seems crazy now; but it won’t of this happens. Trusy me, I know these people, and they’re terrible terrible losers AND winners)

  25. Mets fans are worse when they win than Phillies fans. Plus Mets fans are funnier when their team loses.

    Mets’ blog:

    “How much are the Phillies paying the Braves to bend over????”

  26. Take it from someone who lives between Philly and NY and is a Braves fan. Mets fans are much much worse… Annoying fools

  27. I hate Mets fans, but if you’re saying that I don’t think you’ve lived in Philly. Their football team gets more press because they win more, but in the end that town is my least favorite for sports fans.

  28. The real question is how much Mets management is paying THEIR team to lose. I mean, what’s that payroll?

  29. For the record, even if “J-Roll” would be insufferable about it, I’m cool with the Phillies taking the division just as long as the Padres or the Rockies win the WC. the Mets.

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