Counterpoint: Don’t Stop Hating on Chris Johnson


Chrisjohnsondefense

Chris Johnson is batting .320, the highest batting average on the team, and this means almost nothing because he is trash and the Braves desperately need a real third baseman. That is a bit of an exaggeration, but only a bit. Certainly Johnson has far exceeded the Braves wildest dreams so far and has been an excellent throw in to the Justin Upton trade. The problem is there is no reason to expect anything but massive regression going forward. I think Frank Wren is a generally excellent GM so I assume his thinking has not been adjusted significantly by Johnson’s start. The average baseball fan though loves a guy with a high batting average and tends to believe things like that can last forever. Certainly most Braves fans have only ever seen Johnson hit for a high average and therefore fully expects him to continue to hit over .300. After all, if a person has never seen a player struggle before they have no reason to think he will ever struggle. Therefore I am here to help explain why my thinking is far more pessimistic towards Johnson than my colleague who posted earlier about how people like me need to be nicer to Johnson.

First off Johnson is terrible at defense. Everyone seems to acknowledge this but Johnson defenders brush this off as if it is just a tiny thing, like it isn’t a bigger deal than playing music too loud in the clubhouse or something. Being bad at defense is just a nuisance but not something truly meaningful such people seem to think. Well no Johnson isn’t just bad at defense he is the worst defensive third baseman in baseball and that is not a little thing. Johnson so far this year is at -6 defensive runs saved and since 2010 has been worth -45 defensive runs saved. This is beyond atrocious. According to UZR Johnson has been worth -7.8 runs below average this year and projection systems have him on pace to cost the Braves between 11 and 14 runs this year. All of this is with Johnson playing the easiest third base assignment ever. With Andrelton Simmons playing shortstop the Braves have Johnson playing no doubles defense right on the line almost exclusively. Johnson still manages to be a disaster at even this relatively simple task as evidenced by the play last week when a ball hit right at him went straight through his legs and was ruled a double. Johnson isn’t just a bad defensive player he is an absolute disaster who plays defense as if he were a deaf, dumb, and blind pinball wizard.

Now if Johnson’s .359 wOBA was sustainable and representative of his true talent level at the plate than his horrific defense would be almost tolerable. Unfortunately, his .359 wOBA is nowhere near sustainable and to act as if it was would be as colossal a mistake as the Braves front office could make. Not all success is created equal and Johnson has a .401 BABIP which no player is capable of sustaining over a full season. While not all high BABIP’s are a mirage everything about Johnson’s profile as a hitter suggests his hot start is mostly smoke and mirrors. Johnson walks in 5.5% of his plate appearances and strikes out in 23% of them. A high strikeout rate is tolerable in a player who strikes out because he is working the count and taking borderline pitches while hitting for a lot of power. Johnson does none of those things. Johnson doesn’t walk and isn’t really a power hitter having hit only 38 homers in his 3 and a half year career. A low walk rate, high strikeout rate, high BABIP, and lack of power all scream about a player heading for an unfortunate encounter with the regression monster. Projection systems ZIPS & Steamer both predict Johnson to either lose value or add no further value the rest of the year and this is a prognosis I agree with.

Certainly as a Braves fan I love when Johnson manages to squeeze another bleeder through the infield. I would love it if he continued to bat .320 for the rest of the season and maintained his .359 wOBA. But I do not think such an optimistic prediction can really be made based on any rational thought process. Thank you Chris Johnson for all you have given the Braves so far and certainly he has been an excellent addition to the Justin Upton heist. That being said a smart GM will still be looking to add a third baseman at the trade deadline. Fortunately, Frank Wren is a very smart GM.

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51 Responses to Counterpoint: Don’t Stop Hating on Chris Johnson

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  28. When getting estimates to replace your garage door make
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    with other recyclable).

  29. I’m not going to lie, it was a pretty long process (about 2 months) to hammer out the details,
    but I was able to pull it off with a few bumps and bruises.
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    these two companies have an equal, if not better, product than any national brand.
    In this article we are mentioning some of the prominent method that will eventually assist the person in decorating their
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    These doors just move in two directions that are downward and upward.

  31. It’s important that this be considered considering uncertain
    economic conditions. Actually, all of them are best choices, but it depends upon the quality of the construction
    and other accessories that are used in making these doors.
    Ziplocs ‘ Used Ziploc bags can be recycled at
    stores offering a plastic bag recycling program (they cannot be placed in your
    recycling bin with other recyclable).

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  34. These are stronger when compared to other kinds of doors and can
    therefore withstand forces. You will want to consider the style of your
    doors to find out which companies carry them.
    Both of these types can adjust in even the smallest of space
    and they do not require any extra space for opening
    and closing.

  35. These are stronger when compared to other kinds of doors and
    can therefore withstand forces. You will want to consider the style of your doors to find
    out which companies carry them. Use a level to trace the location where the new
    header will go and across the middle section
    of framing.

  36. These are stronger when compared to other kinds of doors and can therefore withstand forces.
    For instance, some of the doors will open by rolling up, while others
    will swing open like a door. These doors just move in two directions that are downward and upward.

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    other and animals dressed in clothing items
    can all make for original, humorous digital images that will brighten anyone’s day.
    For instance, some of the doors will open by rolling up, while others will swing open like
    a door. These doors just move in two directions that are downward and upward.

  38. Generally, steel doors are more inexpensive than wooden doors.
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    where the new header will go and across the middle section of framing.

  39. I took my time going through every side hallway and exploring
    everything I could find, so by the time I finished it there was little left for me to
    do. According to your choice and needs you can choose among these four
    types of doors. Park the buggy and walk in to drop
    off the supplies with Dan.

  40. It’s important that this be considered considering uncertain economic
    conditions. Ask any professional and they will tell you that these two companies have an equal, if not better,
    product than any national brand. Use a level
    to trace the location where the new header will go and across
    the middle section of framing.

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    I took my time going through every side hallway and exploring everything I could find, so by the time I finished it there was little left for me to do.

    Actually, all of them are best choices, but it depends upon the quality of the
    construction and other accessories that are used in making these doors.
    Park the buggy and walk in to drop off the supplies with Dan.

  42. Over the past many years, garage doors and repairs have become quite essential part of every family in Las Vegas.
    Actually, all of them are best choices, but it depends upon the quality of the construction and other accessories that are used in making these doors.
    Both of these types can adjust in even the smallest of space and they do not require any extra space for opening and closing.

  43. Over the past many years, garage doors and repairs have become quite essential
    part of every family in Las Vegas. The handle that you select for the door and the insulation will all also contribute to the overall cost.

    Park the buggy and walk in to drop off the supplies with Dan.

  44. I’m not going to lie, it was a pretty long process (about 2 months) to
    hammer out the details, but I was able to pull it off with a few bumps and bruises.
    In searching the perfect and top excellent premium Garage
    Doors it is vital that the person should firstly take help from internet.
    In this article we are mentioning some of the prominent method that
    will eventually assist the person in decorating their Garage Doors in appealing and
    remarkable approach.

  45. It’s important that this be considered considering uncertain economic conditions.
    According to your choice and needs you can choose among these four types of
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  51. #CJ2K13 says:

    Write one about how he just tied a Braves all time record and doesn’t deserve the accolades. I’m guessing that 420ft home run and opposite field line drive double were bleeders in your book. I hope you’re just a huge Chipper fan and upset that he’s gone. The truth is CJ’s performance this year has made the loss of Chipper almost non existent. And if I can recall wasn’t Chipper moved to left field to have Wes Helms replace him at 3rd?? I hope you wrote an asinine story about that too. Everyone has their own opinion so I will respect yours. I just hope you respect my opinion that you’re an idiot!

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