Biographical

Portrait of Johnny Damon

Johnny Damon LFRoyals

Royals Player Cards | Royals Team Audit | Royals Depth Chart

Career Summary
Years PA AVG OBP SLG TAv WARP
21 10917 .284 .352 .433 .272 46.8
Birth Date11-5-1973
Height6' 2"
Weight205 lbs
Age44 years, 11 months, 12 days
BatsL
ThrowsL
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

YEAR TEAM AGE G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR TB BB SO HBP SF SH RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG TAv VORP FRAA WARP
1995 KCA 21 47 206 188 32 53 11 5 3 83 12 22 1 3 2 23 7 0 .282 .324 .441 .266 11.4 -4.2 0.7
1996 KCA 22 145 566 517 61 140 22 5 6 190 31 64 3 5 10 50 25 5 .271 .313 .368 .246 10.9 4.5 1.5
1997 KCA 23 146 524 472 70 130 12 8 8 182 42 70 3 1 6 48 16 10 .275 .338 .386 .254 13.2 6.0 1.9
1998 KCA 24 161 710 642 104 178 30 10 18 282 58 84 4 3 3 66 26 12 .277 .339 .439 .268 26.8 -11.7 1.5
1999 KCA 25 145 660 583 101 179 39 9 14 278 67 50 3 4 3 77 36 6 .307 .379 .477 .285 37.5 0.5 3.6
2000 KCA 26 159 741 655 136 214 42 10 16 324 65 60 1 12 8 88 46 9 .327 .382 .495 .292 56.6 3.1 5.6
2001 OAK 27 155 719 644 108 165 34 4 9 234 61 70 5 4 5 49 27 12 .256 .324 .363 .248 15.3 10.3 2.5
2002 BOS 28 154 702 623 118 178 34 11 14 276 65 70 6 5 3 63 31 6 .286 .356 .443 .279 38.2 -0.6 3.8
2003 BOS 29 145 690 608 103 166 32 6 12 246 68 74 2 6 6 67 30 6 .273 .345 .405 .260 18.9 4.9 2.4
2004 BOS 30 150 702 621 123 189 35 6 20 296 76 71 2 3 0 94 19 8 .304 .380 .477 .282 42.0 4.8 4.6
2005 BOS 31 148 688 624 117 197 35 6 10 274 53 69 2 9 0 75 18 1 .316 .366 .439 .282 42.4 7.5 5.1
2006 NYA 32 149 671 593 115 169 35 5 24 286 67 85 4 5 2 80 25 10 .285 .359 .482 .279 41.3 -8.4 3.2
2007 NYA 33 141 605 533 93 144 27 2 12 211 66 79 2 3 1 63 27 3 .270 .351 .396 .269 25.5 0.3 2.5
2008 NYA 34 143 623 555 95 168 27 5 17 256 64 82 1 1 2 71 29 8 .303 .375 .461 .286 29.6 -4.4 2.5
2009 NYA 35 143 626 550 107 155 36 3 24 269 71 98 2 1 2 82 12 0 .282 .365 .489 .285 32.6 -8.0 2.5
2010 DET 36 145 613 539 81 146 36 5 8 216 69 90 2 1 2 51 11 1 .271 .355 .401 .265 13.6 0.2 1.4
2011 TBA 37 150 647 582 79 152 29 7 16 243 51 92 7 5 2 73 19 6 .261 .326 .418 .281 17.4 -0.4 1.8
2012 CLE 38 64 224 207 25 46 6 2 4 68 17 27 0 0 0 19 4 0 .222 .281 .329 .232 -1.3 -0.6 -0.2
Career2490109179736166827695221092354214100312575071571139408103.284.352.433.272472.04.046.8

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G PA TAv oppAVG oppOBP oppSLG oppTAv BABIP BPF BRAA repLVL POS_ADJ FRAA BRR BVORP BWARP VORP WARP
1992 BCY A+ 1 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1993 ROK A 127 575 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .336 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1994 WIL A+ 119 554 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .344 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1995 KCA MLB 47 206 .266 .269 .340 .425 .266 .301 96 1.3 6.2 0.4 -4.2 3.6 11.4 0.7 11.4 0.7
1995 WIC AA 111 503 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .338 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1996 KCA MLB 145 566 .246 .276 .347 .440 .267 .296 98 -9.4 17.5 -1.8 4.5 4.5 10.9 1.5 10.9 1.5
1997 KCA MLB 146 524 .254 .270 .337 .424 .264 .309 98 -3.7 14.4 -1.8 6.0 4.3 13.2 1.9 13.2 1.9
1998 KCA MLB 161 710 .268 .270 .336 .426 .264 .295 99 6.2 19.3 0.4 -11.7 0.9 26.8 1.5 26.8 1.5
1999 KCA MLB 145 660 .285 .277 .345 .442 .264 .315 101 19.1 18.4 -4.9 0.5 4.8 37.5 3.6 37.5 3.6
2000 KCA MLB 159 741 .292 .275 .345 .443 .263 .335 101 28.2 21.0 -3.8 3.1 11.2 56.6 5.6 56.6 5.6
2001 OAK MLB 155 719 .248 .268 .331 .432 .262 .274 95 -9.3 19.7 -1.3 10.3 6.2 15.3 2.5 15.3 2.5
2002 BOS MLB 154 702 .279 .269 .337 .433 .270 .301 98 14 18.7 1.7 -0.6 3.8 38.2 3.8 38.2 3.8
2003 BOS MLB 145 690 .260 .272 .335 .434 .266 .292 105 0.3 18.8 1.8 4.9 -2.0 18.9 2.4 18.9 2.4
2004 BOS MLB 150 702 .282 .271 .336 .435 .261 .317 111 17.4 20.9 1.8 4.8 1.8 42.0 4.6 42.0 4.6
2005 BOS MLB 148 688 .282 .265 .329 .422 .262 .338 106 16.3 19.8 1.7 7.5 4.7 42.4 5.1 42.4 5.1
2006 NYA MLB 149 671 .279 .275 .340 .441 .261 .297 106 14.3 20.2 0.2 -8.4 6.6 41.3 3.2 41.3 3.2
2007 NYA MLB 141 605 .269 .267 .332 .419 .262 .297 102 5.9 18.0 -4.9 0.3 6.5 25.5 2.5 25.5 2.5
2008 NYA MLB 143 623 .286 .266 .331 .420 .260 .330 104 17.5 18.0 -4.2 -4.4 -1.7 29.6 2.5 29.6 2.5
2009 NYA MLB 143 626 .285 .268 .332 .432 .261 .305 110 16.7 18.0 -4.4 -8.0 2.4 32.6 2.5 32.6 2.5
2010 DET MLB 145 613 .265 .262 .326 .412 .258 .312 112 3.3 16.9 -8.8 0.2 2.2 13.6 1.4 13.6 1.4
2011 TBA MLB 150 647 .281 .255 .321 .405 .261 .284 99 13.6 17.4 -10.6 -0.4 -3.1 17.4 1.8 17.4 1.8
2012 CLE MLB 64 224 .232 .252 .316 .407 .259 .239 101 -6.2 6.1 -1.7 -0.6 0.4 -1.3 -0.2 -1.3 -0.2
2012 THA int 2 8 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .429 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
Year Team Lg PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG ISO TAv VORP FRAA WARP
1992 BCY A+ 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
1993 ROK A 575 82 148 25 13 5 50 52 83 59 18 .290 .360 .419 .129 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
1994 WIL A+ 554 96 149 25 13 6 75 62 55 44 9 .316 .400 .462 .146 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
1995 WIC AA 503 83 145 15 9 16 54 67 35 26 15 .343 .426 .534 .191 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
1995 KCA MLB 206 32 53 11 5 3 23 12 22 7 0 .282 .324 .441 .160 .266 11.4 -4.2 0.7
1996 KCA MLB 566 61 140 22 5 6 50 31 64 25 5 .271 .313 .368 .097 .246 10.9 4.5 1.5
1997 KCA MLB 524 70 130 12 8 8 48 42 70 16 10 .275 .338 .386 .110 .254 13.2 6.0 1.9
1998 KCA MLB 710 104 178 30 10 18 66 58 84 26 12 .277 .339 .439 .162 .268 26.8 -11.7 1.5
1999 KCA MLB 660 101 179 39 9 14 77 67 50 36 6 .307 .379 .477 .170 .285 37.5 0.5 3.6
2000 KCA MLB 741 136 214 42 10 16 88 65 60 46 9 .327 .382 .495 .168 .292 56.6 3.1 5.6
2001 OAK MLB 719 108 165 34 4 9 49 61 70 27 12 .256 .324 .363 .107 .248 15.3 10.3 2.5
2002 BOS MLB 702 118 178 34 11 14 63 65 70 31 6 .286 .356 .443 .157 .279 38.2 -0.6 3.8
2003 BOS MLB 690 103 166 32 6 12 67 68 74 30 6 .273 .345 .405 .132 .260 18.9 4.9 2.4
2004 BOS MLB 702 123 189 35 6 20 94 76 71 19 8 .304 .380 .477 .172 .282 42.0 4.8 4.6
2005 BOS MLB 688 117 197 35 6 10 75 53 69 18 1 .316 .366 .439 .123 .282 42.4 7.5 5.1
2006 NYA MLB 671 115 169 35 5 24 80 67 85 25 10 .285 .359 .482 .197 .279 41.3 -8.4 3.2
2007 NYA MLB 605 93 144 27 2 12 63 66 79 27 3 .270 .351 .396 .126 .269 25.5 0.3 2.5
2008 NYA MLB 623 95 168 27 5 17 71 64 82 29 8 .303 .375 .461 .159 .286 29.6 -4.4 2.5
2009 NYA MLB 626 107 155 36 3 24 82 71 98 12 0 .282 .365 .489 .207 .285 32.6 -8.0 2.5
2010 DET MLB 613 81 146 36 5 8 51 69 90 11 1 .271 .355 .401 .130 .265 13.6 0.2 1.4
2011 TBA MLB 647 79 152 29 7 16 73 51 92 19 6 .261 .326 .418 .156 .281 17.4 -0.4 1.8
2012 THA int 8 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .429 .500 .429 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2012 CLE MLB 224 25 46 6 2 4 19 17 27 4 0 .222 .281 .329 .106 .232 -1.3 -0.6 -0.2

Plate Discipline

YEAR PITCHES ZONE_RT SWING_RT CONTACT_RT Z_SWING_RT O_SWING_RT Z_CONTACT_RT O_CONTACT_RT SW_STRK_RT CSAA_CHANCES CSAA_RT
2008 2451 0.5341 0.4153 0.8615 0.5768 0.2303 0.9099 0.7224 0.1385 1207 -0.006958
2009 2505 0.4962 0.4200 0.8298 0.5817 0.2607 0.8769 0.7264 0.1702 1204 -0.006445
2010 2491 0.5058 0.4448 0.8285 0.6135 0.2721 0.8745 0.7224 0.1715 1099 -0.000662
2011 2553 0.5041 0.4665 0.8060 0.6503 0.2796 0.8650 0.6667 0.1940 1085 0.001713
2012 882 0.5363 0.4308 0.8737 0.5814 0.2567 0.9309 0.7238 0.1263 415 -0.006100
Career108820.5120.43640.83460.60390.26060.88540.71040.16541088.7724-0.0033

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2012-07-03 2012-07-04 DTD 1 1 Right Thigh Tightness Hamstring - -
2012-06-30 2012-07-02 DTD 2 2 - Thigh Strain Hamstring - -
2011-09-05 2011-09-07 DTD 2 2 Right Lower Leg Contusion - -
2011-07-10 2011-07-15 DTD 5 1 Left Hand Contusion HBP - -
2011-04-18 2011-04-21 DTD 3 3 Left Fingers Fracture Tip Ring Finger -
2011-04-03 2011-04-05 DTD 2 1 Right Lower Leg Tightness Calf -
2010-07-30 2010-08-03 DTD 4 3 Low Back Spasms -
2010-07-23 2010-07-24 DTD 1 0 - General Medical Illness Food Poisoning - -
2010-05-06 2010-05-08 DTD 2 0 Right Lower Leg Strain Calf -
2010-03-10 2010-03-11 Camp 1 0 Sprain Turf Toe -
2009-11-05 2009-11-05 DTD 0 0 - Lower Leg Strain Calf - -
2009-09-10 2009-09-13 DTD 3 2 Back Soreness -
2009-08-30 2009-08-30 DTD 0 0 Lower Leg Soreness Calf -
2009-08-22 2009-08-23 DTD 1 1 Right Knee Contusion Foul Ball -
2009-07-19 2009-07-20 DTD 1 1 Low Back Tightness -
2009-07-18 2009-07-18 DTD 0 0 - Low Back Stiffness - -
2009-06-27 2009-06-28 DTD 1 1 General Medical Illness -
2009-06-21 2009-06-21 DTD 0 0 Left Lower Leg Tightness Calf -
2009-06-12 2009-06-12 DTD 0 0 - General Medical Other Vision Problems - -
2009-05-21 2009-05-22 DTD 1 1 Low Back Soreness -
2009-04-26 2009-04-26 DTD 0 0 Bilateral Knee Soreness -
2009-04-14 2009-04-15 DTD 1 1 General Medical Respiratory Flu -
2008-08-28 2008-08-28 DTD 0 0 Right Wrist Contusion HBP - -
2008-08-11 2008-08-12 DTD 1 1 Right Shoulder Soreness - -
2008-07-05 2008-07-21 15-DL 16 11 Left Shoulder Sprain -
2008-06-23 2008-06-27 DTD 4 2 Left Foot Strain Arch -
2008-03-24 2008-03-27 Camp 3 0 General Medical Respiratory Flu -
2008-03-12 2008-03-13 Camp 1 0 Right Foot Contusion Foul Ball -
2007-07-04 2007-07-04 DTD 0 0 - Strain Oblique - -
2007-06-25 2007-06-26 DTD 1 0 Right Trunk Sprain Costochondral -
2007-06-14 2007-06-16 DTD 2 2 Abdomen Strain Oblique -
2007-05-27 2007-05-27 DTD 0 0 Bilateral Lower Leg Soreness - -
2007-05-26 2007-05-26 DTD 0 0 Bilateral Lower Leg Cramp Calf -
2007-05-17 2007-05-18 DTD 1 1 Right Lower Leg Soreness Calf -
2007-05-10 2007-05-10 DTD 0 0 Right Lower Leg Cramp Calf -
2007-05-05 2007-05-06 DTD 1 1 Right Lower Leg Cramp Calf -
2007-04-30 2007-05-03 DTD 3 1 - Low Back Soreness - -
2007-04-28 2007-04-28 DTD 0 0 Low Back Soreness -
2007-04-23 2007-04-23 DTD 0 0 - Thigh Soreness Hamstring - -
2007-04-21 2007-04-21 DTD 0 0 Thigh Strain Hamstring -
2007-04-03 2007-04-07 DTD 4 2 Right Lower Leg Strain Calf -
2006-09-20 2006-09-24 DTD 4 3 Right Hand Laceration Diving Catch -
2006-08-10 2006-08-10 DTD 0 0 Right Groin Soreness -
2006-07-24 2006-07-26 DTD 2 2 Low Back Soreness -
2006-07-16 2006-07-17 DTD 1 1 Lower Leg Strain Calf -
2006-07-06 2006-07-08 DTD 2 2 Right Abdomen Strain Oblique -
2006-06-15 2006-06-15 DTD 0 0 Right Thigh Soreness Hamstring -
2006-06-09 2006-06-09 DTD 0 0 Elbow Inflammation -
2006-05-31 2006-06-01 DTD 1 1 Right Foot Inflammation Bone Chip of Sesamoid -
2006-05-24 2006-05-26 DTD 2 1 Right Foot Inflammation Bone Chip of Sesamoid -
2006-05-16 2006-05-16 DTD 0 0 Right Foot Inflammation Bone Chip of Sesamoid -
2006-04-26 2006-04-26 DTD 0 0 Right Foot Fracture Sesamoid -
2006-03-14 2006-03-22 Camp 8 0 Left Shoulder Inflammation -
2005-09-21 2005-09-23 DTD 2 1 Left Shoulder Soreness Cortisone Injection -
2005-09-12 2005-09-15 DTD 3 3 Left Shoulder Inflammation -
2005-09-10 2005-09-11 DTD 1 1 Left Shoulder Inflammation -
2005-09-05 2005-09-06 DTD 1 1 Left Shoulder Inflammation -
2005-08-29 2005-08-29 DTD 0 0 Hand Contusion HBP -
2005-08-13 2005-08-15 DTD 2 1 Left Thigh Strain Hamstring -
2005-07-07 2005-07-08 DTD 1 1 Right Shoulder Soreness - -
2005-06-19 2005-06-20 DTD 1 1 Right Shoulder Strain Rotator Cuff -
2005-06-13 2005-06-13 DTD 0 0 Right Foot Soreness Heel - -
2005-06-05 2005-06-07 DTD 2 2 Right Shoulder Stiffness -
2005-05-31 2005-05-31 DTD 0 0 Face Laceration Running Into Structure -
2005-04-09 2005-04-10 DTD 1 1 Left Arm Laceration -
2005-03-15 2005-03-15 On-Alr 0 0 Right Ankle Infection -
2005-03-15 2005-03-19 Camp 4 0 Groin Infection -
2004-09-03 2004-09-07 DTD 4 4 Right Fingers Sprain Little Finger -
2004-05-30 2004-05-30 DTD 0 0 Left Knee Contusion Foul Ball -
2004-04-10 2004-04-15 DTD 5 2 Left Knee Contusion Foul Ball -
2004-03-06 2004-03-06 Camp 0 0 - Elbow Soreness -
2003-10-07 2003-10-11 DTD 4 0 - Head Concussion Player Collision While Fielding -
2003-09-17 2003-09-21 DTD 4 4 - Abdomen Strain -
2003-08-31 2003-09-01 DTD 1 1 Left Knee Contusion -
2003-08-16 2003-08-19 DTD 3 2 Right Thigh Soreness Hamstring -
2003-07-10 2003-07-12 DTD 2 2 Left Hip Contusion - -
2003-06-15 2003-06-15 DTD 0 0 - General Medical Illness - -
2003-03-12 2003-03-13 Camp 1 0 Left Elbow Strain -
2002-09-15 2002-09-16 DTD 1 1 Right Knee Cartilage Injury - -
2002-08-23 2002-08-24 DTD 1 1 Right Fingers Dislocation Ring Finger - -
2002-08-05 2002-08-07 DTD 2 1 Right Knee Soreness - -
2002-07-03 2002-07-03 DTD 0 0 - Lower Leg Cramp - -
2002-06-23 2002-06-25 DTD 2 1 Left Thumb Soreness - -
2002-04-27 2002-04-30 DTD 3 2 Right Thigh Strain Hamstring - -
2002-04-20 2002-04-21 DTD 1 0 Left Fingers Contusion Middle Finger - -
2001-09-08 2001-09-10 DTD 2 2 Left Thumb Soreness - -
2001-07-24 2001-07-24 DTD 0 0 - Shoulder Soreness - -
2001-03-19 2001-03-21 Camp 2 0 - Shoulder Soreness - -
2000-09-05 2000-09-05 DTD 0 0 Right Shoulder Soreness - -
2000-08-04 2000-08-05 DTD 1 1 Left Trunk Soreness Ribcage - -
2000-07-14 2000-07-14 DTD 0 0 - General Medical Illness Flu-like - -
2000-05-02 2000-05-02 DTD 0 0 - Lower Leg Soreness Calf - -
2000-04-23 2000-04-25 DTD 2 1 - Fingers Sprain Middle Finger - -
1999-09-15 1999-10-02 DTD 17 15 - Trunk Strain Ribcage - -
1999-06-14 1999-06-14 DTD 0 0 - Lower Leg Contusion HBP - -
1998-03-01 1998-03-17 Camp 16 0 Bilateral Lower Leg Strain Calf - -

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2012 CLE $1,250,000
2011 TBA $5,250,000
2010 DET $8,000,000
2009 NYA $13,000,000
2008 NYA $13,000,000
2007 NYA $13,000,000
2006 NYA $13,000,000
2005 BOS $8,500,000
2004 BOS $8,000,000
2003 BOS $7,500,000
2002 BOS $7,250,000
2001 OAK $7,100,000
2000 KCA $4,000,000
YearsDescriptionSalary
13 yrPrevious$108,850,000
13 yrTotal$108,850,000

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
16 y 51 dScott Boras1 year/$1.25M (2012)

Details
  • 1 year/$1.25M (2012). Signed by Cleveland as a free agent 4/13/12 (minor-league contract). May earn additional $1.4M in performance bonuses. Contract purchased by Cleveland 5/1/12. DFA by Cleveland 8/3/12. Released by Cleveland 8/9/12.
  • 1 year/$5.25M (2011). Signed by Tampa Bay as a free agent 1/22/11. Attendance bonuses: $0.15M each for 1.75, 1.85, 1.95, 2.05, 2.15 million in Tampa Bay attendance.
  • 1 year/$8M (2010). Signed by Detroit as a free agent 2/22/10. No-trade clause.
  • 4 years/$52M (2006-09). Signed by NY Yankees as a free agent 12/05. 06-09:$13M/year. No-trade protection.
  • 4 years/$31M (2002-05). Signed by Boston as a free agent 12/01. 02:$7M, 03:$7.5M, 04:$8M, 05:$8.5M.
  • 1 year/$7.1M (2001). Acquired by Oakland in trade from Kansas City 1/01. Signed by Oakland 2/01 (avoided arbitration).
  • 1 year/$4M (2000). Re-signed by Kansas City 2/00 (avoided arbitration).
  • 1 year/$2.1M (1999). Re-signed by Kansas City 2/99 (avoided arbitration).
  • 1 year/$0.4M (1998). Re-signed by Kansas City 2/98.
  • 1 year/$0.24M (1997). Re-signed by Kansas City 2/97.
  • 1 year/$0.16M (1996). Re-signed by Kansas City 2/96.
  • Drafted by Kansas City 1992 (1s-35) (Dr. Phillips HS, Orlando, Fla.)

2018 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

PCT PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG TAv VORP FRAA WARP
Weighted Mean???????????.000.000.000.0000.0?0.0

Comparable Players (Similarity Index )

Rank Score Name Year TAv Trend

BP Annual Player Comments

YearComment
2012 At last, the local kid returned. The Rays efforts to claim Damon on waivers the season beforehand were negated by Boston's own claim, but they signed him as a free agent for 2011. Damon did not disappoint, as his 2.4 Wins Above Replacement Player were more than the Rays received from the position over the previous three seasons combined. He endeared himself to the fan base with several key hits during the teamís 21-7 streak that turned the season around after an abysmal start. Damon showed power and speed, belying his 37 years as he tried to join Gary Sheffield and Paul O'Neill as the only players to pull off a 20/20 season at age 37 or older. Both of those players did that at age 38, Damon can stake claim to being the only player to go 20/20 multiple times after age 37 should he do it next season.
2011 While Damonís wife and family apparently enjoyed their summer in the Motor City more than was initially anticipated, it was his bat that most loudly disapproved of the move. Damonís home-run tally plummeted, he lost 70 points of isolated power, and though the switch from Yankee Stadiumís short porch to Comericaís spacious pastures certainly had some impact, his road line of .249/.351/.364 with just one bomb shows thereís more going on here than mere geography. Home-run rates can fluctuate, but at Damonís age a sudden lack of punch is more often the result of deteriorating skill than random chance. He can still get on base, but declining speed and a pop-gun throwing arm make him best suited to DH, a position where his bat now lacks the requisite juice.
2010 Damon had become adept at jerking the ball down the short right-field line in Yankee Stadium: 17 of his 24 homers were hit at home, every one of them to right. He hit a still-serviceable .284/.349/.446 in away games, but with a .330 BABIP, a figure likely to regress. As such, any team that might pluck Damon from the free-agent pool is likely to get less than anticipated. Damon's broad-based skill set has aged terrifically well, though he has lost speed on both the bases and in the field. His arm is still useful for lifting forks, pens, and other small items, but it no longer functions to throw out runners; even routine throws back to the infield are depressingly limp. At this stage, he's best suited to a split left-field/DH role as he continues his dark-horse run at 3,000 hits.
2009 Damon has been like his own action figure series in his three Yankee seasons. First there was "Oddly Slugging Damon," followed by, "Injury-Action Slumping Damon," and finally, "Classic Late-Career Peak Damon." Adjusted for context, Damon's '08 ranked as the best offensive season of his career. Increasingly vulnerable to minor aches and pains (a bum shoulder produced his first career trip to the DL), Damon benefits from DHing or the occasional day off, and if he misses the odd lefty pitcher so much the better. He's retained his speed, and could still play a decent center but for an arm which is to throwing what Jason Giambi is to interpretive dance. Damon has never been consistent, and it's not clear what this year's toy will be: "Old-Age Declining Damon," "Slowing Bat Work-the-Zone Damon," or even "Retro-Hirsute Caveman Stylin' Damon." He's in the last year of his contract, but lack of motivation has never been his problem.
2008 Damon illustrates the hazard of relying on players who are only moderately powerful and moderately patient, but goose their numbers by hitting for a good average: batting averages fluctuate. We've seen this kind of off-year from Damon before in 2001 and 2003, but the temptation here is to interpret 2007's malaise as the manifestation of transient injuries rather than age or the player's historic inconsistency. Indeed, Damon hit .296/.364/.450 in the second half after getting some love from his chiropractor, a body-saving move to left field (a pre-chiropractic stint as the team's primary DH paid no dividends), and a few extra days off. Damon still has his speed and, despite his lack of arm, is a better defensive left fielder than Hideki Matsui, but he's signed through 2009, which puts the Yankees in a bit of a bind. Melky Cabrera is the future in center, and anything less than Damon's best hitting won't be of much benefit in left or at DH. The moral of the story is that giving four-year contracts to 32-year-olds without good secondary skills is rarely a good idea.
2007 As predicted, Damon left some batting average at Fenway Park, but he compensated by adding power. Increasingly burdened by a variety of dings and dents, including a broken sesamoid bone in his foot suffered early in the year, Damon appeared to be tired in September, and his abysmal final month (.205/.286/.307) diminished what had been a strong season to that point. Damon was never the Yankees` best choice of leadoff man, and even if he gets back to hitting .300 he still won`t be. Unfortunately, images die hard in the Bronx. The Yankees can only hope that Damon has moved into the Steve Finley Phase II/unexpected power stage of his career, because even at his peak Damon was never a consistent .300 hitter, and he doesn`t walk enough to be interesting with a lower batting average.
2006 As the season ended, the team`s biggest quandary was how much money to offer Damon. Arguably Boston`s best all-around player in 2004 and for the first half of 2005 (.343/.386/.473 at the All-Star break) his late season drop-off complicated any potential offer. A left shoulder injury sapped much of his power and was clearly bothering him by September. He needs to stay in center field to be a star. Signed to a four-year deal by the Yankees, Damon might get Mayor Bloomberg to go shaggy in years one and two, but hizzoner will be back to the business cut in years three and four.
2005 Though David Ortiz is more likely to be the player haunting Yankee Stadium for years to come, it was Damon's dramatic grand slam in Game Seven that finally broke New York, a fitting moment for a season in which Damon fulfilled the expectations of his $31 million contract. In his best season since 2000, Damon displayed a complete game, playing great defense in a tough park, hitting for average and power and adding a healthy dose of speed. He would be a five-tool player if the fifth tool was hair instead of arm strength. That's a small knock against a good player who had a great year and assured himself of never buying another drink in New England for the rest of his life.
2004 Grady Little batted the team's worst three OBPs first, second and third in the batting order, which helped the Red Sox miss its expected runs total by 47 (1008 EqR vs. 961 actual runs). Damon's greatest asset at this point is his defense, especially crucial patrolling center field between two sluggish sluggers. The club still owes him $16.5 million over the next two years, money he earned long ago in Missouri. Mercifully he had the good sense not to join his teammates in their October head shaving, which would have cost him any chance he had of appearing on "That 70s Show."
2003 Since the Red Sox non-tendered Ellis Burks after 1992 out of fear of an excessive arbitration award, they have had trouble finding a quality center fielder. Otis Nixon could field and run, but was an offensive zero. Carl Everett wielded a passable bat, but his defense was weak and his powder-keg personality didnít win him any friends in Boston. The Red Sox may finally have their man in Damon. Heís an excellent defender, a skilled baserunner, he can hit for average, and has line-drive power. Signed to a relatively modest four-year contract, Damon should thrill Sox fans for the foreseeable future.
2002 It was strange to see balls in the gaps actually get caught. Damon was fantastic to watch defensively, but he didn't come close to hitting as expected. His swing was devoid of weight transfer via a pivot; he instead slid his hips through the hitting zone, preventing him from generating any power. His defense will be missed; his bat won't be. Damon signed a four-year deal to play center field for the Red Sox.
2001 Johnny Damon had exactly the season the Royals thought he would, though they can be forgiven for thinking he would have it in 1996 and not in 2000, a year away from free agency. The end of his career in Kansas City means that the Damon/Sweeney combination will be split apart before it can be seen as one of the most productive duos in recent history. Despite having a complete non-entity batting between them, Damon set a team record for runs while Sweeney did the same for RBI. On 58 different occasions, Sweeney drove in Damon to score a run. Our play-by-play records go back to 1979, and in that span, no player has driven in a teammate as many times in one season.

YearTeamSet the TableCleared the TableTimes
2000KCJohnny DamonMike Sweeney58
1985NYYRickey HendersonDon Mattingly56
1983MONTim RainesAndre Dawson55
1996MINChuck KnoblauchPaul Molitor55
1992CLEKenny LoftonCarlos Baerga47
2000 Heís the player everyone thought he would be; it just took him four years to get there. In 1998, Damonís road to stardom still had two enormous potholes: he was a free swinger and he couldnít hit left-handed pitchers. Last year, he cut his strikeout-to-walk ratio nearly in half and hit .329 against southpaws. Heís durable, a terrific baserunner and went from slap-hitter to gap-hitter with 48 combined doubles and triples, second in the league behind Jermaine Dye. His range is completely wasted in left field. Since heís approaching free agency and is represented by Scott Boras, trading him to the Yankees for DíAngelo Jimenez and Ed Yarnall makes almost too much sense to actually happen.
1999 Heís finally beginning to click. For two years Bob Boone jerked Damon up and down (and in and out of) the lineup, at all three outfield positions, and gave the impression that he had to hit .300 every week to justify his press clippings or lose his job. Damon has a history of not responding favorably to ridiculous expectations - as a senior in high school, he had a terrible season after he was touted as the best pre-season prep star in the nation. Muser left him alone, and the improvement in his numbers is only part of the story.

I saw him in September, and I couldnít believe he was the same player. Whereas before he would slap the ball to leftfield and ground out weakly, now he was driving the ball in the air to right, fouling off the pitches he couldnít handle, and hanging in against left-handed pitchers better than he ever has. Heís only 25, and has the confidence that comes with a new history of success and a manager who believes in him. Last year I thought he could still become the new Andy Van Slyke, and that analogy is even more appropriate now. He may never hit lefties, and his arm can be run on, although he rang up 10 outfield assists last year. But as long as his manager doesnít focus on what he canít do, what he can do will help put runs on the scoreboard.
1998 Even more of an enigma now than he was last year. The numbers donít lie: he was a genuinely great hitter in the minor leagues. But to watch him bat now you have to wonder what happened to his stroke. Damon needs to go one-on-one with Ted Williams the way Tony Gwynn did. His swing is fouled up because 1) heís swinging at the pitcherís pitch too often, and 2) instead of looking for a pitch he can drive, heís looking to slap the ball past the shortstop. He hit only 12 doubles all season, a ridiculously low total for someone with his speed. Heís not some 145-pound runt out there, and he did hit eight homers, but too often heís just trying to put the ball in play instead of putting it in the gap. Heís become an excellent defensive player, even with a weak throwing arm, and he should improve if for no other reason than he finally has his managerís confidence. Heís only 24 and could still blossom into Andy Van Slyke.
1997 Itís easy to blame Boone for not allowing Damon to get comfortable in one batting spot and one position last year, and itís partially true. But Bobby Higginson batted 1 through 9, played all three outfield spots last year and had a terrific season. Damonís problems were exacerbated by an overly aggressive approach at the plate. His tendency to swing at the first pitch, no matter where it was, got him in trouble by putting him behind in the count too often. When he was ahead in the count, his overzealousness was easily exploited by pitchers. Damon batted .298 with a .394 slugging average with the count in his favor; the AL average was .348 and .595, respectively.

Damon has a fairly unique batting style; when he makes contact with the ball, so much weight is on his front foot that his back foot hardly touches the ground. Itís been very successful for him and the Royals have been loath to change it, but it also requires that all his mechanics be in sync. It also gives Damon trouble hitting the outside pitch, and his impatience last year meant that too often, he was swinging at pitches he had no chance of doing anything with. If he narrows his personal strike zone this year, I suspect heíll recover. He has an awkward running motion, but heís a terrific center fielder and basestealer.
1996  Clearly the best hitter the Royals have developed since George Brett. Interestingly enough, they both hit .282 as 21-year-old rookies. In fact, Damon is a better hitter now than Brett was at the same age; Damon has shown more power and walked more, plus he plays better defense.

Of course, Brett's development from the time he was 21 was hardly typical, but the fact that Damon can even be mentioned in the same breath with him illustrates the breadth of Damon's skills. He can dominate a game with his bat, legs, and glove. Right now he looks like another Kenny Lofton, but with a higher upside.

BP Articles

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BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2012-08-30 13:30:00 (link to chat)How many bases has Coco Crisp's arm cost the A's? At least a dozen, I'd say. Is his range worth carrying the arm?
(alanbw from COMO)
BP has an app for that! I asked Colin Wyers to look into this for me, and he tells me that Crisp's arm has cost the A's about two runs (roughly three quarters of that from left field). So, maybe more like eight bases. We have Crisp's FRAA, overall, at 2.9. So, our system thinks Coco has been a net positive on defense despite the arm, and that more or less seems to have been the case throughout his career. A weak arm can be frustrating--I spent a lot of time watching Bernie Williams and Johnny Damon during my formative years, so I understand this well--but I think the effects are often overblown. (Ben Lindbergh)
2012-05-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)What kind of arm does a player need to profile as a CF? I'm specifically thinking about Billy Hamilton. While his speed in CF would be awesome, is it typical that a lack of arm strength would "demote" a SS prospect to CF?
(Hip2Hops from Seattle)
Yes, that wouldn't be unusual. Bernie Williams and Johnny Damon played center field without arms (not quite literally, but almost, at times). Williams even won Gold Gloves there (though whether he should have is another matter). Obviously, a strong arm is an asset at any position, but a center field's primary responsibility is getting to the ball. It seems safe to say that Hamilton would get to a lot of them.

Communiquť from Kevin: Hamilton's arm in center would profile as "Below average, but not a noodle." Damon/Williams were noodles. (Ben Lindbergh)
2012-04-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Jay! I'll be having some very traditional Uruguayan lunch by the time of the chat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asado) but I wanted to drop by, say hi, and ask a very profound question: if I, being 10000 miles away, can see through at least half of the childish mental mistakes players/managers/GMs make daily, how come these still happen? Is the next market inefficiency to cut down on all those Caught Stealing third for the 3rd out / not using your best reliever in the highest leverage situations / keeping 'veterans' in the roster instead of giving promising young players a chance / etc.?
(Guillermo from Montevideo, Uruguay)
Hey Guillermo! Always good to hear from Uruguay's number one BP fan, and man, I'm jealous with regards to lunch (Uruguay is a carnivore's paradise, for those who are unaware).

I think some of the mistakes you talk about (caught stealing for the third out) are ones that will always be with us, but the game does slowly evolve, and we've seen something of a movement where certain veterans have trouble finding jobs because of a general trend towards younger players - take the absence of Vlad Guerrero, Hideki Matsui, and Johnny Damon (though he finally signed with Cleveland) from rosters after competent but hardly stellar seasons.

Sooner or later, some team is going to get more daring with their reliever usage, though it's worth noting that in some places like Cleveland (Vinny Pestano), Detroit (Joaquin Benoit), Los Angeles (Kenley Jansen) and Washington (Tyler Clippard) teams already have their best relievers in non-closing situations that are often higher-leverage. It happens more often than you think. (Jay Jaffe)
2012-03-08 15:00:00 (link to chat)Do you see Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui finding jobs anytime soon?
(Cody from Indianapolis)
Their best bet is probably an injury somewhere during spring training. I found Jon Heyman's tweets tying Damon to the Orioles yesterday rather comical, and a possible indication that there is literally zero interest in his services right now. There's just no logical fit in Baltimore, and if that's where Heyman (and Boras) are currently pitching Damon, they're out of ideas. (Daniel Rathman)
2012-03-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)Players like Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon will/may miss chunks of the season but for different reasons. Which older players with either reduced roles or other circumstances limiting games played are worth gambling on this season?
(Tony035 from Toronto, ON)
Juan Pierre is interesting in Philadelphia, at least for the first couple months of the year for cheap steals. Tim Hudson might miss a month of the year, but he'll be good when he's healthy, and he came pretty cheap in LABR this weekend ($7). A.J. Burnett same deal ($3), but I like him in the NL and PNC Park. (Derek Carty)
2012-02-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Why Ibanez over Posada?? I mean, come on..
(steele from Vermont)
Well, for one thing, Posada decided he didn't have it in his heart to continue in a lesser role. It takes two to tango, you know. That said, there were better low-cost lefty-swinging DH options out there, such as Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon. I wrote about them all here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15861 (Jay Jaffe)
2011-06-20 14:00:00 (link to chat)I saw in today's paper that with his 500th double yesterday, Johnny Damon joins a group of 11 others (all HoF members) who have 2,500 hits, 500 doubles, 200 HR and 100 triples. I never thought of Damon as a potential HoFer before. Does he have any chance?
(lionstar1964 from Philly burbs)
Hmm. While Damon's been a very good player for a long time, that's a pretty meaningless collection of round numbers. The only one that really will enhance Damon's chances is 3,000 hits; If he can find a way to stick around for another 354 hits, he may get to Cooperstown.

As it is, Damon has two World Series rings, but only two All-Star appearances, and very little else to enhance his case. Not even close on JAWS. Hall of Very Good in the eyes of most. (Jay Jaffe)
2011-05-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)Explain why Carlos Beltran does or does not make sense for the Rays if they are still alive at the deadline.
(PMCY from Moms basement)
It depends on what their roster looks like. If Desmond Jennings and/or Brandon Guyer are up with Johnny Damon still at designated hitter, then they really don't have room for Beltran. Plus, the finances and prospect return required. I'm just not sure it's realistic at this point. (R.J. Anderson)
2011-04-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Will only time tell about Granderson hitting lefties or did he look that good in spring training?
(Matt from New York)
Kevin Long and he really have seemed to figure out an approach that works for him, and I'd like to think he will be surprising LOOGYs all year long. One reason I believe is that the Yankees have had some recent lefty hitters, like Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, who were unusually adept at altering their approach and hitting opposing lefties, and so there is a history of success and reservoir of learning to be drawn from there. (Steven Goldman)
2010-10-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)In 2004, Derek Lowe went into Yankee Stadium, in Game 7, and allowed one hit and no runs in six innings -- on two day's rest. Why is this rarely lauded as one of the greatest clutch-pitching performances in baseball history?
(Ice Water from Cox's Rotation)
I think because the indelible moment of that game is Johnny Damon's grand slam, that seminal moment when it became the clear that the impossible comeback was going to become reality. (John Perrotto)
2010-07-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Jay, did you see the piece William Rhoden wrote in the Times this week about Steinbrenner and Curt Flood and the Hall? He said if George makes it, Flood should make it first. I have to admit to having reservations about Flood being in there even though I wrote a book about him, admire his off-the-field actions, and would be more than happy to see him honored. What are your feelings about Flood and then George being in the Hall?
(Alex Belth from Bronx)
Yo, Alex! If Flood makes it, it won't be because of his merits as a player, it will be some kind of unique honor. He was a legitimate whiz in center field but not a tremendous hitter even after adjusting for the times; at best I see him coming up with a case somewhere between Lou Brock and Johnny Damon - a run at 3000 sprinkled with some postseason chops - if his career had continued and his challenge had never happened.

As for Steinbrenner, I'm for it. The man was probably the game's most influential owner after O'Malley, who's finally in and should have been a long time ago. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-07-06 14:00:00 (link to chat)You can shoot the breeze with either Matt Damon and his crew or Johnny Damon and his crew. Whom do you choose?
(dianagramr from NYC)
Matt. Johnny doesn't seem like the best conversationalist. (Ben Lindbergh)
2010-05-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is Cervelli for real? Do the Yanks regret not resigning Matsui/Damon?
(Paul from Boston)
Well, he ain't gonna hit .400, and you'd do well to remember Jazayerli's Law of Backup Catchers: given enough chances, a guy will have a season in which he hits .300 in less than 200 at-bats. I'm skeptical he's got a future as a major league starter, but he's certainly no Wil Nieves, and may well turn out to be the best backup the Yanks have had in a long time.

I'd trade him for Johnny Damon, though. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-02-17 16:00:00 (link to chat)If the Tigers secure Johnny Damon, and perhaps even Felipe Lopez on the cheap, would your opinion on them contending in the AL Central improve "considerably" or just "incrementally"?
(lemppi from Ankeny, IA)
It seems like Scott Sizemore is going to be ready sooner rather than later, so I'm not sure Lopez would help. I think adding Damon might help a little, but Ryan Raburn is a pretty good player in his own right. I'm just not sure where Damon would be that big of an upgrade. I think the Tigers have a pretty good shot already, however. (Tommy Bennett)
2010-02-17 16:00:00 (link to chat)What are you overall thoughts on the White Sox? Assume, for the moment, that they get Johnny Damon. Keep in mind their long-standing success in keeping pitchers healthy, as well as Ozzie's ability to manage a pitching staff. Can't Beckham only get better? Shouldn't Rios not be a total bust? If Quentin puts together 550 healthy ABs, should we expect anything but mashing?
(Scott from Chicago)
This reminds me of an old joke...

These are all independent events, and I learned from smarter people than I am that to get the probability of each thing happening, you have to multiply all the independent probabilities together. You're assuming quite a bit. But for me, flip a coin between the Tigers, White Sox, and Twins in that division. (Tommy Bennett)
2010-02-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Could you give a quick snapshot of your thoughts on the near future performances of Curtis Granderson, Austin Jackson, and Johnny Damon? Thanks.
(lemppi from Ankeny, IA)
If there was an offer from the White Sox, Johnny should have taken it, because he had a much better chance of continuing his park-generated power surge in Chicago than at Comerica, which really castrated left-handers last year. Granderson should benefit from making the opposite change of environment, though I don't expect him to be a 40-HR guy suddenly. Let's say consistency plus five to ten percent. Finally, I'm skeptical on Austin, who hasn't yet shown any power and who really slid off in the second half last year. He's interesting, but as we said in the book there's no evidence of his being an impact player right now. (Steven Goldman)
2010-02-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)Are there any free agents left unsigned who could be useful to contending teams?
(garethbluejays1 from Newcastle, UK)
I realize it's a well-kept secret that Johnny Damon is still looking for work. Beyond him, Russell Branyan, Rocco Baldelli, Joe Beimel, Carlos Delgado, Jermaine Dye, Pedro Martinez, Chan Ho Park, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield and Jarrod Washburn all strike me as players who could help somebody win. Not necessarily by getting 500 PA worth of playing time, mind you, and maybe not getting enough playing time to satisfy their own estimations of their talent. Park can pitch out of my bullpen, but if he wants to start, fuggedaboutit. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-02-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)If the Reds find a huge pile of money under the mattress and add Johnny Damon, do they instantly become favorites for the Wild Card?
(Scott from DC)
Man, if the Reds understood anything about the marginal win curve, they'd already have signed Damon. He'd be a nice fit in that park, and they really could use his bat atop that lineup.

Then again, that they haven't signed him suggests that maybe they know too much about the conditions of some of those young arms. Say a prayer for Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez tonight. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-01-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)Does Johnny Damon's continued non-employment surprise you?
(ekanenh from capitol city)
Not too much. Every market has losers, and he's one of them in that there were only so many people who were going to get in on Holliday and Bay and decide to see Damon as a viable fall-back option. It would have been neat if he'd been a one-year addition for the Giants instead of their signing Freddy Sanchez and Aubrey Huff, but one of the problems with being a historical actor is that you sometimes lose out because of historical actions. Damon seemed to keep waiting for a deal that wasn't there, and other teams, players, and agents weren't waiting on him. (Christina Kahrl)
2010-01-19 15:30:00 (link to chat)Steven, how are you feeling, hope the book didn't stress you out too much. Thoughts on Granderson in New Yankee Stadium?
(strupp from Madison)
I think he's going to do very well there. His PECOTA didn't blow me away (.268/.351/.491) but I think it's in roughly the right place. Even if not, it will be a nice bounce-back from 2009, a year in which Comerica really savaged left-handed hitters for some reason. Granderson hit .267/.345/.516 on the road last year, and PECOTA seems to think that's where he's going to be overall this year. The Yankees will take it, but now that Johnny Damon has moved on, there's a lot of pressure on Brett Gardner and whoever they mix in with him to provide enough offense that the Yankees didn't merely transfer their LF offense to CF and vice-versa. (Steven Goldman)
2010-01-14 16:00:00 (link to chat)Johnny Damon's going to sign for _____ with _____.
(Shane from Atlanta)
far too much, the team in NY whose name starts with Y. (Russell A. Carleton)
2009-11-02 15:00:00 (link to chat)Joe, is it inexplicable that Ken Rosenthal did not ask Johnny Damon about his incredible double-steal last night?
(phillipsburg74 from Tucson, AZ)
On the road, I'm not rewatching the game at home, so anything specific to the telecast I'm missing, for the most part. In general, you can file that under "it's live and a bit chaotic." I really like Ken's role in their broadcasts. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-10-23 16:00:00 (link to chat)From a baseball standpoint, who would you most likely want to build a team around from "Major League 3: Back to the Minors"? Hoss(the pitcher that punked out Liston), "Downtown", The Juans(combo pair) or the ballet-trained utility guy?
(jlarsen from Chicago, IL)
Clearly Downtown... he was a pure hitter, as he told that waitress in the diner, meaning he has quick hands. Plus, once he learned how to take pitches the opposite way, watch out. I think he would have gone on to have a Johnny Damon career while Hoss would have become Matt Belisle. (Eric Seidman)
2009-09-24 14:00:00 (link to chat)I've been having a debate with a friend over a sacrifice bunt in Sunday's Cardinals/Cubs game. Quick recap: bottom of the 9th, tie game with no outs, a runner on first, DeRosa at bat, and Pujols on deck. A sacrifice bunt takes the bat out of Pujols' hands, so the question is this: is it better to have Holliday and Ludwick bat with a runner on 2nd or DeRosa, Pujols, and Holliday bat with a runner on 1st?
(thelaird from Memphis, TN)
Because DeRosa is a slow right-handed batter who puts the ball on the ground, a bunt is defensible, even though it takes the bat out of Pujols' hands. My problem comes in when the bunt is laid down by someone like Johnny Damon, who isn't going to hit into two. Swing the bat. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-08-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)If you were Brian Cashman, what would you offer Johnny Damon to re-sign? 2 years for ?? million?
(Pete from Bronx)
It seems like the assumption now is that Damon should be brought back. Given that the Yankees don't have great alternatives (Austin Jackson's MLE doesn't inspire confidence)and the free agent class is not bursting with possibilities, maybe it's a reasonable assumption. I do worry about Damon being a product of Friendly YS II (or III, really), with only .273/.346/.459 rates on the road and declining defense. Two years would be my upper limit... I really wonder if Damon is going to last long enough to get 3,000 hits and wind up as a totally unexpected HOFer. It could happen. (Steven Goldman)
2009-06-05 15:30:00 (link to chat)I need to bench one of - Adam Jones, Johnny Damon, Vlad Guerrero, Nelson Cruz...who do I sit?
(Fantasy Help? from Here)
Fantasy works differently than real-life baseball evaluations, since you want to start the hot players in fantasy. Out of the four you mentioned, the only one whose name is not hyperlinked currently has a .307 OBP and .357 SLG. (Eric Seidman)
2009-06-03 15:00:00 (link to chat)Jacoby Ellsbury: is this it? Is this as good as he's gonna be? He's looking eerily like Michael Bourn, except about 9 months younger.
(johnpark99 from Boston)
Oh, I'm sorry. You were expecting him to hit .353 again? That's not going to happen.

While he's got speed galore, right now it seems rather apparent that he lacks the power and plate discipline to live up to the early Johnny Damon comparisons. He's walked in less than six percent of his plate apperances, for crying out loud. He's the Juan Pierre of the AL East! (Jay Jaffe)
2009-05-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)It's totally unfair, but the impression that many fans now have is that any player with a late-career power surge may be on the juice. Johnny Damon, are you next?
(jromero from Seattle)
I'm sure someone has asked the question, and it's unfair to Damon but, unfortunately, not unfair to the class of ballplayers as a whole. What we need to get over is the idea that it matters all that much. Damon, btw, has largely been a Yankee Stadium II (or III, depending on how you want to count things) effect, his home runs at Camden Yards this weekend notwithstanding. It's still very good and a lot of fun to watch. He's playing for a contract and could possibly extend his career long enough to make the Hall of Fame. He'll need 3,000 hits, but he just might get there. (Steven Goldman)
2009-05-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)Would you consider the Johnny Damon signing a "good signing" for the Yankees? At the time of the deal everyone thought 4 years was too long but he has had a pretty good run with the Yankees...
(brian from Brooklyn NY)
I guess overall you can't argue with it. They've gotten .288/.363/.459 in 462 games to date and Damon has been durable but for that one DL stay last year. The real problem with it is that they signed Damon after passing on Carlos Beltran the year before, one of the more inexplicable non-moves in team history.

Now, even if Damon slugs .610 for the rest of the season, I don't think there's a good argument for re-signing him to anything more than a one-year deal, in the same way that they held the line on Bobby Abreu. And if he doesn't slug .610 the rest of the year, we'd have to revisit the one-year part. What you don't want to wind up with is Damon '07 in a corner. (Steven Goldman)
2009-03-30 18:30:00 (link to chat)Nah, the groupthink thing just pops up from a newbie now and again. I mean something like "Sheehan has a man crush on Johnny Damon" or "Clay Davenport is actually a pseudonym for Clay Aiken."
(Mike K from Athens, GA)
Gary Huckabay is really a program that scrapes buzzwords from management consulting sites and passes them through a Cranky.pl script I hacked together in 1998. (Keith Woolner)
2009-03-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Many people consider Jacoby Ellsbury's season a dissapointment last year, however looking at his minor league stats it really should have been somewhat close to what people should have expected. If not a budding superstar, what do you see Jacoby eventually developing into?
(mattdi02421 from Lexington, MA)
I thought our comment on him in this year's annual did a good job of covering the Ellsbury issues:

[Snip] This season was a learning experience for the speedy 24-year-old: he started out hot, but pitchers quickly figured out that he lacked the muscle or the swing to be a power threat, and began to bust him inside. The result was an awful run through June and July during which he hit .246/.271/.308. He did finally adjust, hitting .314/.352/.463 over the final two months by switching to an all-fields approach. The Red Sox believe he\'s turned a corner.

...I'd like to think he's turned a corner, too. His #4 PECOTA comp is Johnny Damon, and I still lean in that direction. (Steven Goldman)
2009-01-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who should be the Yankees opening day CF in 2009?
(Snakedoctor18 from New York)
Has the ship sailed on Zombie Mickey Mantle yet?

I'm certainly not wowed by the Yankees' in-house options, a pool that nominally includes Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner, Johnny Damon and Nick Swisher. I don't think the latter two can carry the position defensively anymore, and I'm less than wowed by the offense offered by either of the former two, unless Cabrera has spent the entire winter being beaten over the head with a fungo bat in an effort to impart the slightest modicum of common sense into his thick skull.

Which means that a better solution must lie outside the organization. I'd be willing to see if Jim Edmonds has anything left given his rebound with the Cubs. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-11-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Should the Yankees trade for Swisher preclude them from going after Texiera? What's your opinion of Swisher?
(Eric from Manorville)
Let's start here, since this is what's on my mind anyway. Well, that and the awful, hideous Wolfman Jack impersonator that is on Sirius/XM's 60s channel just now. I hated that guy before, and now he's on in the daytime. I like Swisher and his power/OBP approach and I think he's going to rebound nicely for the Yankees. As many (including myself over at YESnetwork.com) have pointed out, his BABIP numbers from last year argue loudly for a case of extreme bad luck this year. Now, I love Swisher as a roamer, a guy who can help you at both OF corners, 1B, and CF in a pinch. I DON'T like him as a reason not to get Mark Teixeira. A lot of commentators are assuming that is the case, that Swisher signals the Yankees are out of the Teixeira business. I'm not sure, and Brian Cashman sounded equivocal. Teixeira is a star 1B. Swisher isn't. What Swisher could be a star of is helping the team stay above replacement at four positions depending on injury, or a star of getting rid of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, or Xavier Nady. Especially Nady. The Yankees are crazy focused on pitching right now, when they need to be looking at offense and defense. Teixeira would help with both... And he'll be valuable for many more years than Sabathia will. I'll stop now. (Steven Goldman)
2008-07-21 15:00:00 (link to chat)"getting his Batphone caught and then having the Roger Dorn treatment" -- huh? i know you're being cagey of necessity but please clarify.
(g-mo from bumpus)
Batphone -- read Johnny Damon's ... wait, that book stunk on ice. The "batphone" is a guy's second cell phone, given out to the Annies.
Roger Dorn Treatment -- see "Major League". (Will Carroll)
2008-05-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)Joe, I am the one Red Sox fan in the universe who doesn't think Jacoby Ellsbury is a future Hall of Famer - what am I missing?
(Bits_of_Real_Panther from SF, CA)
Nothing. He doesn't have the power to be a future HoF, and he's not going to be a monster CF. He's a very good player, probably a bit like Johnny Damon. That guy doesn't go to the Hall. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-05-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who would you rather have, Adam Jones or Jacoby Ellsbury?
(TGisriel from Baltimore)
Jones on youth and power--IE that superior growth potential I talked about before. If Ellsbury proves to peak as a Johnny Damon type with better on-base, defense, and baserunning abilities, there won't be a lot of difference... (Steven Goldman)
2008-04-25 15:00:00 (link to chat)Is Ellsbury capable of keeping this sort of play up over the course of a season? What's he profile to for a career?
(JAN02000 from Bozeman)
Ellsbury's a good little player, but I don't see him going .420 OBP/.480 SLG all year. For one thing, he's got no track record of being able to sustain the 6/13 K/BB ratio he's put up so far. Even if the Sox hitting coach or whomever is encouraging him to change his approach and take more pitches, I suspect that Ellsbury's contact rate will decline a bit and his numbers will come back to earth a bit.
Johnny Damon has been the point of comparison for Ellsbury's career given the fact that the latter is the de facto long term replacement for the former in Boston, and in fact he shows up as Ellsbury's #2 PECOTA comp, so I'll stick with that comparison. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-03-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hey Jay, Big fan. With the benefit of two years of hindsight, what do you make of Johnny Damon's contract with the Yankees?
(mattymatty from Philly, PA)
I think it's every bit the millstone that it looked like back when he signed. Certainly, there's something to be said for the fact that it hurt the Red Sox to lose him initially, and there's also something to be said for Melky Cabrera's rather surprising development into a solid major-leaguer during the time Damon's been in pinstripes. But given that Damon can't really play center field anymore, and will have a hard time staying in the lineup, this isn't pretty. He's owed $26 million for 2008-2009, and PECOTA thinks he'll be worth about $15 million. Blech. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-02-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who has the stronger arm? Me or Juan Pierre? (Note: I "probably" lead my slow pitch softball league in outfield assists last year, although most of the base runners have had hip replacements recently.)
(Clay from St. Louis, MO)
Well, if your league is anything like the one I played in last year, getting an assist is actually an accomplishment since we're too old to try to stretch anything or for that matter want to even consider sliding. So I'd have to say yes, your arm is probably competitive.

For 2007 Pierre ranked dead last among centerfielders at -7.3 with a rate of -6.0. Grady Sizemore is second to last at -4.6 with David DeJesus (-4.5) not far behind. In 2006 Pierre was -1.8 and in 2005 -1.6. From 2005-2007 he finished second to last at -10.7 ahead of only Johnny Damon (-11.2). He wasn't nearly as bad as far as rate was concerned because of his greater playing time (-3.0 per 550 opportunities). From a rate perspective Brady Clark did the worst among centerfielders who received much playing time (256 adjusted games in those three years) at -5.3 runs per 550 opportunities.

Who was the worst in 2005-2007 you might ask (ok, you didn't but play along)? Shawn Green was -16.0 and Shannon Stewart was -11.8 before we get to Damon and Pierre. Jason Bay (-10.5) and Xavier Nady (-10.4) were no great shakes either. (Dan Fox)
2008-02-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who is the best overall baserunner on the Yankees?
(Rob from Andover, CT)
In 2007 I had Johnny Damon on top at +7 runs with Alex Rodriguez next at +5.2. Derek Jeter usually does well in baserunning and was at +2.4 and Hidecki Matsui was at +2.3.

On the flip side, as usual Jorge Posada was last at -7.6 and Jason Giambi was at -3.5. Robinson Cano also did poorly at -2.2. Those three were also on the bottom in 2006 with Bernie Williams next.
Melky Cabrera (+2) did well in 2006 as did Bobby Abreu (+1.5) but Damon was tops at +5.6.

Based on past performance I'd have to go with Damon. (Dan Fox)


BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2009-11-02 17:00:002009 WS Game FiveAnd drama we have . . . can we stop making fun of Johnny Damon for what he can't do? Because he can do a lot of things. (Kevin Goldstein)
2009-11-02 17:00:002009 WS Game FiveKevin brings up Brett Butler in comparison for Johnny Damon, but I keep thinking Paul O'Neill. Not just a Yankee, but a guy who had better speed than most remember and also really muscled up in the middle of his career. Damon's a good 20 pounds higher than his listed weight, about the same amount as Sabathia. (Will Carroll)
2009-11-02 17:00:002009 WS Game FiveAndrewP (Minnesota): Did Johnny Damon's double steal last night further his chances for inclusion into the Hall of Fame eventually?

Well, it certainly didn't hurt his case, and it won't if the Yankees go on to win this World Series. Because of his relatively low homer and stolen base totals - low relative to other HOFers ó he's basically on the 3000 or bust plan. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-11-02 17:00:002009 WS Game FiveI was thinking the same thing last night, and looking at Johnny Damon's career total and birthday while wondering if he could have a pretty graceful aging cycle a la Brett Butler and end up with close to 3000 hits. (Kevin Goldstein)
2009-11-02 17:00:002009 WS Game FiveJohnny Damon hasn't lost much speed, despite age and some injuries. I'd love to see baseball do more with speed measurements, the way football talks about 40-times. (Will Carroll)
2009-10-16 13:00:00NLCS Game Two/ALCS Game OneJohnny Damon looks like he's about to go into hypothermia. (Steven Goldman)
2009-10-16 13:00:00NLCS Game Two/ALCS Game OneSince Jay is here, Johnny Damon's HOF chances exist at all? 2425 hits, turns 36 in November, but I could see him with a pretty slow decline and finishing close to 3000. (Kevin Goldstein)
2008-10-13 17:00:00NLCS Game Four"Mike w (Chicago): Even though Pierre got thrown out, he brought a new dimension, an excitement, to the Dodgers' attack! The Phils were back on their heeels!"

I still say we haven't lived until we've seen him throw. Worse than Bernie Williams, worse than Johnny Damon, worse, barely, than Luis Gonzalez, who at least blew out his arm as an excuse. (Joe Sheehan)
 

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