Biographical

Portrait of Ben Zobrist

Ben Zobrist 2BCubs

Cubs Player Cards | Cubs Team Audit | Cubs Depth Chart

2018 Projections (Rest of Season Projections - seasonal age 37)
PA AVG HR R RBI SB TAv WARP
481 .260 10 61 47 4 .259 0.9
Birth Date5-26-1981
Height6' 3"
Weight210 lbs
Age36 years, 8 months, 22 days
BatsB
ThrowsR
4.72014
2.92015
4.02016
0.22017
0.92018
proj
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
2006 TBA 25 52 198 183 10 41 6 2 2 57 10 26 0 3 2 18 2 3 .224 .260 .311 .203 -5.7 1.6 -0.4
2007 TBA 26 31 105 97 8 15 2 0 1 20 3 21 1 2 2 9 2 0 .155 .184 .206 .157 -8.0 -3.8 -1.2
2008 TBA 27 62 227 198 32 50 10 2 12 100 25 37 2 2 0 30 3 0 .253 .339 .505 .283 13.6 -4.5 0.9
2009 TBA 28 152 599 501 91 149 28 7 27 272 91 104 2 4 1 91 17 6 .297 .405 .543 .317 53.2 11.2 6.5
2010 TBA 29 151 655 541 77 129 28 2 10 191 92 107 3 12 7 75 24 3 .238 .346 .353 .259 13.7 9.1 2.4
2011 TBA 30 156 674 588 99 158 46 6 20 276 77 128 2 5 2 91 19 6 .269 .353 .469 .299 47.1 -10.8 3.9
2012 TBA 31 157 668 560 88 151 39 7 20 264 97 103 3 6 2 74 14 9 .270 .377 .471 .311 46.4 0.8 5.0
2013 TBA 32 157 698 612 77 168 36 3 12 246 72 91 7 6 1 71 11 3 .275 .354 .402 .283 32.0 -0.0 3.5
2014 TBA 33 146 654 570 83 155 34 3 10 225 75 84 1 6 52 10 5 .272 .354 .395 .288 35.8 6.4 4.7
2015 KCA 34 59 264 232 37 66 16 1 7 105 29 30 1 2 0 23 2 3 .284 .364 .453 .293 16.0 -3.8 1.3
2015 OAK 34 67 271 235 39 63 20 2 6 105 33 26 0 3 0 33 1 1 .268 .354 .447 .298 15.9 -1.0 1.6
2016 CHN 35 147 631 523 94 142 31 3 18 233 96 82 4 4 4 76 6 4 .272 .386 .446 .306 49.2 -10.1 4.0
2017 CHN 36 128 496 435 58 101 20 3 12 163 54 71 2 3 2 50 2 2 .232 .318 .375 .249 5.2 -3.3 0.2
Career146561405275793138831641157225775491028582369311345.263.355.428.285314.2-8.332.3

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
2004 TCV A- 68 310 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .367 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2005 LEX A 68 310 .298 .266 .343 .409 .270 .341 107 11.8 8.2 3.1 7.3 -2.0 21.1 2.8 21.1 2.8
2005 SLM A+ 42 180 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .361 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2006 TBA MLB 52 198 .203 .266 .324 .416 .248 .247 107 -12.6 6.0 2.7 1.6 -1.8 -5.7 -0.4 -5.7 -0.4
2006 CCH AA 83 381 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .369 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2006 DUR AAA 18 82 .294 .256 .321 .390 .257 .339 99 2.9 2.3 1.1 -3.4 -1.2 5.1 0.2 5.1 0.2
2007 TBA MLB 31 105 .157 .267 .334 .417 .263 .182 102 -11.9 3.1 1.4 -3.8 -0.6 -8.0 -1.2 -8.0 -1.2
2007 DUR AAA 61 276 .301 .262 .327 .407 .258 .306 97 11.5 7.6 2.2 -5.1 1.9 23.2 1.7 23.2 1.7
2008 TBA MLB 62 227 .283 .263 .335 .417 .263 .252 103 5.7 6.6 1.5 -4.5 -0.1 13.6 0.9 13.6 0.9
2008 VRO A+ 4 15 .213 .240 .305 .350 .233 .333 112 -0.8 0.5 0 0.1 -0.0 -0.4 -0.0 -0.4 -0.0
2008 DUR AAA 20 88 .359 .273 .339 .419 .267 .423 101 8.3 2.3 0.4 0.3 0.5 11.5 1.1 11.5 1.1
2009 TBA MLB 152 599 .317 .263 .331 .418 .258 .326 105 36.5 17.2 -2 11.2 1.5 53.2 6.5 53.2 6.5
2010 TBA MLB 151 655 .259 .258 .324 .406 .256 .273 106 -0.9 18.1 -4.5 9.1 1.0 13.7 2.4 13.7 2.4
2011 TBA MLB 156 674 .299 .254 .320 .401 .260 .310 99 26.2 18.2 -2.3 -10.8 5.0 47.1 3.9 47.1 3.9
2012 TBA MLB 157 668 .311 .255 .316 .411 .260 .296 96 34 18.3 -0.7 0.8 -5.2 46.4 5.0 46.4 5.0
2013 TBA MLB 157 698 .283 .252 .317 .402 .265 .303 95 15.7 18.4 -1.1 -0.0 -0.9 32.0 3.5 32.0 3.5
2013 USA int 4 14 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .300 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2014 TBA MLB 146 654 .288 .253 .313 .391 .262 .301 96 17.2 16.9 -0.7 6.4 2.4 35.8 4.7 35.8 4.7
2014 PCH A+ 1 5 .273 .244 .289 .317 .226 .250 97 0.1 0.1 0 0.5 -0.1 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.1
2015 KCA MLB 59 264 .293 .258 .316 .423 .263 .299 102 8.5 7.1 -0.9 -3.8 1.2 16.0 1.3 16.0 1.3
2015 OAK MLB 67 271 .298 .260 .320 .418 .265 .277 98 10 7.3 -1.2 -1.0 -0.2 15.9 1.6 15.9 1.6
2015 STO A+ 2 6 .269 .251 .319 .408 .281 .333 93 0.1 0.2 0 0.1 -0.2 -0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.0
2015 NAS AAA 3 13 .295 .261 .313 .417 .260 .375 101 0.5 0.4 -0.1 -0.2 0.8 1.5 0.1 1.5 0.1
2016 CHN MLB 147 631 .306 .259 .327 .424 .271 .290 92 29.3 17.8 -1.9 -10.1 3.9 49.2 4.0 49.2 4.0
2017 CHN MLB 128 496 .249 .256 .325 .427 .267 .251 99 -5.9 14.5 -2.1 -3.3 -1.3 5.2 0.2 5.2 0.2
2017 TEN AA 2 8 .413 .246 .318 .391 .262 .500 94 1.2 0.2 0 -0.0 -0.1 1.4 0.1 1.4 0.1

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
2004 TCV A- 310 50 87 14 3 4 45 43 31 15 4 .339 .435 .463 .125 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2005 SLM A+ 180 25 47 12 1 3 13 37 17 2 1 .333 .472 .496 .163 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2005 LEX A 310 45 75 17 2 2 32 47 35 16 5 .304 .419 .413 .109 .298 21.1 7.3 2.8
2006 DUR AAA 82 12 21 3 1 0 6 10 9 4 1 .304 .390 .377 .072 .294 5.1 -3.4 0.2
2006 TBA MLB 198 10 41 6 2 2 18 10 26 2 3 .224 .260 .311 .087 .203 -5.7 1.6 -0.4
2006 CCH AA 381 57 103 25 6 3 30 55 46 9 5 .327 .429 .473 .146 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2007 TBA MLB 105 8 15 2 0 1 9 3 21 2 0 .155 .184 .206 .052 .157 -8.0 -3.8 -1.2
2007 DUR AAA 276 42 62 14 2 7 22 43 38 8 3 .279 .403 .455 .176 .301 23.2 -5.1 1.7
2008 TBA MLB 227 32 50 10 2 12 30 25 37 3 0 .253 .339 .505 .253 .283 13.6 -4.5 0.9
2008 VRO A+ 15 1 4 1 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 .286 .286 .357 .071 .213 -0.4 0.1 -0.0
2008 DUR AAA 88 15 26 3 0 4 13 15 16 4 1 .366 .471 .577 .211 .359 11.5 0.3 1.1
2009 TBA MLB 599 91 149 28 7 27 91 91 104 17 6 .297 .405 .543 .246 .317 53.2 11.2 6.5
2010 TBA MLB 655 77 129 28 2 10 75 92 107 24 3 .238 .346 .353 .115 .259 13.7 9.1 2.4
2011 TBA MLB 674 99 158 46 6 20 91 77 128 19 6 .269 .353 .469 .201 .299 47.1 -10.8 3.9
2012 TBA MLB 668 88 151 39 7 20 74 97 103 14 9 .270 .377 .471 .202 .311 46.4 0.8 5.0
2013 TBA MLB 698 77 168 36 3 12 71 72 91 11 3 .275 .354 .402 .127 .283 32.0 -0.0 3.5
2013 USA int 14 1 3 0 0 0 1 3 1 0 0 .273 .429 .273 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2014 TBA MLB 654 83 155 34 3 10 52 75 84 10 5 .272 .354 .395 .123 .288 35.8 6.4 4.7
2014 PCH A+ 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .250 .400 .250 .000 .273 0.2 0.5 0.1
2015 OAK MLB 271 39 63 20 2 6 33 33 26 1 1 .268 .354 .447 .179 .298 15.9 -1.0 1.6
2015 STO A+ 6 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .000 .269 -0.0 0.1 0.0
2015 KCA MLB 264 37 66 16 1 7 23 29 30 2 3 .284 .364 .453 .168 .293 16.0 -3.8 1.3
2015 NAS AAA 13 3 3 0 0 0 2 2 3 0 0 .300 .385 .300 .000 .295 1.5 -0.2 0.1
2016 CHN MLB 631 94 142 31 3 18 76 96 82 6 4 .272 .386 .446 .174 .306 49.2 -10.1 4.0
2017 TEN AA 8 2 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 .500 .625 .500 .000 .413 1.4 -0.0 0.1
2017 CHN MLB 496 58 101 20 3 12 50 54 71 2 2 .232 .318 .375 .143 .249 5.2 -3.3 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 832 0.4964 0.4026 0.8328 0.6029 0.2053 0.8996 0.6395 0.1672 394 0.008568
2009 2400 0.5038 0.3758 0.8126 0.5418 0.2074 0.8733 0.6518 0.1874 1259 -0.000591
2010 2676 0.5037 0.3703 0.8315 0.5045 0.2342 0.8912 0.7010 0.1685 1371 0.001179
2011 2671 0.5144 0.4006 0.8112 0.5640 0.2274 0.8748 0.6441 0.1888 1316 0.001824
2012 2677 0.4737 0.3668 0.8269 0.5418 0.2094 0.8894 0.6814 0.1731 1391 -0.001002
2013 2540 0.4980 0.3961 0.8519 0.5747 0.2188 0.9078 0.7061 0.1481 1227 0.002193
2014 2541 0.4994 0.3802 0.8602 0.5429 0.2178 0.9086 0.7401 0.1398 1321 -0.001552
2015 2132 0.4803 0.3659 0.8756 0.5234 0.2202 0.9198 0.7787 0.1244 1184 -0.005422
2016 2622 0.4764 0.3513 0.8697 0.5180 0.1996 0.9227 0.7445 0.1303 0 0.000000
2017 1890 0.4979 0.3852 0.8599 0.5388 0.2329 0.9191 0.7240 0.1401 0 0.000000
Career229810.49430.37780.84290.54130.21780.89980.70370.15711011.90010

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
2014-05-15 2014-05-30 15-DL 15 13 Left Thumb Dislocation - -
2014-03-06 2014-03-12 Camp 6 0 - Neck Stiffness - -
2014-02-20 2014-03-03 Camp 11 0 - Back Soreness - -
2012-08-06 2012-08-06 DTD 0 0 - Upper Back Spasms - -
2012-06-11 2012-06-14 DTD 3 2 Right Hand Contusion - -
2011-09-30 2011-09-30 DTD 0 0 Right Elbow Contusion HBP - -
2011-09-03 2011-09-05 DTD 2 2 - Neck Stiffness - -
2011-07-20 2011-07-21 DTD 1 1 Left Lower Leg Contusion Foul Ball - -
2011-07-04 2011-07-05 DTD 1 1 General Medical Illness -
2011-03-04 2011-03-05 Camp 1 0 Right Ankle Soreness -
2010-07-29 2010-08-04 DTD 6 6 Low Back Strain -
2008-03-21 2008-05-12 15-DL 52 37 Left Thumb Surgery Fractured Thumb 2008-04-07
2007-08-19 2007-09-28 15-DL 40 37 Right Abdomen Strain Oblique -

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2019 CHN $12,500,000
2018 CHN $16,500,000
2017 CHN $16,500,000
2016 CHN $10,500,000
2015 OAK $7,500,000
2014 TBA $7,000,000
2013 TBA $5,640,475
2012 TBA $4,640,475
2011 TBA $4,640,475
2010 TBA $578,575
2009 TBA $415,900
2008 TBA $395,800
2007 TBA $383,400
YearsDescriptionSalary
11 yrPrevious$58,195,100
2018Current$16,500,000
12 yrPvs + Cur$74,695,100
1 yrFuture$12,500,000
13 yrTotal$87,195,100

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
10 y 134 dOctagon4 years/$56M (2016-19)

Details
  • 4 years/$56M (2016-19). Signed by Chicago Cubs as a free agent 12/9/15. $2M signing bonus. 16:$10M, 17:$16M, 18:$16M, 19:$12M. Full no-trade protection for 2016-18. Limited no-trade protection for 2019 (may block deals to 8 clubs).
  • 4 years/$18M (2010-13), plus 2014-15 club options. Signed extension 4/22/10. $561,900 signing bonus. 10:$0.4381M, 11:$4.5M, 12:$4.5M, 13:$5.5M, 14:$7M club option, $2.5M buyout, 15:$7.5M club option, $0.5M buyout. 2015 option may increase based on 2010-14 MVP vote. Award bonuses, including $25,000 for All Star selection. Assignment bonus: $0.75M before end of 2011 season. $0.5M after 2011 season through before end of 2013 season. $0.25M after 2013 season. Tampa Bay exercised 2014 option 11/2/13. Tampa Bay exercised 2015 option 10/31/14. Acquired by Oakland in trade from Tampa Bay 1/10/15. Acquired by Kansas City in trade from Oakland 7/28/15. (Athletics pay more than $2M of $2,786,885 remaining on Zobrist's contract for 2015, with Royals paying the balance.)
  • 1 year/$0.4381M (2010). Re-signed by Tampa Bay 3/3/10.
  • 1 year/$0.4159M (2009). Re-signed by Tampa Bay 2/23/09.
  • 1 year/$0.3958M (2008). Re-signed by Tampa Bay 2/08. Optioned to Triple-A 5/29/08. Recalled 6/24/08. Recalled 7/3/08. Optioned to Triple-A 7/23/08. Recalled 8/5/08.
  • 1 year/$0.3834M (2007). Re-signed by Tampa Bay 2/07.
  • 1 year (2006). Acquired by Tampa Bay in trade from Houston 7/12/06 (Aubrey Huff deal). Contract purchased by Tampa Bay 7/31/06.
  • Drafted by Houston 2004 (6-184) (Dallas Baptist).

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
90o 526 73 132 29 2 12 56 68 66 5 3 .293 .389 .446 .288 28.2 2B -3, RF -1 2.2
80o 511 69 123 27 2 11 53 63 65 4 3 .280 .372 .425 .278 22.6 2B -3, RF -1 1.7
70o 500 66 118 26 2 11 50 60 65 4 3 .273 .364 .419 .271 18.9 2B -3, RF -1 1.4
60o 490 63 112 24 2 10 48 58 64 4 3 .264 .355 .400 .265 15.7 2B -3, RF -1 1.1
50o 481 61 109 24 2 10 47 56 64 4 3 .260 .350 .399 .259 12.9 2B -3, RF -1 0.9
40o 472 59 105 23 2 10 45 53 63 4 3 .255 .343 .393 .254 10.2 2B -3, RF -1 0.6
30o 462 57 100 22 2 9 43 51 63 3 2 .247 .334 .378 .247 7.4 2B -3, RF -1 0.4
20o 451 54 95 20 2 9 41 48 62 3 2 .239 .324 .368 .240 4.2 2B -3, RF -1 0.1
10o 436 50 88 19 2 8 38 45 61 3 2 .229 .311 .351 .230 0.1 2B -3, RF -1 -0.3
Weighted Mean483611102421047566443.262.351.400.26013.42B -3, RF -10.9

Preseason Long-Term Forecast (Beyond the 2018 Projections)

Playing time estimates are based on performance, not Depth Charts.
Year Age PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG TAv WARP VORP BRR POS_ADJ REP_ADJ RAA FRAA
201938372468119184044552.251.344.396.2651.113.00.80.510.01.8-3.1
202039285356214163033421.251.341.391.2620.79.20.70.37.60.6-2.4
202140262325813162830380.252.342.389.2610.78.20.60.27.00.4-2.2
202241250305412152629370.249.340.386.2600.67.50.70.16.7-0.1-2.1
202342237285111152427360.247.337.379.2570.56.20.60.16.4-0.8-2.0
202443230274911142327360.244.335.373.2540.45.40.60.06.2-1.4-1.9
202544231275011152327360.244.334.373.2540.45.30.6-0.06.2-1.5-1.9
202645225264710142226360.242.332.369.2520.34.70.6-0.16.0-1.8-1.9
202746222264710142225360.242.331.367.2510.34.40.6-0.16.0-2.1-1.8

Comparable Players (Similarity Index 79)

Rank Score Name Year TAv Trend
1 92 Marco Scutaro 2013 .271
2 91 Chase Utley 2016 .273
3 91 Mark Loretta 2009 .206
4 87 Jerry Hairston 2013 .208
5 85 Willie Randolph 1992 .268
6 85 Wade Boggs 1995 .291
7 83 Lou Whitaker 1994 .288
8 83 Eric Young 2004 .254
9 83 Tony Fernandez 1999 .301
10 83 Pete Rose 1978 .289
11 83 Barry Larkin 2001 .264
12 82 Coco Crisp 2017 .000 DNP
13 82 Scott Hatteberg 2007 .287
14 82 Buddy Bell 1989 .179
15 82 Ray Durham 2009 .000 DNP
16 82 Toby Harrah 1986 .255
17 81 Mark Grace 2001 .292
18 81 Jimmy Rollins 2016 .223
19 81 Carlos Ruiz 2016 .278
20 81 Roberto Alomar 2005 .000 DNP
21 81 Placido Polanco 2013 .233
22 81 Mark Ellis 2014 .195
23 80 Jim Gilliam 1966 .239
24 80 Tim Raines 1997 .308
25 80 Ozzie Smith 1992 .263
26 80 Brian Roberts 2015 .000 DNP
27 79 Dick Groat 1968 .000 DNP
28 79 Orlando Cabrera 2012 .000 DNP
29 79 John Olerud 2006 .000 DNP
30 79 Scott Rolen 2012 .252
31 79 Billy Goodman 1963 .000 DNP
32 79 Rusty Staub 1981 .324
33 79 Elmer Valo 1958 .254
34 79 Victor Martinez 2016 .274
35 78 Tony Gwynn 1997 .329
36 78 Todd Helton 2011 .288
37 78 Brian Giles 2008 .315
38 78 Joe Morgan 1981 .285
39 78 Orlando Palmeiro 2006 .210
40 78 Alan Trammell 1995 .250
41 78 Manny Mota 1975 .237
42 77 Dave Roberts 2009 .000 DNP
43 77 Cookie Rojas 1976 .213
44 77 Dave Magadan 2000 .284
45 77 Pete Runnels 1965 .000 DNP
46 77 Nick Punto 2015 .000 DNP
47 77 Carlos Lee 2013 .000 DNP
48 77 Mark Kotsay 2013 .192
49 77 Cal Ripken Jr. 1998 .252
50 77 Nellie Fox 1965 .219
51 77 Keith Lockhart 2002 .226
52 77 Tim McCarver 1979 .226
53 77 Carlos Baerga 2006 .000 DNP
54 77 Jamey Carroll 2011 .271
55 77 Rocky Nelson 1962 .000 DNP
56 77 Denny Walling 1991 .110
57 77 Kevin Millar 2009 .230
58 77 Brooks Robinson 1974 .280
59 76 Smoky Burgess 1964 .225
60 76 Bill Madlock 1988 .000 DNP
61 76 Dave Bergman 1990 .282
62 76 Enos Slaughter 1953 .312
63 76 Wally Joyner 1999 .248
64 76 Bernie Williams 2006 .252
65 76 Adam Kennedy 2013 .000 DNP
66 76 Omar Vizquel 2004 .257
67 76 Gregg Zaun 2008 .259
68 76 Paul Lo Duca 2009 .000 DNP
69 76 Sherm Lollar 1962 .258
70 76 Miguel Tejada 2011 .231
71 76 Sal Bando 1981 .250
72 76 Albert Pujols 2017 .225
73 76 Moises Alou 2004 .313
74 75 Kenny Lofton 2004 .264
75 75 Davey Lopes 1982 .251
76 75 Chris Gomez 2008 .237
77 75 Ted Simmons 1987 .263
78 75 Carl Furillo 1959 .241
79 75 Damion Easley 2007 .285
80 75 Ramon Hernandez 2013 .226
81 75 Craig Counsell 2008 .246
82 75 Joe Randa 2007 .000 DNP
83 75 Randy Velarde 2000 .259
84 75 Gene Woodling 1960 .313
85 75 Randy Winn 2011 .000 DNP
86 75 Johnny Damon 2011 .281
87 75 Mike Sweeney 2011 .000 DNP
88 75 Del Crandall 1967 .000 DNP
89 75 Craig Biggio 2003 .269
90 74 Bill Buckner 1987 .247
91 74 Luis Aparicio 1971 .219
92 74 Eddie Stanky 1953 .281
93 74 Rod Carew 1983 .294
94 74 Rick Burleson 1988 .000 DNP
95 74 Steve Braun 1985 .272
96 74 Ryan Klesko 2008 .000 DNP
97 74 Felipe Alou 1972 .280
98 74 Jeff Cirillo 2007 .240
99 74 Ron Fairly 1976 .279
100 74 Derek Jeter 2011 .268

Platoon

SORT_FIELD PLATOON AVG OBP SLG TAv
10 vs L (Multi) .308 .394 .465 .315
11 vs R (Multi) .258 .364 .426 .292
18 Split (Multi) -.050 -.030 -.039 -.023
19 LgAvg (Multi) -.012 -.001 -.003 -.000
30 vs L (2016) .301 .401 .455 .317
31 vs R (2016) .261 .380 .442 .301
38 Split (2016) -.040 -.021 -.012 -.016
39 LgAvg (2016) -.014 .000 -.009 -.001

Definition of multi-year splits

BP Annual Player Comments

YearComment
2017 By the time the Cubs put the finishing touches on their 2016 season Zobrist had been largely supplanted at second base by Javier Báez, but that didn’t stop the 35-year-old jack-of-all-trades from making an impact in his first year in Chicago. Zobrist’s elite contact and pitch-recognition skills showed no signs of decline, even as his still-strong positional flexibility shrunk a bit. As he continues to age, and probably spends more and more time in the outfield, that defensive “decline” will continue, but remember that it’s more a decline relative to our expectations of Zobrist than any real slide. That slide will come—36 is not an age at which upside starts to manifest—but Zobrist’s offensive profile and value propositions are such that it might not become apparent for a few years yet.
2016 One of the league's most versatile players, Zobrist missed a month last summer with a balky knee but still managed to post his usual outstanding offensive numbers while bouncing between second base and the corner outfield. As he's moved into his mid-thirties Zobrist is no longer a threat to launch 20 bombs or steal double-digit bases, but his ability to make contact, draw walks and line doubles into the gap allows him to produce anywhere in the lineup. His glove caught a case of the vapors last summer, which may be the first sign of age-related decline, but Zobrist remains the archetype of a “professional hitter” in the sabermetric era.
2015 Zobrist continues to be one of the best all-around players in the game despite celebrating his 33rd birthday in the middle of the season. He manned five positions, starting at least 15 games at four of them, and he plays all of them well, even transitioning seamlessly from one to the other. In fact, he played multiple positions in nearly a quarter of his games. It is becoming increasingly unlikely that Zobrist approaches 20 home runs in a season again, but he continues to pump out extra-base hits like a southern rap album. He was named the team MVP by the local chapter of the BBWAA, but at this point is deserving of a lifetime achievement award for the near-decade he has produced as a member of the organization.
2014 The Robin to Longoria's Batman, Zobrist continues to fly under the national radar as one of the pillars of the Rays organization. The addition of Yunel Escobar allowed him to return to second base while maintaining cameo appearances in the corner outfield. The slash player maintained a stellar average and reached base often, but saw a steep drop in power. No concrete reason for the outage has been put forward publicly, but it is fair to wonder if age and mileage are catching up to him. There is also a chance it is just random variance as he still smacked doubles around the yard. Zobrist still does so many other things well that even a legitimate loss of power will not make him a below-average player. (See, for instance, his PECOTA line above.)
2013 The August transition to shortstop was classic Zobrist. Once again, he quietly showed his immensely valuable versatility, shoring up a position that had become a sinkhole for the Rays while producing a 900-plus OPS over the last two months of the year. The position change also appears to have lifted Zobrist's sagging FRAA. Zobrist had the 14th-highest BVORP and TAv in all of baseball in 2012. For his elite production and great utility, the Rays paid $4.5 millionand they have him under team control through 2015 for a potential total of $20 million. Isn't that just like Zobrist: His ridiculously team-friendly contract goes mostly unnoticed while Longoria's gets all the attention. Plus, his wife sings the national anthem at the Trop. Here's betting she doesn't charge the Rays a dime.
2012 He answered the concerns that 2009 was a fluke at the plate by going out and posting the 15th best BVORP in baseball last season at 51.0, while continuing to play premium defense at two positions. Joe Maddon went out of his way during one pregame chat to say that as good as Zobrist was at second base, he was even better in right field. While the defensive metrics may or may not agree, it shows how comfortable Maddon is with Zobrist in right. Zobrists slash line did not match his career year of 2009, but he did come within a stolen base of joining the 20/20 club, and was a run and stolen base from joining the likes of Ryan Braun, Jacoby Ellsbury, Curtis Granderson, Matt Kemp, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, and Justin Upton as the only players to go 20/20 while scoring 100 or more runs. His 4.5 WARP trailed only Evan Longorias value on the team, as did his .310 TAv. There are bigger stars and bigger names on the Rays roster, but Zobrist has played a huge part in the team's continued success these past few seasons.
2011 Just as quickly as Zobrist turned into one of the league's top offensive forces (which coincided with his tutoring by swing-doctor Jaime Cevallos), so did his power desert him. Last season, Zobrist's home runs per fly ball (HR/FB) rate fell to about one-third of its 2008-2009 levels, from 17.5 percent to 6.0 percent, and his line-drive rate also fell considerably. After hitting .293/.376/.411 through the end of June, he batted just .180/.315/.291 the rest of the way, finishing under the Mendoza line in each of the final three full months. He did miss a week in late July/early August with a lower-back strain, after which he stopped stealing bases, so there is some suspicion that he was playing hurt, but another school of thought suggests that he didn't adjust to the way the league adjusted to him. Zobrist was still a valuable contributor thanks to his high walk total (fourth in the league) and above-average defense while switching regularly between right field and second base and spotting at first base, center field, and third base. In the third season of a four-year, $18-million deal that bought out his arbitration years, where Zobrist fits into the Rays' 2011 plans remains unclear at this writing; he could return to a roving starter role or figure prominently in the first-base or hold down an outfield role until Jennings is deemed ready.
2010 Zobrist showed a surprising amount of pop while emerging as a superutilityman in 2008, but the work he put in with swing mechanic Jaime Cevallos (which began prior to the 2008 season) turned him into one of the league's top offensive forces; he blended power, patience and speed to emerge as... Zorilla! Zobrist spent nearly the entire first half slugging .600, and wound up ranking seventh in the league on that front, fourth in OBP, and second only to Joe Mauer in EqA. After battling for time in right field, he lucked into the everyday second base job once Akinori Iwamura went down; UZR (+16) and Plus/Minus (+17) hold his work at the keystone in even higher esteem than FRAA. Furthermore, he extended his utility to playing every defensive position except catcher. The trade of Iwamura opens up the full-time second base job for Zobrist, but don't be surprised if Joe Maddon takes advantage of his versatility to keep Zorilla on the loose in 2010.
2009 Zobrist's miserable 2007 was the reason the Rays acquired Jason Barlett in the first place, but after returning from a nasty thumb injury early in the year, Zobrist refashioned himself as a future super-sub able to play six positions. He was pressing and swinging at everything in '07, but returned to his patient ways in 2008, drawing walks and waiting for pitches to drive. Expecting a home run every 16.5 at-bats again is a bit of a pipe dream, but he's one of the more valuable reserve players around, one who can give a team reason not to panic if a starter is forced to the disabled list.
2008 While he's made it pretty clear that he's doesn't deserve a starting shortstop job, Zobrist is still a fundamentally sound defender with good on-base skills who will likely fill Josh Wilson's bench spot next year, but do it better.
2007 Part of the payoff for Aubrey Huff, Zobrist is less the Shortstop of the Future then the shortstop of right now. Too old to be considered a high-ceiling prospect, he`s still a solid player with great command of the strike zone. He doesn`t have much power to speak of, but if he can catch the ball and get on base, he`ll be plenty serviceable for the time being.

BP Articles

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BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2017-10-06 19:30:00 (link to chat)Is Addison Russell the Cubs future short stop or would they benefit for trading for a prospect like Wander Javier (who seems like a perfect fit in Chicago)?
(Dusty from Colorado )
I think the Cubs are content to roll with Russell for the foreseeable future. With the hitters with whom they've surrounded Russell, they don't necessarily need an impact bat at the position, and the 23-year-old is a Gold Glove-caliber player. Plus, Russell does have some good pop in his bat and will likely improve on this year's meager numbers.

On the other end of the equation is the fact that the Cubs have little to trade away at this point except a couple of unattractive veterans. Ben Zobrist wouldn't fetch much on the trade market, and there aren't many other tradeable players on the club. So yes, while all of you weirdos with your Wander Javier questions are cute, there's zero chance the Cubs pick him up. Go see Jeff Paternostro's various comments. (Zachary Moser)
2017-07-18 14:00:00 (link to chat)I really like Ian Happ. Is he Ben Zobrist with more power? Is Contrearas slowly becoming a top 3 catcher in baseball?
(pocket pounder from plaza lanes)
I like Ian Happ, too, but I would not give a zobrist comp. If i am not mistaken, zobrist is known for his contact ability. Happ though makes solid contact, he also misses balls, too. Happ is more a hit first with a daniel murphy kind of glove. As for Contreras, give him 2-3 more seasons, he could be top 3, top 5 easy. (Javier Barragan)
2017-03-22 20:00:00 (link to chat)"Low minors second base prospect is always a tough profile." Ahhh, so THAT'S why every scout crapped all over me, and Dustin, and Cano, and Mookie B., and on and on and on. Maybe second base shouldn't be looked at as a "tough profile" any more than any other position.
(Jose Altuve from Cooperstown, but later)
So Pedroia was a shortstop prospect until Double-A, Cano was mostly a shortstop until High-A (and looked like he would end up at third if we're counting), and Betts played all over the place. People will bring up Jose Altuve until the cows come home, but isn't the guy who turned out to have an 8 hit more the exception than the rule?

Here's an exercise: group your favorite X number of MLB second basemen and see how many were second basemen in the low-minors.

I'll start. Aside from the above, Daniel Murphy wasn't, Ian Kinsler wasn't, Ben Zobrist wasn't, Javier Baez wasn't, Brandon Phillips wasn't, Neil Walker wasn't, Dee Gordon wasn't, Logan Forsythe wasn't, Brian Dozier mostly wasn't, I think Jason Kipnis and Rougned Odor moved there in High-A, hell even Joe Panik moved there in Double-A. (Jarrett Seidler)
2017-03-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hey there, Matt. Who's the next Ben Zobrist?
(Bryan G. from Rhode Island)
Literally who would know this better than you?

(Javier Baez.) (Matthew Trueblood)
2016-02-25 12:00:00 (link to chat)Who in the Mets' system do you see having the highest chance of being a superstar? Top 15 player in game. Obviously there is not a lot of high-ceiling types, but does anyone stick out as having their 95% outcome being that guy?
(AMetsGuy from NYC)
Steven Matz

...

Yeah, okay, you can't really play games like this in the system and include Matz. If Becerra puts it all together, I guess. I don't even know if 95% gets you there. I think most systems lack that guy honestly. That's a big ask. Then again, it happened for deGrom.

I guess I could stay on brand and say Carpio could turn into Ben Zobrist, but I don't even believe that, and I love Carpio. I guess Gimenez and Guerrero have that possibility, but that is only because they are so far away and haven't failed as pros yet so the range of outcomes is huge. (Jeffrey Paternostro)
2015-12-01 14:00:00 (link to chat)What kind of contract do you think Ben Zobrist ends up getting?
(Jon from Denver)
A big one. I would guess 5/80 but I am awful at this. Ben Zobrist is really, really good. (Christopher Crawford)
2015-12-01 14:00:00 (link to chat)So Detroit trades for K-rod, signs Jordan Zimmermann, and they're STILL behind the Royals? Everyone knows Ben Zobrist, Alex Gordon, AND Johnny Cueto aren't going back to KC right?
(DetroitDale from Florida (Eternal Spring Training))
I didn't say that. I think it's close. Detroit still has a lot of question marks, in my book. So does Kansas City. So does Minnesota. So does everyone. It's the first day of December. (Christopher Crawford)
2015-12-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)What kind of contract do you see Ben Zobrist getting this offseason? Does a team risk going four years with him?
(Dave from Chicago)
We have some estimates on this, which wasn't true when Dave asked the question. I'll guess four years, and that he gets somewhere between $60 million and $68 million. If he signs for less, as is the current rumor, it seems to me that it'd be a steal in this market. (Matthew Trueblood)
2015-09-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Austin Barnes had a nice year in AAA. What do you see his role next year and can he ever become a starting major league C?
(ColeWhittier from Pasadena, CA)
I grew up fascinated by the Tyler Houstons and Michael Barretts of the world-the catchers who could play other positions-so Barnes is in my wheelhouse and I find him more interesting than I should.

You're correct that Barnes had a good year-that's true whenever a catcher hits .315 with a roughly one-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio-but I'm not sure if he's ever going to be an everyday starting backstop. He's a little smaller than the typical catcher, and his tools aren't loud (even his defense is considered more good than great). Factor in who's ahead of him on that Dodgers depth chart, and I kinda want them to use him as a cheat code: plug him in on Sundays at catcher, then at second or third base once or twice throughout the week to get him his plate appearances.

I don't know what the Dodgers' actual plan is for Barnes, but I think that would be pretty cool-especially since the rest of their roster (Seager, Peraza) would allow them to roll without a traditional backup shortstop; if they trusted Barnes as their backup catcher that would, in theory, allow them two extra bench spots to do with as they pleased.

Basically, Barnes has the chance to become the next Ben Zobrist-which is to say, the player with special defensive flexibility whose name is cheapened by incessant half-brain comparisons. (R.J. Anderson)
2015-07-23 17:00:00 (link to chat)Which player stands to lose the most this offseason if they are not traded and receive a Qualifying Offer?
(Rob from Chicago)
Ben Zobrist given his age and skills, although it's hard to see the Athletics risking the QO 1 year price on Zobrist unless they're sure he'll refuse it. (Mike Gianella)
2015-07-28 18:00:00 (link to chat)Do you like the Ben Zobrist trade from the A's perspective? LHP Sean Manaea has an injury history, but it's nice to see some pitching talent that the A's acquire who isn't described as "fringy."
(John from Sacramento)
Beane has a history of trading prospects as soon as they hit the apex of their value so giving him more assets is a positive in my mind. I like the trade for the Royals more but it was still good for the A's. (Mauricio Rubio)
2015-07-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)The A's are 41-50, 8 games out of a playoff spot, and with every AL team in front of them. Yet, Billy Beane hasn't deal Ben Zobrist, Tyler Clippard, Scott Kazmir, or Jesse Chavez. At some point, isn't waiting going to reduce their trade value since there are less games for them to help?
(Paul from San Diego)
This could be just me, but I feel like the A's feel like with that run differential, they're due to get back in this race. The division is extremely flawed, so I sort of understand this thinking, but there's just too many teams to jump over now. The overall point is correct though, the longer they hold on, the more the value drops. (Christopher Crawford)
2015-01-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)What is Austin Barnes' likely position going forward? Or will he be a Zobrist type?
(Fred from Los Angeles)
Ben Zobrist "type" but don't go in expecting Ben Zobrist production. Versatility is the new black. (NL West Top 10s With Nick Faleris)
2014-12-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)How likely you think the chances of the Cubs landing Ben Zobrist? To me he fits exactly what they are looking for. Also, think they still might sign Brandon McCarthy?
(Fred Fenster from Chicago)
I think Zobrist makes sense, but I don't think anything is likely until I hear concrete information that a team is interested and motivated to make a deal. That doesn't appear to be the case just yet, at least with the Cubs, Rays, and Zobrist. (Sahadev Sharma)
2014-11-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)Ben Zobrist for Kyle Crick?
(drmorris75 from SF)
That needs a few more digits on the right-hand side. (Sam Miller)
2014-08-29 12:00:00 (link to chat)Who do you like for the long term: nick franklin or jedd gyorko?
(Kevin from NJ)
I'm leaning Gyorko. He's already had a solid year in the majors, and he's played better since returning from the disabled list. At worst, I don't see his ceiling being much (if any) lower than Franklin's is.

On a related note, I don't like or agree with the Ben Zobrist comparisons for Franklin. They're both switch hitters, but it falls apart for me beyond that. (R.J. Anderson)
2014-06-26 14:00:00 (link to chat)Does Ben Zobrist get traded by the deadline and if he does, how does it impact his fantasy value?
(hamsterjockey from DC)
I don't think he does. It's merely a gut feeling, but I think the Rays will move David Price and avoid moving anything else too big. (J.P. Breen)
2014-03-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is Logan Forsythe like a mini-me version of Ben Zobrist? How do you see them using Forsythe and is he being groomed as Zorilla's eventual replacement?
(Jake from Kalamazoo)
There are some similarities (defensive versatility, good approaches, well-rounded skill sets) but Forsythe has to prove he can hit righties and stay healthy before we get too far ahead of ourselves here. (R.J. Anderson)
2014-01-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)A fantasy baseball question - unsure if this is the right Q&A for it but anyways ... I have Machado (and love him but I also have Castellanos to fall back on for 3B, along with planning on drafting the ultimate utility man, Ben Zobrist) and was offered Freddie Freeman. It is an eight-man keeper league and I have Manny for $5 and Freeman is $12. The only reason I am considering it is my concern for Manny's knee. Any knowledge on his progression/healing and, then, is this is a fair trade considering everything? I am leaning towards no since I think Manny will be a stud for years to come but so will Freeman in my opinion. Thanks
(Tony from The tundra)
It might not seem like the right place... but it is. I think you keep Machado. I like Freeman, more than people might think - but Machado is a potential superstar at a more valuable position. I'm concerned about the knee as well, but if this is a long-term league then I think you take that risk. (Craig Goldstein)
2013-12-10 18:00:00 (link to chat)All but one of those SS are in the NL. Who will be top five in the AL in 2015?
(Jim from Boston)
Reyes would be #1 followed by Elvis Andrus, Ben Zobrist, Alexei Ramirez, and Asdrubal Cabrera. Yikes...I didn't realize what a drop off there was at SS in the AL compared to previous years. (Mike Gianella)
2013-02-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)How do you value a guy like Nick Castellanos, who can play all over the diamond? Do you knock him because he isn't a SS or a CF, or do you give him a bonus due to versatility (like Ben Zobrist)?
(ttt from Manhattan)
I'm not sure Castellanos can play all over the diamond. He could probably stick around at third if he focuses on it, and either corner will be options, but he's not a middle-of-the-diamond defender. I knock every player if they can't play up-the-middle. (Jason Parks)
2012-09-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)If you had to compare a baseball player to Feist, who would it be? And a followup question: Which GM is most like Michael Bay?
(Grant from Frisco, baby)
FRISCO, REPRAZENT

The Bay one is easy: Obviously that's Jeff Luhnow, because of the way he blew up the Astros this year. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM.

The baseball version of Feist would have to be someone incredibly annoying, like a Scott Hairston. Alternately it could be a player who's wildly overvalued by stat nerds because he put up some kind of stupid SABR-y numbers in an outlier year. So maybe Feist is Ben Zobrist. Benzo Brist. (Ian Miller)
2012-04-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)If Tampa is using radical alignment shifts in their infield for a significant amount of time, wouldn't this skew their defensive UZR ratings? Since UZR is based on the % of time you make a play in a certain zone compared to the average % of plays made, if you shift a second baseman right behind second base, who then makes a routine play on the SS side of 2B, UZR will reward that player with a much higher run saved score than that player actually deserves based on the real difficulty. As a result, it seems like some of the high defensive scores might be really due to the managerial positioning, rather than actual defensive prowess. I guess what I'm saying is Ben Zobrist is overrated by Fangraphs.
(Bob from Seattle)
Here's a solution: look at other metrics besides UZR. Don't take any one fielding metric as gospel, particularly for less than a full season of data - ideally, look at three seasons worth if you can. (Jay Jaffe)
2012-02-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Has Ben Zobrist reached a point where he is going for too much $/too high of pick on average to make him a bargain?
(Blake from Chicago)
Yeah, it's doubtful he'll come at much of a bargain, though he won't necessarily be overvalued either. (Derek Carty)
2011-04-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)Tampa Bay -- DOA?
(Mike from Cleveland)
The difference between the Rays and the Red Sox is that the loss of Longoria could be a crippling blow. Not only is he by far their best hitter, but putting Sean Rodriguez into a platoon at third base deprives Joe Maddon of the flexibility which his multi-position arrangement involving Ben Zobrist produces. Plus I was never sold on the idea that Dan Johnson is a real solution at first base. They're not dead yet, but the Rays are in worse shape than the Sox as far as the big picture goes. (Jay Jaffe)
2011-03-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)What do you think of Ben Zobrist as a MIF option this year?
(bfitzge3 from Upstate NY)
I like him. His BABIP and line drive rates dropped last year, bringing down the AVG and power, but both rebounded somewhat in the second half. He still has a solid batting eye and can steal, so I'm figuring on something around .260 with 16-18 homers and 20 or so steals, very valuable in any league. (Cory Schwartz)
2010-12-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)I'm high on both Gordon Beckham and Ben Zobrist for next year. Are you in?
(Mike r from Tacoma)
Zobrist will have more power next year, but I can't see him consistently slugging over .470. I also think Beckham will play closer to his production in 2009 than 2010, but I don't see him being a consistent offensive threat either. I'd say I'm medium-high on them. (Eric Seidman)
2010-11-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)Seriously Jose Bautista? Eric, have you ever seen a more surprising number than 54 hrs for bautista this season? Any chance he even can even hit 40 next year?
(Kenneth from 30 Rockefeller Center)
Well, Luiz Gonzalez's 57 home runs were very surprising but his seasonal tallies prior to that year were at least in the 23-30 range. Brady Anderson was a big surprise, but this feels differently, perhaps because I really believe Bautista was not on steroids. Maybe that's foolhardy on my part but I buy into the idea of a completely changed swing. I don't get why we're so quick to believe Ben Zobrist had an awesome 2009 because of a new swing but not Bautista. Zobrist's approach translated to a higher BA and SLG, Bautista's to more home runs. There is a difference, but people are so damn protective of home runs that it skews our perspective on a lot of things.

As for next year, I'll say 36 home runs for Bautista. (Eric Seidman)
2010-08-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)how about Ben Zobrist last year?
(In Re: Bautista from tampa)
Well, Zobrist broke out in 2008, and he's younger than both players. He's had a very strange 2010, where a lot of the power he showed over two seasons didn't stick like it should have, but he's still remained useful due to his patience. (Marc Normandin)
2010-07-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Am I being punished or something? My condo floods and makes me miss a flight and next thing I know I go from the everyday 2b to chopped liver over the last 2 weeks.
(Sean-Rod from St Pete)
Between you, Reid Brignac, Jason Bartlett and Ben Zobrist, the Rays certainly have a lot of middle infield options to sort through, and a lot of ways Joe Maddon can try to match them up. So long as you're still on the roster, it's pretty likely your turn will come, though you may be the low man on the totem pole given how much organizational love there is for the other three. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-07-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)Think Ben Zobrist could pull off a 15/30 type season when all is said and done?
(Trevor27 from Miami)
I do love Zorilla. His power has kind of cratered this year, but I don't know if it's gone forever. I can see that happening for sure. (Marc Normandin)
2010-06-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)Almost halfway through the season, is it safe to say that Ben Zobrist is a very good player and not the very GREAT player we witnessed last season? 5 homers and a .414 slugging so far...
(Peter from San Diego)
Yes, I think it's safe to say that. While I don't entirely dismiss what Zobrist did last year as a fluke - he remade his swing, with impressive results - it's clear he's not immune from some serious regression to the mean. Luckily, he's not a one-dimensional player, so he brings plate discipline and versatility in the field even if he's not matching last year's 27 homers and .543 SLG. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-04-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)How do you pick your big-league Q&A subjects? Is it whoever seems most accessible, or do you arrange it ahead of time? Have you ever had an unruly subject?
(mallen from Denver)
Accessible plays a role in that they are preferable to players who are notorious inaccessible, i.e. are likely to stick to cliched answers and short ones at that. I've encountered a few such animals and have simply bagged the interview entirely so as not to waste everyone's time. Interestingly, the most recent Bull-Durham case I encountered was a Yankees Double-A player [not Romine] who I assumed would like to talk about his game. Instead, he was either dumb as a rock or simply has no use for reporters.

And,of course, players are not always readily available when you pursue them. Ben Zobrist was a recent target at Fenway, but I simply couldn't catch up to him that day. So, if you're reading this Ben, be forewarned that you're on THE LIST. (David Laurila)
2010-03-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)wher do you see sean rodriguez fitting in tampa?
(mjk415 from elmhurst,ill)
The Rays seem to be bursting at the seams with talent right now. Joe Maddon has some interesting options when it comes to where Ben Zobrist plays, and who that leaves in the mix. If Zobrist is a second baseman, Rodriguez and Reid Brignac probably compete for the final utility spot and the Matt Joyce/Gabe Kapler platoon goes off as planned. If Zobrist is a right fielder, Rodriguez has a shot at winning the second base job.

The fact that he can play the outfield as well as the other infield positions certainly works in his favor if he goes the utility route.

Oh, and an aside to a reader whom I'll leave unidentified: the surest way for me to ignore any question you ever ask in a chat until the end of time is to complain about the pace of things in my chat. I'm not Keith Law firing off two-syllable answers, though I'll gladly give you one: GET BENT. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-02-17 16:00:00 (link to chat)If you're Andrew Friedman, do you sign Branyan, and if so, how do you make it work on the roster?
(Stephanie from DC)
Yeah, I think signing Branyan would be a great idea. He bats lefty and they've already got flexibility with Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist on the roster. Clearly he isn't commanding a massive salary, so I don't really see the downside. Plus, the value of a marginal win to the Rays is very high. (Tommy Bennett)
2010-02-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)In a dynasty league and just picked up Ben Zobrist. Do you see him coming close to his 2009 production and how long do you think he'll be around for?
(Chris from Boston)
Zorilla! I'm not sure he'll have as much power as he did in 2009, but he'll have enough to make it worth it, and enough that if he ends up in right field he'll be very worthwhile there as well. (Marc Normandin)
2010-02-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think Carl Crawford gets dealt before the deadline this year, paving the way for Jennings? Or do you see an outfield of Crawford, Jennings and Upton heading into August?
(tommybones from brooklyn)
I think it all depends upon where the Rays are in the standings. Crawford is obviously more likely to get dealt if they're out of it.

That said, it's going to be *very* interesting to see what happens, because there's a line of thinking that says they keep Crawford and trade Upton at the point when his value is on the rise again. Remember, they've also got to figure out where Ben Zobrist fits, and Matt Joyce... suffice it to say that they've got an enviable amount of depth and flexibility. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-01-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)How much trouble is ranking Ben Zobrist going to give you this year?
(Stephanie from DC)
None! I know where Zorilla is going already. Spoiler alert: I'm a big fan (Marc Normandin)
2009-12-29 15:00:00 (link to chat)Ben Zobrist 2009 - peak year, or does he have a couple more of those in store before the current Rays championship contention window closes?
(Phil S. from NJ)
Peak year. .280/.350/.440 with plus defense at second, just not the crazy stuff his numbers indicate. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-12-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)This has not been brought up at all that I have seen, but does it make sense for the Rays to trade Ben Zobrist this off-season? Here is a guy who had an incredible season last year (his age 28 season), a season that no one expected. His salary is reasonable and his trade value has never been (and probably never will be) higher. Do you REALLY see him duplicating his performance from last season? I think he'll still be a solid player, but he has probably already peaked. You can trade him now and get far better return on him then you will down the road. What are your thoughts?
(JoshC77 from Columbus, OH)
I don't that his trade value is all that high, because of the perception that it was a fluke season in less than full-time play. I understand where you're coming from, but I don't think Zobrist's trade value matches his actual value, so you keep him and play him. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-11-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Why wasn't Ben Zobrist a bigger story during the season? His numbers weren't historic in and of themselves, but has a utility player ever hit like that? And has any player ever hit like that at age 28 after putting up a .200/.228/.275 line in his age 25-26 seasons combined?
(Rex Little from Big Bear, CA)
Zobrist excelled under the radar for a couple of reasons in my opinion, dealing with the Rays falling out of the race relatively early as well as Zobrist's utility status and prior track record. He didn't garner regular playing time until Iwamura went out and nothing was really expected of him to begin with, unlike teammate Carlos Pena whom everyone always saw as having star potential. Plus, the vast majority of fans thought his season was a fluke, and analysts may have become skeptical since so much of the WARP-type value comes from small samples of defense at several positions. While Zobrist legitimately had a fantastic season with the bat and the glove, it may take two more years of similar production before anyone really gives him credit. If the Rays rebound, however, in part thanks to his numbers, I doubt he'll really care. (Eric Seidman)
2009-12-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Would you expect Ben Zobrist or Aaron Hill to duplicate their performances in 2010? Between those two and Gordon Beckham's move to 2B, how much more or less valuable is a premiere second baseman next year?
(Ethan from New York, NY)
I actually like Ben Zobrist a lot. He hit pretty well in 2008 too, so it's nice to see him keep things going this past season. I haven't looked at Hill in detail yet (second base is this week's ranking redux though, so you won't have to wait long), but if the three of those players continue to hit, then yes, second base has a lot more worthwhile options that might add some depth to the rankings. (Marc Normandin)
2009-12-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)What does the future hold for Sean Rodriguez in Tampa?
(Jack from TB)
Tough for me to answer that, given the Rays aren't even sure where he's going to play yet. He could fill the old Ben Zobrist role if they keep Z at second base, but with Aki gone maybe he gets to play second if Zobrist moves to the outfield permanently. Either way, I think he'll be productive in his role. (Marc Normandin)
2009-10-07 14:30:00 (link to chat)Ben Zobrist, baseball's leader in WAR, MVP-candidate?
(jlarsen from Chicago)
With the Twins making the playoffs, the AL MVP debate is over, for all intents and purposes. The only question now is whether or not Mauer will be a unanimous choice. I don't think he will, but I do think the public opinion of the race has swung strongly in his favor. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-10-06 13:30:00 (link to chat)How much regression, both offensively and defensively, from Ben Zobrist in 2010? Can we see even more of a breakout?
(jlarsen from chicago)
I think there will be some regression there. I don't think he'll be one of the top five players in the American League, though I think he has certainly established himself a guy who deserves to play every day and will be productive over 600 plate appearances. (John Perrotto)
2009-09-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)All told, I'd imagine the two most disappointing teams this year were the Mets and then secondly the Cubs. For the AL, is it resoundingly the Rays?
(Warner from Kansas)
The Rays have been disappointing, but not devastatingly so. In the beginning, they played well but lost a lot of games they should have won. They collapsed down the stretch which was a bit surprising, and seemed to coincide with the loss of Carlos Pena (Ben Zobrist got his first start at 1B the other day -- why didn't they do that all along instead of Chris Richard?). Still, a lot of people saw this coming based on regression in the bullpen, and of course dealing Edwin Jackson turned out to be a bigger deal than they (and I to be honest) thought it would be, but that was a financial move. The Indians have to be on that list too, though in retrospect it's hard to see why so many were high on them at the outset. (Steven Goldman)
2009-07-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is Ben Zobrist for real? Can he actually be this type of player from now on?
(JFerg from MD)
On paper the performances look rather fluky, but he's always been something of a late bloomer and as I understand it, he's put in a lot of work to rebuild his swing over the past couple of years. I don't expect him to slug .600, but he should have a solid career as a versatile guy with some pop if not quite as much plate discipline as you'd hope. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-07-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)I think you might be a little off on the plate discipline of Ben Zobrist. That was one of the major positives in his scouting reports from the draft onwards. Right now, he's having an adjustment period as pitchers begin to pitch him differently, but I would actually expect plate discipline to be one of his strengths going forward.
(Stephanie from DC)
You're correct, Stephanie. I had Zorilla fixed around a .310 OBP last year when it was actually closer to .340, and he's up around .400 right now with a much higher walk rate than I remembered. Good catch. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-06-18 13:00:00 (link to chat)You can't go more than two days without another Ben Zobrist homerun. I'm on board and enjoying the ride, but wondered how good you think he really is.
(Jonathan from New York)
Z is the man. He's hit .280/.378/.586 with a homer every 14.31 at-bats over his last 372 ABs. His current ISO of .368 might be a bit much, but replicating last year's production seems possible. (Marc Normandin)
2009-06-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)As a guy who has followed him for years, how did Ben Zobrist suddenly turn from minor league .300 hitter with very little power into a guy with 13 home runs so far? Change in approach, natural progression, or perhaps something more nefarious? Perhaps the question I'm really asking, is: Is accusing someone of performance enhancing drugs ever a reasonable assumption?
(maybeofftopic365 from teaneck, nj)
DRaysBay did a big thing with his hitting coach. On the accusation, yes, that would be wrong. No one should ever say "this guy's doing steroids" without evidence. Now, could you wonder it? Absolutely. As the Raul Ibanez brouhaha has shown, some in the media didn't learn from the late 90's when we didn't ask questions. Ask the question, prove your case, let the athlete make his (and let me make a case for the Athlete's Passport here ...) Baseball fans are going to wonder. That's a price for lost trust, in the same way that a cuckolded spouse is going to wonder if his wife is really going to the store. It's not right, it's not comfortable, but it's how things work. (Will Carroll)
2009-05-18 14:00:00 (link to chat)Is Ben Zobrist the new Tony Phillips?
(Max from Chetwynd, BC)
I really like that comp, in no small part because like Zobrist, Phillips needed an organization change (or two) to catch a break, he's athletic enough to do several things well, and the mid-career power surge makes for an interesting reminder that not every guy who got something going at the plate was in danger of a self-inflicted pharoanic cranium. (Christina Kahrl)


BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2010-10-06 10:00:002010 Playoffs Day OneBen Zobrist post-break: .177/.294/.293. Who burst his pumpkin? (Steven Goldman)
2008-10-22 16:30:00World Series Game One"Rocco Baldelli is apparently a late scratch, with Ben Zobrist in the lineup.

"*PLUG* Zobrist is scheduled to be on BPR tomorrow."

So you Kerriganed Baldelli to get Zobrist into the lineup? Will takes BPR verrrry seriously, people. (Derek Jacques)
2008-10-22 16:30:00World Series Game OneRocco Baldelli is apparently a late scratch, with Ben Zobrist in the lineup.

*PLUG* Zobrist is scheduled to be on BPR tomorrow. (Will Carroll)
 

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