Biographical

Portrait of Ben Zobrist

Ben Zobrist 2BCubs

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2019 Projections (Rest of Season Projections - seasonal age 38)
PA AVG HR R RBI SB DRC+ WARP
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Birth Date5-26-1981
Height6' 3"
Weight210 lbs
Age37 years, 9 months, 22 days
BatsB
ThrowsR
2.42015
2.62016
0.12017
3.62018
1.52019
proj
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

YEAR TEAM AGE G PA H 2B 3B HR BB SO HBP SB CS AVG OBP SLG DRC+ DRAA BRR FRAA BWARP
2006 TBA 25 52 198 41 6 2 2 10 26 0 2 3 .224 .260 .311 60 -9.3 -1.8 1.6 -0.1
2007 TBA 26 31 105 15 2 0 1 3 21 1 2 0 .155 .184 .206 50 -6.3 -0.6 -3.8 -0.6
2008 TBA 27 62 227 50 10 2 12 25 37 2 3 0 .253 .339 .505 112 3.8 -0.1 -4.5 0.7
2009 TBA 28 152 599 149 28 7 27 91 104 2 17 6 .297 .405 .543 143 33.3 1.5 11.2 6.2
2010 TBA 29 151 655 129 28 2 10 92 107 3 24 3 .238 .346 .353 96 -2.0 1.0 9.1 2.3
2011 TBA 30 156 674 158 46 6 20 77 128 2 19 6 .269 .353 .469 120 16.1 5.0 -10.8 2.8
2012 TBA 31 157 668 151 39 7 20 97 103 3 14 9 .270 .377 .471 131 24.3 -5.2 0.8 4.0
2013 TBA 32 157 698 168 36 3 12 72 91 7 11 3 .275 .354 .402 111 9.2 -0.9 0.0 2.8
2014 TBA 33 146 654 155 34 3 10 75 84 1 10 5 .272 .354 .395 112 8.5 2.4 6.4 3.7
2015 KCA 34 59 264 66 16 1 7 29 30 1 2 3 .284 .364 .453 121 7.5 1.2 -3.8 1.2
2015 OAK 34 67 271 63 20 2 6 33 26 0 1 1 .268 .354 .447 117 6.3 -0.2 -1.0 1.2
2016 CHN 35 147 631 142 31 3 18 96 82 4 6 4 .272 .386 .446 119 15.9 3.9 -10.1 2.6
2017 CHN 36 128 496 101 20 3 12 54 71 2 2 2 .232 .318 .375 87 -6.5 -1.3 -3.4 0.1
2018 CHN 37 139 520 139 28 3 9 55 60 2 3 4 .305 .378 .440 118 12.6 3.0 7.3 3.6
Career160466601527344441668099703011649.266.357.429113113.37.8-1.030.4

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 LG G PA oppAVG oppOBP oppSLG BABIP BPF BRAA repLVL POS_ADJ DRC+ DRC+ SD FRAA BRR DRAA BWARP
2004 TCV A- NYP 68 310 .000 .000 .000 .367 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2005 LEX A SAL 68 310 .266 .343 .409 .341 107 11.8 8.2 3.1 118 0 7.1 -2.0 4.2 2.0
2005 SLM A+ CRL 42 180 .000 .000 .000 .361 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2006 TBA MLB AL 52 198 .266 .324 .416 .247 107 -12.6 6.0 2.7 60 10 1.6 -1.8 -9.3 -0.1
2006 CCH AA TXS 83 381 .000 .000 .000 .369 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2006 DUR AAA INT 18 82 .256 .321 .390 .339 99 2.9 2.3 1.1 122 0 -3.4 -1.2 0.7 -0.1
2007 TBA MLB AL 31 105 .267 .334 .417 .182 102 -11.9 3.1 1.4 50 11 -3.8 -0.6 -6.3 -0.6
2007 DUR AAA INT 61 276 .262 .327 .407 .306 97 11.5 7.6 2.2 136 0 -5.4 1.9 6.9 1.3
2008 TBA MLB AL 62 227 .263 .335 .417 .252 103 5.7 6.6 1.5 112 13 -4.5 -0.1 3.8 0.7
2008 VRO A+ FSL 4 15 .240 .305 .350 .333 112 -0.8 0.5 0 88 0 0.1 0.0 -0.4 0.0
2008 DUR AAA INT 20 88 .273 .339 .419 .423 101 8.3 2.3 0.4 172 0 0.3 0.5 4.7 0.8
2009 TBA MLB AL 152 599 .263 .331 .418 .326 105 36.5 17.2 -2 143 9 11.2 1.5 33.3 6.2
2010 TBA MLB AL 151 655 .258 .324 .406 .273 106 -0.9 18.1 -4.5 96 7 9.1 1.0 -2.0 2.3
2011 TBA MLB AL 156 674 .254 .320 .401 .310 99 26.2 18.2 -2.3 120 8 -10.8 5.0 16.1 2.8
2012 TBA MLB AL 157 668 .255 .316 .411 .296 96 34 18.3 -0.7 131 10 0.8 -5.2 24.3 4.0
2013 TBA MLB AL 157 698 .252 .317 .402 .303 95 15.7 18.4 -1.1 111 7 0.0 -0.9 9.2 2.8
2013 USA int WBC 4 14 .000 .000 .000 .300 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2014 TBA MLB AL 146 654 .253 .313 .391 .301 96 17.2 16.9 -0.7 112 8 6.4 2.4 8.5 3.7
2014 PCH A+ FSL 1 5 .244 .289 .317 .250 97 0.1 0.1 0 100 0 0.5 -0.1 -0.1 0.0
2015 KCA MLB AL 59 264 .258 .316 .423 .299 102 8.5 7.1 -0.9 121 8 -3.8 1.2 7.5 1.2
2015 OAK MLB AL 67 271 .260 .320 .418 .277 98 10 7.3 -1.2 117 8 -1.0 -0.2 6.3 1.2
2015 STO A+ CAL 2 6 .251 .319 .408 .333 93 0.1 0.2 0 109 0 0.1 -0.2 -0.1 0.0
2015 NAS AAA PCL 3 13 .261 .313 .417 .375 101 0.5 0.4 -0.1 105 0 -0.2 0.8 -0.2 0.1
2016 CHN MLB NL 147 631 .259 .327 .424 .290 92 29.3 17.8 -1.9 119 8 -10.1 3.9 15.9 2.6
2017 CHN MLB NL 128 496 .256 .325 .427 .251 99 -5.9 14.5 -2.1 87 8 -3.4 -1.3 -6.5 0.1
2017 TEN AA SOU 2 8 .246 .318 .391 .500 94 1.3 0.2 0 173 0 -0.1 -0.1 0.5 0.1
2018 CHN MLB NL 139 520 .246 .318 .403 .331 99 21.6 14.6 -3.2 118 9 7.3 3.0 12.6 3.6

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
Year Team lvl LG PA AB R H 2B 3B HR TB RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG ISO SF SH
2004 TCV A- NYP 310 257 50 87 14 3 4 119 45 43 31 15 4 .339 .435 .463 .125 4 4
2005 SLM A+ CRL 180 141 25 47 12 1 3 70 13 37 17 2 1 .333 .472 .496 .163 1 1
2005 LEX A SAL 310 247 45 75 17 2 2 102 32 47 35 16 5 .304 .419 .413 .109 4 4
2006 DUR AAA INT 82 69 12 21 3 1 0 26 6 10 9 4 1 .304 .390 .377 .072 2 2
2006 CCH AA TXS 381 315 57 103 25 6 3 149 30 55 46 9 5 .327 .429 .473 .146 5 5
2006 TBA MLB AL 198 183 10 41 6 2 2 57 18 10 26 2 3 .224 .260 .311 .087 3 2
2007 TBA MLB AL 105 97 8 15 2 0 1 20 9 3 21 2 0 .155 .184 .206 .052 2 2
2007 DUR AAA INT 276 222 42 62 14 2 7 101 22 43 38 8 3 .279 .403 .455 .176 3 3
2008 DUR AAA INT 88 71 15 26 3 0 4 41 13 15 16 4 1 .366 .471 .577 .211 1 1
2008 VRO A+ FSL 15 14 1 4 1 0 0 5 2 0 2 0 0 .286 .286 .357 .071 0 0
2008 TBA MLB AL 227 198 32 50 10 2 12 100 30 25 37 3 0 .253 .339 .505 .253 2 0
2009 TBA MLB AL 599 501 91 149 28 7 27 272 91 91 104 17 6 .297 .405 .543 .246 4 1
2010 TBA MLB AL 655 541 77 129 28 2 10 191 75 92 107 24 3 .238 .346 .353 .115 12 7
2011 TBA MLB AL 674 588 99 158 46 6 20 276 91 77 128 19 6 .269 .353 .469 .201 5 2
2012 TBA MLB AL 668 560 88 151 39 7 20 264 74 97 103 14 9 .270 .377 .471 .202 6 2
2013 TBA MLB AL 698 612 77 168 36 3 12 246 71 72 91 11 3 .275 .354 .402 .127 6 1
2013 USA int WBC 14 11 1 3 0 0 0 3 1 3 1 0 0 .273 .429 .273 .000 0 0
2014 TBA MLB AL 654 570 83 155 34 3 10 225 52 75 84 10 5 .272 .354 .395 .123 6
2014 PCH A+ FSL 5 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 .250 .400 .250 .000 0
2015 STO A+ CAL 6 6 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .000 0 0
2015 KCA MLB AL 264 232 37 66 16 1 7 105 23 29 30 2 3 .284 .364 .453 .168 2 0
2015 OAK MLB AL 271 235 39 63 20 2 6 105 33 33 26 1 1 .268 .354 .447 .179 3 0
2015 NAS AAA PCL 13 10 3 3 0 0 0 3 2 2 3 0 0 .300 .385 .300 .000 1 0
2016 CHN MLB NL 631 523 94 142 31 3 18 233 76 96 82 6 4 .272 .386 .446 .174 4 4
2017 TEN AA SOU 8 6 2 3 0 0 0 3 0 2 0 0 0 .500 .625 .500 .000 0 0
2017 CHN MLB NL 496 435 58 101 20 3 12 163 50 54 71 2 2 .232 .318 .375 .143 3 2
2018 CHN MLB NL 520 455 67 139 28 3 9 200 58 55 60 3 4 .305 .378 .440 .134 7 1

Plate Discipline

YEAR Pits Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing% Z-Contact% O-Contact% SwStr% CSAA
2008 832 0.4964 0.4026 0.8328 0.6029 0.2053 0.8996 0.6395 0.1672 0.0086
2009 2400 0.5038 0.3758 0.8126 0.5418 0.2074 0.8733 0.6518 0.1874 -0.0006
2010 2676 0.5037 0.3703 0.8315 0.5045 0.2342 0.8912 0.7010 0.1685 0.0012
2011 2671 0.5144 0.4006 0.8112 0.5640 0.2274 0.8748 0.6441 0.1888 0.0018
2012 2677 0.4737 0.3668 0.8269 0.5418 0.2094 0.8894 0.6814 0.1731 -0.0010
2013 2540 0.4980 0.3961 0.8519 0.5747 0.2188 0.9078 0.7061 0.1481 0.0022
2014 2541 0.4994 0.3802 0.8602 0.5429 0.2178 0.9086 0.7401 0.1398 -0.0016
2015 2132 0.4803 0.3659 0.8756 0.5234 0.2202 0.9198 0.7787 0.1244 -0.0054
2016 2622 0.4764 0.3513 0.8697 0.5180 0.1996 0.9227 0.7445 0.1303 0.0000
2017 1935 0.4961 0.3886 0.8604 0.5427 0.2369 0.9194 0.7273 0.1396 0.0000
2018 2016 0.5030 0.4072 0.8563 0.5858 0.2265 0.9024 0.7357 0.1437 0.0000
Career250420.49490.38040.84400.54520.21880.90010.70660.15600.0000

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
12 yrPrevious$74,695,100
2018Current$12,500,000
13 yrPvs + Cur$87,195,100
13 yrTotal$87,195,100

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
11 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).

2019 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 DRC+ VORP FRAA WARP
90o 613 80 154 32 4 13 62 70 87 4 4 .289 .375 .437 115 30.1 2B -2, RF 0 3.0
80o 598 76 145 30 3 13 58 66 87 4 3 .277 .361 .421 109 24.8 2B -2, RF 0 2.5
70o 587 73 139 29 3 12 56 63 86 4 3 .270 .352 .408 105 21.2 2B -1, RF 0 2.1
60o 578 71 135 28 3 12 54 61 86 4 3 .266 .347 .404 102 18.1 2B -1, RF 0 1.8
50o 570 68 129 27 3 11 52 59 86 4 3 .257 .338 .388 98 15.4 2B -1, RF 0 1.5
40o 562 66 125 26 3 11 50 57 85 4 3 .252 .332 .383 95 12.7 2B -1, RF 0 1.3
30o 553 64 120 25 3 10 48 55 85 3 3 .245 .325 .370 92 9.9 2B -1, RF 0 0.9
20o 542 61 115 24 3 10 46 52 85 3 3 .239 .315 .364 87 6.8 2B -1, RF 0 0.6
10o 527 58 107 22 3 9 43 49 84 3 3 .228 .303 .345 82 2.6 2B -1, RF 0 0.2
Weighted Mean571691302731152598643.258.339.3909915.82B -1, RF 01.6

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BP Annual Player Comments

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BP Articles

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BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2018-12-12 17:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Mike. Thanks for the forum. You have tough acts to follow in Darius and Aaron. I have a challenging choice with my final keeper spot in a 12-team, NL-only, roto auction 5x5 league, standard $260 salary. We keep 12 players. I am debating keeping Manuel Margot at $6 or Ben Zobrist at $6. Franchy Cordero's presence in a crowded OF scares me off Margot a bit, but as you know, SBs are like gold and Margot's upside is great. I don't like keeping older players, but Zobrist has been very steady and appears to be in line for good PT in a prime lineup spot again and will have multi-position eligibility, which is always a plus in deep leagues. 1) Who would you keep and why? 2) What are the $ value floors/ceilings for each. Thanks for the insight!
(TC from Cincinnati)
I'd go Margot. He's been somewhat disappointing but I really like the upside with him. Zobrist was solid last year but he's getting long in the tooth and could lose playing time in '19. In only, I like buying playing time. Margot could earn $25 if everything breaks right. His floor is $10 as a part-timer. Zobrist is in the $5-18 range. (Mike Gianella)
2018-08-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)What do you make of me? Can I grow into an everyday role even for a good team, or am I doomed to the space between replacement level and average?
(Adam Frazier from Pittsburgh)
I think it's hard for you to develop when your employer keeps moving you all over the diamond. Ben Zobrist is a great role model but he's not the norm, and it'd be a shame if all you became was Sean Rodriguez II. I don't think there's enough bat to stick in LF (Marte and Polanco are not going anywhere), so the opportunity is likely at 2B assuming (1) the Bucs don't pick up Harrison's option and (2) Newman takes over at SS. (1) is pretty iffy. He's not young (27 next year) so his window won't stay open for long. I could see a 3-win player over a full season if given the chance. (Rob Mains)
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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