Brewers Contract Options: Rickie Weeks
Aug 25, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks (23) throws to first during the third inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
2014 Contract: $11 million
2015: $11.5 million team option
Second baseman Rickie Weeks had a decent season as the right-handed platoon partner to Scooter Gennett. Weeks slashed 274/357/452 in 286 plate appearances in 2014. Even though you might find it hard to believe, Weeks hit for a better average against right-handers (.294) than southpaws (.256), but his OPS was better against lefties (865 vs. 746).
The 31-year-old struggled early, hitting .188 as April turned into May.
But as the weather got warmer, Weeks heated up too, hitting .413 (19-for-46) in May with two homers and 10 runs batted in.
He cooled off in June and July, going 20-for-99 while hitting .202.
Weeks caught fire once again the final two months, slashing 305/367/558 in 43 August at-bats and 344/475/688 in a surreal September spanning 32 ABs.
His WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 0.2 was his best since his All-Star season of 2011, but was still no better than ‘reserve’ status.
However, as found at Fangraphs.com, Weeks’ numbers were very competitive among second basemen with at least 250 plate appearances. Of the 44 players listed, Rickie placed in the top four in a quartet of advanced (for me, anyway) stats.
Probably most impressively, Weeks ranked second in batting average on balls in play (BABIP) with .355, second to Jose Altuve’s .360.
He ranked third in Isolated Power (ISO) with a mark of .179. According to Fangraphs, that number is somewhere between ‘above average and great.’
Another stat where Weeks fared well was wOBA (Weighted On Base Average). His .359 mark ranked third among second base qualifiers with over 250 plate appearances. The average for second sackers in 2014 was .306, so he was well above-average.
The final stat was Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+), where Weeks’ mark of 127 ranked fourth among the second base qualifiers.
Based on the ‘newer’ metrics, Weeks fared well, but remember, he played half the time and played mostly against southpaws. So the numbers look good, but might not tell the whole picture.
Weeks’ fielding percentage and range factor were both below league average, so he is not considered to be a ‘plus’ fielder. He has learned how to catch and throw the ball, but now gets to fewer grounders and bloopers than earlier in his career.
Rickie Weeks had a decent season in the role he needed to play. Whether or not he comes back to Milwaukee might well depend on him.