A.J. Ellis Needs To Bounce Back

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, the 2013 Dodgers were WILDLY successful. Having one of the best seasons since coming to Los Angeles, and of course having the most magical stretch of baseball i’ve ever been apart of. Going 48-2 in a 50 game stretch is something only 5 other teams in the history of baseball have done. They were incredible. And this wasn’t without the help of a pretty good backstop in A.J. Ellis. A 2.2 fWAR season is really nice to have from your catcher especially when he’s really cost effective and just filed for arbitration for the second time.

That said, he could have been better. He had a pretty mediocre wOBA of .305, only hitting .238 with a miserable (by his standards) .318 OBP. His walk rate dipped all the way to 10.0%, as did his already pretty low ISO. It was fairly disappointing for Ellis because he had just come off of a great year that could have solidified his status as a top 10 C in the game. He was worth nearly 4 wins in 2012 and hit .270 en route to an excellent season.

Here he sits in the offseason of 2014 and while he’s nowhere the question Matt Kemp, Alexander Guerrero, or Juan Uribe are, he’s certainly no Adrian Gonzalez. If you ask me personally about A.J. I think his 2013 season was caused by injury. Remember when everything was terrible with the Dodgers? He injured his oblique. Prior to that he was hitting .262/.364/.369 with some very solid defense, a player every team would love to have catching some really incredible and young pitchers. From there on after when he returned on June 14th to the end of the season he batted a miserable .225/.290/.361. A horrid .239 BABIP. And that’s not all bad luck if you ask me. I do think it was his injuries that affected him. Just look at his BABIP before the injury, a cool .327, and after, a miserable .239. His career BABIP is .301, so he was clearly closer to the .262 hitter he showed before his injury. I think these numbers show me a healthy A.J. will bounceback.

It’s a shame we had to see one of the worst 2nd halfs from him. He really is one of my favorite players, from the position he plays to how well he carries himself, to his personality. I personally think he’s due for a huge bounceback this year that will look close to 2012 A.J. Ellis. Oh and hopefully we don’t see too many passed balls this season.