2010 Player Profiles - James Loney the Road Warrior

James Loney was the Dodgers number one pick in the 2002 draft and Dodger fans have been waiting since then for him to fulfill their expectations. 

In 2006, James unleashed his talent and maybe got everyone a little to excited when he put up a prodigious Sept complete with a  nine rbi game in Colorado on Sept 28th.  The Dodgers were not impressed enough and signed Nomar to be the starting first baseman in 2007. A disappointed Loney moped his way to a sluggish AAA season in which he hit only one home run in 261 plate appearances. Then Nomar got hurt and James took over the 1st baseman gig on June 10th, 2007 and has never given it up.

For the rest of 2007, James put on a show and ended the year with a .331/.381/.538 triple stat line. His OPS+ of 134 was the 2nd best in LA Dodger history for a 23 year with over 350 plate appearances.

                                                                                       
Player OPS+ PA Year Age H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
Tommy Davis 149 711 1962 23 230 27 9 27 153 33 65 .346 .374 .535 .910 *758/9
James Loney 134 375 2007 23 114 18 4 15 67 28 48 .331 .381 .538 .919 *3/9
Ron Fairly 125 555 1962 23 128 15 7 14 71 75 59 .278 .379 .433 .811 *39/87
Raul Mondesi 123 454 1994 23 133 27 8 16 56 16 78 .306 .333 .516 .849 *98
Mike Marshall 117 518 1983 23 132 17 1 17 65 43 127 .284 .347 .434 .782 *93
Todd Hollandswort 113 526 1996 23 139 26 4 12 59 41 93 .291 .348 .437 .785 *78/9
Matt Kemp 110 657 2008 23 176 38 5 18 76 46 153 .290 .340 .459 .799 *89
Frank Howard 107 487 1960 23 120 15 2 23 77 32 108 .268 .320 .464 .784 *97/3
Jim Lefebvre 106 631 1965 23 136 21 4 12 69 71 92 .250 .337 .369 .706 *4
Russell Martin 101 468 2006 23 117 26 4 10 65 45 57 .282 .355 .436 .792 *2/D

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/9/2010.

 

This success belied what he had accomplished at the minor league level. Many fans felt they had a future star on their hands but in 2008 and 2009 James Loney hit at a different level. Instead of an elite first baseman he became ordinary to a degree where many wonder if he is a drag on the team.

The bullish argument for James Loney is the Road Loney. For whatever reason, ever since James Loney showed up at Chavez Ravine, he has refused to hit at Chavez Ravine. Many players have home/road splits but very few have home/road splits where the road splits are significantly higher than the home split. These splits have a grand canyon like ravine separating them.

Career Road - .320/.375/.524

Career Home - .269/.333/.375

It took James Loney almost an entire year to hit his first home run at Dodger Stadium in 2009.  Why and what can be done to fix it? This is not some small sample size anomaly, this has been the case every year. Until James breaks this pattern he cannot deliver on his promise. We know the promise is there.

Other bullish patterns. His walk rate has now increased from 7% to 11% while dropping his K Rate from from 14% to 11.8%.

 

Year Team BB% K% BB/K OBP SLG OPS ISO BABIP wOBA
2006 Dodgers 7.20% 9.80% 0.8 0.342 0.559 0.901 0.275 0.284 0.377
2007 Dodgers 7.50% 14.00% 0.58 0.381 0.538 0.919 0.206 0.35 0.389
2008 Dodgers 6.90% 14.30% 0.53 0.338 0.434 0.772 0.145 0.315 0.333
2009 Dodgers 10.70% 11.80% 1.03 0.357 0.399 0.756 0.118 0.299 0.332
2010 Bill James 9.10% 12.40% 0.81 0.36 0.44 0.8 0.146 0.316 0.351
2010 CHONE 8.30% 12.90% 0.71 0.355 0.446 0.801 0.152 0.318 0.351
2010 Marcel 9.10% 14.00% 0.73 0.358 0.444 0.802 0.151 0.315 0.347

 

What are your expectations for James Loney. Mine are extremely bullish. I've looked at age 26 for first baseman who have been around a few years and it seems it is a very good age to be a first baseman.

.309/.383/.469/.852 

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join True Blue LA

You must be a member of True Blue LA to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at True Blue LA. You should read them.

Join True Blue LA

You must be a member of True Blue LA to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at True Blue LA. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker