Year in Review: Jayson Werth – Phillies Nation
2010 Player Reviews

Year in Review: Jayson Werth

By: Jeff Nelson

In a recent episode of Family Feud, 100 people were surveyed and asked “name something that gets better with age”.  The number two answer was wine.  The number one answer: Jayson Werth.

Unlike former teammate, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth’s tenure in Philadelphia will probably go down as one of the most valuable free agent signings in franchise history.  Give Pat Gillick credit for not giving up on this kid back in 2006 after he was non-tendered by the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Prior to signing his first deal with the Phillies, Werth had trouble staying healthy.  And when he was healthy on the diamond he wasn’t producing enough.  Once he arrived to Philadelphia however, and was eventually given a chance to be the everyday right fielder, he never looked back.  Aside from Chase Utley, one could make a case Werth has been the most important hitter in this Phillies lineup since 2008.

For the third consecutive year Werth’s OPS+, wOBA and the amount of women who wanted to marry him were on the rise.  He remained a prototypical middle of the order hitter for this team, giving Ryan Howard protection in a lefty saturated lineup.  Despite hitting 9 fewer HRs in 2010 (36 in ’09 and 27 in ’10) Werth was actually able to raise his SLG from the previous year (.506 to .532).  Werth was a doubles-machine in 2010, piling 20 more doubles onto his previous campaign for a total of 46, which led all RFs.

Werth’s kryptonite in 2010 was plain and simple, and for whatever reason he could not hit with RISP.  There is no getting around it.  He flat out stunk.  In fact, I heard the best way to get Jayson Werth out last year was to put a runner on second.  As most of you know, hitting with RISP is not a skill and for the most part it rarely fluctuates so drastically from a hitter’s career average the way Werth’s did in 2010.  In other words, his paltry .186 AVG with RISP was merely a blip on the radar.  I would bet my life savings Werth will hit much better next year with men on base.

Another knock on Werth from last year was his defense.  Based on UZR/150, Werth was a minus 7.2 runs last year patrolling the OF.  I don’t buy into defensive metrics as much as others do, especially if when not used during a three-year period.  In my opinion, Werth was average last year at the very least.

Finally, in the NLCS, the only one who seemed to get a big hit or reach base was Jayson Werth.  He was by far the Phillies most productive hitter against the eventual world champions.  If Ruben Amaro Jr. can’t get creative enough and bring Werth back while keeping the budget intact, this lineup will take a significant blow.  No one on the current roster can replace what he has done and I’m afraid no free agent can either.

This almost feels like a eulogy.  It’s tough putting someone in perspective especially when you know they aren’t coming back.  Good luck at your next stop, Jayson.  You will be missed.

JEFF’S GRADE: 8.6/10

PAT GALLEN’S GRADE: 7.9/10 – I can’t seem to get past the fact that he was so incredibly bad with runners on base. He had a fine season, but if he’d even hit a little bit with guys in scoring position, the offense would have looked a little stronger. He will be missed.

MICHAEL BAUMANN’S GRADE: 8.3/10 – Say what you will about The Slump, but Werth ted the team in games played, runs, XBH, doubles, slugging percentage, total bases, walks, and offensive WAR. All in all, an excellent swan song in red pinstripes for a one-time scrap heap pickup.

NICK STASKIN’S GRADE: 8.8/10 – Werth provided a five-tool ability that Philadelphia hasn’t seen in its outfield in years. While much was made of his numbers with RISP, look at how productive his year still was. Replacing that kind of production will not be easy if a miracle isn’t performed in the weeks to come.



  1. Lefty

    November 17, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    So, what team did Jayson sign with? How much did he get?

    Can we at least wait until it’s officially done before calling Raul Ibanez his former teammate?

  2. Kate

    November 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Wow, will wonders never cease.

    I mostly agree with this one (except for the potshot you guys couldn’t help taking at Ibanez, anyway).

    Werth was very valuable in 2010, even at his worst.

  3. Ryan H.

    November 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I was actually a little bit disappointed by werth’s season. I still don’t think he’s lived up to potential. He should bat higher and steal more bases. If he could only avoid those long dry spells and use his head a little bit more.

    btw: Ryan Howard is the most important player in the phillies lineup since2006. there is no argument to be made. the proof is right in the pudding. Utley and Werth are nice hitters, but Ryan Howard is the premier slugger in the game.

  4. psujoe

    November 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Keep you fingers crossed. If Boston lands Upton they’ll over pay to keep Beltre. If the Tigers land Dunn I see them offerring Ordonez a lower 2 year deal and abandoning Werth. Phils would be bidding against themselves.

  5. bfo_33

    November 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Since the Howard extension, I figured 2010 was Werth’s last season in Phi – probably to the Red Sox – one of the few teams who have a decent relationship with Boras, print money, and have a need.

    Using a system almost as subjective as the ratings numbers generated for the year in review (by the way, I like the year in review write-ups, just not the final scoring) , I have upgraded Werth being re-signed to unlikely. The Sox have a ton of holes to fill, especially if Buck signs with the Marlins (since Martinez is a free agent, and Tek is done). They appear to have bigger issues than an outfielder. PSU may have it right, if the Phils go in too quick, they may be bidding against themselves. In a few weeks, he may be willing to stay with an Uggla type deal (4/48), which would be a steal for the Phils. I’m still doubtful, but I think we’ve got a shot.

  6. Lefty

    November 17, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Doubtful is understandable, I know how long the odds are.

    But eulogies and burials are for dead bodies, this one’s still very much alive and in play.

  7. Chuck

    November 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Yeah, we should give Gillick credit for finding Werth….

    ….just like we should give Ruben credit for signing Ibanez.

    I know a lot of you just won’t agree….and that’s cool….but there is no way we make the playoffs the past 2 years without Raul’s contribution the first half of ’09 and the second half of ’10.

  8. Nick Staskin

    November 17, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I’m fully convinced Chuck is Raul Ibanez’s son and doesn’t want people to hurt his feelings lol.

  9. Chuck

    November 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Except that I’m older than Raul….so that’s technically impossible.

  10. Phan in the outfield

    November 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Jeff Nelson: Wow.
    1) Lefty – you nailed. “Former teammate’, he signed w/another team? Last night I saw Heyman @ the GM mtgs saying he thought the Phillies might keep Werth. Pretty funny.

    2) He did not have “trouble staying healthy.” He had ONE injury, not from normal play, from being hit by a pitch. That’s different in the “injury” category. He’s not some klutz whose always getting injured. The underlying issue went undiagnosed by team docs. So the same one injury & assoc pain continued for 18 mos & the Dodgers dropped him. The biggest note is: Werth got his own doctor, not around the corner, but at the Mayo Clinic. After that, Gillick picked him up. He’s been healthy since.

    3) Interesting article, well researched & written by Tom Krasovic “Getting Defensive About Jayson Werth’s Value With A Glove” 11/15/10 Link:

    David Appelman of FanGraphs is quoted, “UZR is best when used over a 3-yr period. Looking at it for one season falls into the category of some info is better than no info. DRS thought Werth was plus-5, FSR thought he was plus-4. UZR thought he was minus-7. Over the past 3yrs Werth has been plus-15 in UZR and plus-20 in DRS, or plus-5 per season for UZR and plus-7-ish per season for DRS. The fans think he was plus-10 over the past 2 yrs, so plus-5 per season. No one ever said UZR was perfect, but it is among the best publicly available metrics to assess fielding ability. Taking what you know about Werth, his UZR, other defensive evaluations, and some first-hand expert analysis, you’d probably say he’s an above-average fielder.”

    4) “For the third consecutive year Werth’s OPS+, wOBA and the amount of women who wanted to marry him were on the rise.” WHAT? I can’t believe you wrote that. Why not have a bathing suit photo too. I’m sure there are an equal number of women who think Utley is good-looking but that wasn’t in Chase-baby’s yr-end “evaluation.”

  11. Pat Gallen

    November 17, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Jeff said he was average defensively “at the very least” as in, it may have been better!

  12. psujoe

    November 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Beltran wants 5/90. The way he slacked off after his last big contract a team would be crazy to offer that.

    Looks like the Upton talks with Boston are stalling according to MTR.

  13. psujoe

    November 17, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Beltre, Sorry.


    November 17, 2010 at 9:03 pm


  15. Ryk

    November 17, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    @ Lefty. Yes, former teammate is correct. Regardless of which team he signs with, at this particular moment in time, he is NOT a member of the Phillies.
    If I quit my job, the people I worked with yesterday become my former coworkers, regardless if next month, my boss realizes my value and hires me back with a big fat raise.

  16. Matt Kwasiborski

    November 17, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    We are going to find out what Werth and Lee really want more, the money or the chance to win it all before they retire. Werth knows what he has in Philly compared to the other teams in the hunt. The idea that the D-Backs are listening for offers for Upton is a good sign for the Phils. The Red Sox would rather trade then sign these FA. I wonder if their ownership is concerned about cash flow since they bought an English football team.

    With Lee, if it is truly between the Rangers and Yankees, the Rangers give him the best team to win. They are younger and now know what it takes to win. The Yankees are old in key positions and the days of buying titles seems to be over. The Yanks will keep spending and spending but after this core retires, the new core will not be ready to win while CC is in his prime. I think the Yankees could be like the Indians in one to two years and not sure if Lee wants to do that again.

    If the Sox land Upton and Angels land Crawford- Werth will be down to the Tigers and Phils. Last time I checked the Tigers didn’t have H2O.

  17. Lefty

    November 18, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Give me a break ryk!
    Quite correct, there do you feel better now? You are of superior intellect to me. pffffft !!

    Did you really think I had no understanding of the meaning of Free Agency?, that I needed your little lesson on what happens when you quit your job? Maybe I have no knowledge of the history of the abolition of the reserve clause- Marvin Miller, Curt Flood, Messersmith et al;? Are you going to school me on those things too?

    Try and follow now please- through wry expression I’m attempting to inject some semblance of postive influence and wit on this blog. The comment section is replete with negative opinions, and I’d like our “more than a blog” editors to be “more than” – the aggregate of it’s own comments section. Yes the article is technically correct, but the “former teammates/feels like a eulogy” remarks weren’t germane to the review.

    Phan, one of the sharpest posters on this board understood my spoof. Is asking for a little brighter editorial work that doesn’t make me feel as if I’m at a funeral alright with you ryk?


    November 18, 2010 at 1:48 am


  19. biz

    November 18, 2010 at 1:53 am

    An 8.8 for a guy who hit what, .180 w/RISP? How does the guy on this team who bats 5th, hit .296, yet only drive in 87 runs? Oh yeah, he was awful w/RISP.


  20. Phylan

    November 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Werth’s full line with RISP was .186/.353/.314. The .353 is important — it means he was making less outs with RISP than the league average. Less outs than, for example, Polanco made with RISP, despite the fact that Polanco had a higher batting average.

    It is a shame that the best season of his career is going to be trashed by Phillies fans who are hung up on RISP average. Meanwhile, his OPS in high leverage situations — those situations where the game outcome is most on the line — was .795, 19% above leave average.

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