A Look Back at 2012: Erick Aybar

By Saxon Baird

On April 19th, Jerry Dipoto inked Erick Aybar to a four-year, 35 million dollar deal, solidifying Aybar as the Angels shortstop (barring a trade) through 2016. How did Aybar respond? By putting up terrible numbers through March (.222/.259./.272) and continuing his dismal start through May (.223/.247/.287). Fortunately, Aybar corrected the ship big time in the second-half  putting up a .361/.484/.845 line.

His torrid second-half left Aybar’s season numbers strikingly similar to his career numbers over the past four years. Sprinkle in some solid defense at a premium position and Aybar was once again worth 4 WAR in 2012 (according to baseball-reference), good for the 4th highest on the Angels.

Best Game of 2012

Aybar came up big for the Angels down the stretch. While the Angels still didn’t make the playoffs, it certainly wasn’t because of the Angels feisty shortstop who had 21 multi-hit games in August and September. You could have your pick of any one of these contests, but a September 18th game against the division rival Texas Rangers stands out. Aybar went 3 for 5, scored two runs and knocked a man in resulting in a 11-3 defeat.

2013 Outlook

Looking at Aybar’s numbers against his previous full seasons, there is nothing that would suggest Aybar will change much. If one wants to nitpick, elements of Aybar’s game are bothersome (his low BB% rate for one). But at a premium position with a scarcity of solid big league talent ready to play there, Aybar is one piece of the team puzzle that the Angels shouldn’t have to worry about much in 2013.

We can also probably expect some more of Aybar’s “grab-ass” antics with Pujols as well: