Mike Jacobs would make one hell of a baseball movie bad guy. He may not have the sweetest swing in the bigs, but he can probably hold his own against Craig Robinson.
There will come a time when the Mariners stop adding former power hitters that used to be good baseball players to their 2013 roster. For all I know that could be the end of the 2013 season, but it literally has to happen. All good things must come to an end. All mediocre things must come to an end. All things that used to be mediocre three years ago must also come to an end.
Mike Jacobs will go to spring training with the Mariners. Jacobs was once a promising prospect, and a guy that looks like he should play baseball for a living (notice the massive chaw in the picture to the right)(don’t chew kids, it’s bad news)(by kids I’m including you Mikey Schwartze).
There was once a time when Jacobs could hit a homerun with relative frequency. He hit 11 in just 100 at bats in a call up with the Mets in 2005. That ultimately led to him being traded for Carlos Delgado. He hit 32 homeruns in Florida in 2008, and that led to him being traded for a guy then-named Leo Nunez. Leo Nunez is now known as Juan Carlos Oviedo.
The Royals lost that trade badly. The Royals lost a trade where the exiting player was found to have committed identity fraud, was a year older than was listed, missed all of 2012 due to visa issues and subsequent conditioning and effectiveness issues, and has recently undergone Tommy John surgery. There’s losing a trade, and then there’s that.
Of course, I said that Jacobs could hit a homerun using past tense. I say that because he’s amassed only 51 big league plate appearances in the past three years, hitting only a single home run. There were 99 homeruns before that which all occurred in Jacobs’ age 28 season or earlier that argue against my skepticism. There aren’t many things I’ve done 100 times in my life that I’m not confident I could do again if given the opportunity. Then again, I’ve never hit a big league homerun.
Jacobs strikes out a fair amount above average, walks at a slightly below average rate, and is a terrible fielder. His value has always been rooted in his power, and his value has always been that of a replacement level player. Jacobs has been worth +0.6 WAR in 2140 plate appearances according to Fangraphs, and -3.3 WAR according to Baseball Reference.
According to Fangraphs, since 1973 (DH to the AL) there have been 82 players with 2000 or more plate appearances and a career isolated power of .220 or more to match Mike Jacobs career ISO. Jacobs 0.6 WAR is worst among those 82, the next worst being Marcus Thames with 2.9 WAR. Russell Branyan was worth 12.1 WAR.