Arbitration Values Part 2: Nate McLouth

Nate McLouth

2005: .257/.300/.450, 21.80 AB/HR in 109 AB
2006: .233/.290/.385, 38.57 AB/HR in 270 AB
2007: .258/.348/.459, 25.31 AB/HR in 329 AB
2008: .276/.353/.497, 22.96 AB/HR in 597 AB
Total: .261/.335/.461, 25.59 AB/HR in 1305 AB

According to Baseball Reference, the active players who are similar to McLouth are as follows (Note that the numbers represent their rankings according to B-R):

Ryan Church

Church had a career line of .271/.346/.462, with 28.49 AB/HR in 997 AB leading up to his first year of arbitration. Like McLouth, Church had a big breakout year the year before his first arbitration year, posting a .272/.349/.464 line with 31.33 AB/HR in 470 ABs. He earned $2 M in his first year of arbitration.

Jeremy Hermida

Hermida recently got $2.25 M for his first arbitration year in 2009, after posting a career line of .267/.341/.436 with 29.07 AB/HR in 1279 ABs. Those numbers are similar to McLouth’s career numbers, although the difference between the two players is that Hermida hit .249/.322/.406 with 29.53 AB/HR in 502 ABs in 2008, while McLouth had a much better year.

Xavier Nady

Nady was arbitration eligible for the first time in his first full year with the Pirates. Leading up to the 2007 season, Nady had a career .270/.325/.429 line with 29.60 AB/HR in 1243 ABs. He earned $2.15 M in his first year of arbitration.

McLouth is an interesting case. Unlike Maholm, McLouth was never given the chance to start on a regular basis. When he was given more playing time in August and September of 2007, he responded with a .284/.391/.538 line, with 16.9 AB/HR in 169 ABs. In 2008 he had his breakout year, where he not only posted a .276/.353/.497 line, with 22.96 AB/HR in 597 AB, but also won a Gold Glove and was the Pirates’ All-Star representative.

While McLouth has similar stats to the guys above, the major difference is that Nady, Hermida, and Church weren’t the best players on their teams at the time. You could make the argument that with Bay and Nady now gone, McLouth is the best player on the Pirates team, and is more valuable than those players.

I wouldn’t say that the Pirates offer of $2.75 M is an appropriate value for McLouth, but I also wouldn’t say that the asking price of $3.8 M is fair either. Instead, I will look at one more player:

Chris B. Young

Young broke out in the 2007 season with a .237/.295/.467 line, with 17.78 AB/HR and 27 steals in 569 ABs. His 32 homers and 27 steals made up for the fact that he hit for a poor .237 average. The Diamondbacks gave him an extension which paid him $3.25 M for his fourth year in the league. Comparing McLouth and Young to date:

McLouth: .261/.335/.461, 25.59 AB/HR in 1305 ABs
Young: .243/.304/.451, 22.57 AB/HR in 1264 ABs

McLouth has the better line, but Young offers slightly more power. Young will probably qualify as a “Super-Two” player, meaning his third league minimum year would be replaced with an extra arbitration year. That doesn’t matter for Young, as his extension runs through his first two free agent years. However, that means that in his first arbitration year, Young would have made $1.75 M (his 2009 salary), with the $3.25 M being his second arbitration year.

Considering McLouth tops Young in average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, and has slightly less power, I’d say the $3.25 M figure would be an appropriate value. Coincidentally, that’s about the half-way point between McLouth and the Pirates.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Arbitration Values Part 1: Paul Maholm

Next Story »

Welcome!

Latest Analysis

  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    8 hours ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    1 day ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    3 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    4 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    5 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    6 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    1 week ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More