Kay Adams, Kyle Elfrink and I had a big time debate yesterday on The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. about Jose Bautista. My position was, as you probably expect, that I just don’t understand how he’s doing what he’s doing. Bautista leads the AL in average (.362), homers (eight), OBP (.522), SLG (.783) and OPS (1.304). How do people not see the utter folly in expecting him to continue along at this pace?
Let’s compare his current pace to his carer best numbers.
Average: .260 (career .247)
OBP: .378 (career .349)
SLG: .617 (career .462)
OPS: .995 (career .810)
Last year was totally ridiculous, you have to see that, but what he is doing this year is insane. I don’t care how he changed his swing, this guy simply isn’t Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols. How about some historical perspective. Do you know how many players have back-to-back 50 homer seasons? The answer is five guys – Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Babe Ruth. Even the most ardent fans of Bautista know that he doesn’t belong in that group, not even close. Beyond the homers, something everyone is simply missing completely here, is that Bautista has never, not once, hit even .265 in the big leagues. If he were to finish this year hitting .290 (there is no way he will if you ask me), and if he were to have 569 at-bats this year (his total from last year), we’re talking about a guy who will hit .280 the rest of the way. Again, given that he has never hit even .265 in a season, do you really think even that modest projection is likely?
Let me bash Starlin Castro for a moment. Will he one day be a top-5 shortstop? I don’t doubt that at all. Can he do it as a 21 year old this season? Even with his hot start (.350-1-11-17-4) I really question whether it’s possible. I touched on Castro yesterday in my Mailbag Article. To pile on that, his OBP is only .024 points clear of his batting average since he has only four walks, and it’s pretty darn hard to hit well above .300 if you rarely walk. And for those of you looking for a power breakout, it just ain’t gonna happen when you hit 57 percent of your balls on the ground (that number dips somewhat to 52.4 percent in his brief career, but even at that level 10 homers is the best you can expect).
Anyone besides me miss the Geto Boys?
Matt Harrison was bombed on Tuesday night allowing seven runs in just three innings. Obviously he isn’t going to pitch that badly very often, but even with that outing his ratios are still solid (3.69 ERA, 1.20 WHIP). Do I think he can keep this up? No I don’t. Maybe I’m wrong, but when a guy doesn’t strike out six batters per nine, walks more batter than the big league average (3.41 per nine), allows more homers than the big league average (1.14) and has a merely average GB/FB rate (1.29) while pitching in a home ball yard that favors hitters – I get nervous. Speaking of nervous, what in the world was Harrison scared about when he took his team photo this year? Yikes.
Josh Tomlin lovers, it’s all going to come to a crashing halt at some point. Here’s why – he’s nothing more than an average hurler. I know he is 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA, but there is no chance, zilch, that he can keep this going (he will not be this years Clay Buchholz). Tomlin’s K/9 rate of 5.00 is below the big league average (7.00), and the same can be said about his K/BB rate (2.14 to 2.10), HR/9 (1.00 to 1.00), and his GB/FB ratio (1.21 to 1.10). Face it everyone, he’s been all smoke and mirrors. His FIP mark tells the truth. Though his ERA is 2.33, FIP says that mark should be 4.26. I don’t know when the bottom will fall out, but it’s bound to happen sooner or later.
By Ray Flowers