Breakout or Bust: Could Andrew Susac Finally Emerge In 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There was a time that Andrew Susac seemed unlikely to make much of an impact, thanks to being buried behind Buster Posey in San Francisco. The former second round pick has bided his time and is now finally out of the shadows, after being traded to the Brewers at the 2016 trade deadline. Now with only Martin Maldonado standing in his way, could this be the year he emerges as a viable option?

His minor league numbers don’t especially stand out, hitting .256 with 41 HR in 1,331 PA. The biggest concern has been his ability to make contact, especially during his time in the Majors, as he’s posted a 13.0% SwStr% and 29.0% strikeout rate. Those numbers have accumulated over parts of three seasons, but they are still concerning (especially since his best Whiff% against hard pitches is 12.55%).

In other words the question is going to come down to his power, as the average isn’t likely going to be there (think .250-.265, at best). There have always been conflicting reports to his upside, as Prospect 361 noted prior to 2015:

“I heard below average future power to plus future power and finally, somebody told me he would never hit enough to make it out of Double-A.

Finally, the power now profiles as at least average if not above-average with the chance to hit 15 to 18 home runs annually.”

His minor league numbers certainly don’t incite much excitement. Could he continue to develop and benefit from playing in Milwaukee? It’s possible, but it also is hardly a given.

If the average is limited, to go along with fewer than 20 HR, what exactly is the value? There are ample catching option who should hit 20+ HR with an average not far below his expected mark, so it’s certainly hard to get excited. To have appeal as a catcher, especially in single-catcher formats, you either need to have power or bring potential in average/power (like a J.T. Realmuto). Without either of those things, you are nothing but a streamer.

Considering Susac may share time behind the plate, there’s little to get excited about. While there’s potential and he’s worth monitoring, he’s better left to the waiver wire at this point.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, Baseball Reference, Prospect 361

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Make sure to check out our other Early 2017 Rankings:

Standard League
OBP League
First Base01/16/1703/07/17
Second Base03/22/1703/09/17
Third Base02/06/1703/12/17
Outfield#1-20 |03/16/17

#21-40 |03/16/17
Starting Pitcher#1-20 |02/27/17

#21-40 |03/02/17
Relief Pitcher01/02/17--

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