by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
When Mark Trumbo re-signed with the Baltimore Orioles prior to the 2017 season there were high expectations. Of course he quickly disappointed, putting up pedestrian results (and that may be putting it mildly):
559 At Bats
.234 Batting Average (131 Hits)
23 Home Runs
1 Stolen Bases
.289 On Base Percentage
.397 Slugging Percentage
.278 Batting Average on Balls in Play
We try not to read too much into spring stats, but coming off that type of year it’s hard to ignore seeing 9 K without an extra base hit in his first 16 AB. Now we have to question if there is any reason to consider drafting him, regardless of the cost?
While strikeouts weren’t a significant issue (24.7%) last season, that doesn’t mean that his approach/discipline was strong:
- SwStr% – 13.8%
- O-Swing% – 34.5%
That led to 16.1% line drive rate and .278 BABIP, both of which are highly believable (career marks of 16.6% and .286). With those numbers a strong average is never going to be possible, with the hope being that he is at least passable. However we didn’t even get that, and considering his 31.4% strikeout rate in the second half (backing up his abysmal spring start) things could get that much worse.
Then we get to the power, which may be the bigger issue. Look at these HR/FB numbers over the past few seasons and see which one you think seems like the outlier:
- 2014 – 14.3%
- 2015 – 14.5%
- 2016 – 24.6%
- 2017 – 13.8%
We can’t simply point to the home ballpark, considering he played in the same place in 2016 and 2017. He also had a favorable home ballpark in 2014, as well as a portion of 2015 (when he played in Arizona). There’s simply every reason to believe that he will continue struggling to hit for significant power.
So let’s look at the formula…
Poor average (with a strikeout increase likely)
Pedestrian power (25-29 HR, at best)
What about that makes you want to invest? At this point it feels more likely that he loses his job as opposed to thriving.
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com
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|Starting Pitchers||1-20: 03/24/18|