by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Obviously platoon splits are extremely important and help to give us insight into whether or not a player is a potentially viable option. When it comes to the A’s Mark Canha, would it surprise you to learn that he was actually tied for the fourth most home runs against left-handed pitchers last season with 13? Of course, while he raked against southpaws he was pretty poor against right-handed pitchers. Just look at the split:
- LHH – .282/.337/.604
- RHH – .227/.323/.343
The obvious question is if he’s nothing more than a platoon player, and one who will ultimately draw the short end of the stick?
What’s interesting is that in 2017, while at Triple-A, Canha actually slashed .298/.392/.556 against right-handed pitchers. Even in the Majors, while he hit the ball harder against left-handed pitchers his 34.4% mark against righties is nothing to sneeze at. While it wouldn’t necessarily be a lock that he improves upon his .283 BABIP, there certainly is room for improvement.
It’s also not like he was a strikeout machine, with a 21.8% strikeout rate against righties (20.9% vs. lefties). The sole difference in his production is his home run rate:
- LHH – 26.5%
- RHH – 6.3%
Maybe you want to argue that he can’t maintain the mark against southpaws, but it’s also easy to envision him being better against right-handed pitchers. At Triple-A in 2017 he carried a 12.9% overall HR/FB, and while that’s not a spectacular mark and he’s already 30-years old is it really impossible to envision an improvement?
Obviously Canha isn’t going to be a blow away option, but pigeon holing him as nothing more than a platoon player is probably inaccurate as well. For those in deeper formats he’s going to be a name to keep in mind. He does have a little more potential, and if he can carry his numbers against southpaws over (which is possible) he could finally put together a true breakout campaign.
Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com
** PRE-ORDER THE 2019 DRAFT GUIDE TODAY **
Pre-order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.75!! Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.
Make sure to check out all of our 2019 projections: