There is no question who the hero for the Rays was in Game 5 against the Yankees, as Mike Brosseau launched a go ahead solo home run off Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the 8th. He showed a tremendous approach at the plate, fighting off numerous pitches to work back into the count (after falling behind 0-2) before launching the 10th pitch for the home run.
Brosseau did hit .302 with 5 HR during the regular season, but it came in just 98 PA and it’s fair to wonder whether or not he’s more than a platoon player. Just look at the numbers over his MLB career:
- vs. RHP – .255 with 3 HR (120 PA)
- vs. LHP – .313 with 8 HR (120 PA)
With a 46.3% Hard% against southpaws, it’s fairly obvious that he’s going to continue to thrive in that regard. While he showed a strong approach in this one at bat, there are questions as to whether or not he can do it on a consistent basis. While it was a small sample size, he owned a 14.6% SwStr% overall in ’20 as he struggled against both righties and lefties (Whiff%):
- vs. RHP – 16.92%
- vs. LHP – 15.38%
The Rays love mixing and matching, so as long as Brosseau is part of that mix it’s hard to envision things changing. Regardless of what happens the rest of the playoffs this moment will be etched in our memories, but don’t let it create more than what it is. Brosseau is going to be a platoon player, and nothing more.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball