How Bad Has The Hitting Been?September 4th, 2012 by terrybenish
With a minimum of 400 plate appearances three of the worst four hitters in the American League as measured by OPS have been Brendan Ryan .560, Justin Smoak .578 and Dustin Ackley at .632. One, two and four. Were Ichiro here he would be 11th worst at .656.
Then you have Montero .701, Saunders .712 and Seager .714 and that’s it. If you lower the filter to a minimum of 275 plate appearances John Jaso at .839 OPS comes in at the best for any Mariner hitter. It is a damning indictment of the team that it took so long to play him at all and he still does not play enough. I can’t begin to understand why they are giving at bats to Olivo.
It is worthy to consider this as many people will look at this and assert that it is a statement of failure of the development plan. I would assert however that this is year is a lot like the ninth, tenth and eleventh grades, that is for players and fans alike its something to be endured on the way to playing well at their peak, which is either at 1,000 at bats or in fact they are not going to get there. Not all of the players above will make it. I am most certain that Smoak is one that won’t. I am worried about Ackley, although the significant adjustment he made in the middle of August might have turned the corner. He goes too long without hitting with power and then it shows up briefly. He had five extra base hits in August of 118 plate appearances and only five walks. He had eleven walks in July and some more extra base hits, eight, so his batting average went up. And I would attribute that to what he did to his front side.
Seager and Saunders I would expect to further advance next year. Montero maybe, he had a very solid July and a pedestrian August. This is the most he’s ever played in a year.
I wrote about Rich Polythress as someone to look at. I’ve been an advocate of Carp until I’m blue in the face, however, the organization does not value him.
Maybe the best question to ask is if the Mariners will eat Figgin’s contract this winter and I think you need to ask that about Gutierrez as well, despite his home run tonight.