FanPost

The Outfield Dilemma Revisited

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

I write this post during a day of mourning, as Tony Gwynn died this morning. Mr. Padre was not only the best outfielder in the history of this franchise, but the best overall. His hitting is exactly what this team, with it's .278 on base percentage, needs right now, but there will never be another player like him, RIP.

Quite a bit has changed since I last wrote about the outfield. Kyle Blanks was traded to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for AAA hitter Jake Goebert, who has a .384 OBP to go with eleven home runs in AAA. Xavier Nady was DFA'd, and picked up by our natural rivals. Jedd Gyorko got injured, which moved Alexi Amarista to second base, where he's still playing way too much. Carlos Quentin has returned, but has a sub-Mendoza batting average and only two home runs. Seth Smith caught fire in May, getting on base every 2.2 attempts, but has calmed down, so far, this month.

Will Venable: I compared him to a five year-old in May, and I think the comparison is still valid. His batting average has risen up to a still very Padreish .206, he's striking out only 26% of the time now, a 5% improvement (but still terrible), and only walking 8% of the time. His RZR has moved up to second among all outfields, behind only Billy Hamilton, and is sixth in out of zone made plays (OOZ).

Chris Denorfia: He no longer has the .344 OBP and .430 slugging he had in April, but his .307 OBP and .354 Slugging are still good for second and third on the team (I know it's sad). He's striking out exactly at his career K% of 15.7%, but he's walking at a rate 1.4% lower then his career average. He's also still struggling against lefties compared to previous years, .295 OBP vs .368 OBP, but he's hitting right at his career rate against righties, .313 OBP vs .316 OBP, and .370 Slugging vs .373 Slugging.

Seth Smith: The shining star on this team, hitting .397 OBP with .505 slugging, though it's heavily impacted by the monster his May. When you remove his May, he becomes less amazing, his OBP drops 66 points, and I am too lazy to google how to calculate slugging percentage, and even if I wasn't, I'd be too lazy to calculate it, but I believe that it would drop significantly. His BABIP this month has been significantly lower his career BABIP so I'd expect his numbers to go back up, but not up to his May one, where he had a BABIP 92 points higher then his career average. This video helps explain BABIP.

Alexi Amarista: Yuck. I don't know why he's still playing over Jace Peterson, but he's an outfielder who's on the team so I'll talk about him. As I mentioned, he's under the Mendoza Line, and his OBP has dropped ten points to a very not solid .262. His slugging is a pathetic .271, leading hum to have a dreadful .76 ISO (Slugging-AVG), which is (not) good for eighth worst in the league, he's the worst of the three hitters we have in the bottom twenty (Cabrera .83, Venable .88).

Cameron Maybin: When I wrote the original post on May first, Maybin had played in four games after coming back from injury. In 120 plate appearances, Maybin has an OBP of .325, to go with a .416 slugging percentage. He's striking out less then 20% of the time, which is right below his career rate (though not great), but he's walking at a below average rate, only 5.8% of the time. The sad thing about Cameron Maybin's stats though, is that despite WAR being a counting stat, he's already second on the team in the stat.

Carlos Quentin: He's not re-injured yet, so this is a positive sign. He's not yet starting everyday, usually getting a day or two off in between starts, but the he's been good in the small sample size he's played in. He's walking 9.6% of the time, which is good. He's striking out at a high 20.5% rate, but it's still a small sample size. He already has two home runs, equal to his amount of doubles.

Tommy Medica: The young 26 year-old Medica knows the drive from El Paso to San Diego very well by now (Yay options). Not much has changed between now and then. In his 68 major league plate appearances, he's gotten on base 20 times, three of which being home runs. The problem is that he has 27 strikeouts. His OBP in the hitter friendly PCL is .307. With the team so bad, I don't see the point of not calling him up.

Now I'm even more sad then I was last time I wrote this. Also since it's summer and I don't want my brain to rot from doing nothing, I might do weekly updates about the outfield.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Gaslamp Ball community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gaslamp Ball managers or SB Nation.

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