Grey has been touting Eduardo Nunez, for what seems like, forever. He’s also been pushing the whole Convent, Edu-Nun, an educational institute for nuns thing, for what seems like, forever, forever, ever, forever, ever. I’m sorry Ms. Jackson, I’m just not feeling that, but I am the OutKast at Razzball so….
Shenanigans aside, did you know that The Convent (I’m a company man) is the No. 4 rated third baseman according to the Razzball Player Rater? The Fantasy Master Lothario knew. He can see into the future, except when it comes to a few players that shall remain nameless, for if I name them, I shall become toothless, armless, legless….you get the point. Thank goodness I’m already hairless.
Anyways, is this high noon, which Merriam-Webster defines as “the most advanced, flourishing, or creative stage or period,” for The Convent this season?
Through 60 games and 250 plate appearances this season, The Convent has a triple slash line of .300/.325/.414 with four home runs, 33 runs scored, 24 RBI, and 17 stolen bases. The wOBA is .318 and BABIP is .313. If he plays close to 80 games the rest of the season, The Convent could end up with around 10 home runs and 35-40 steals. The .300 batting average could be a touch high, but it’s definitely within the range of probably outcomes, as the projection systems have him slated for a .280-.290 average rest of season. Between two teams last year (Twins and Giants), The Convent hit 16 home runs with 40 stolen bases and a .288 batting average.
The number that jumps off the page for me when looking at The Convent’s numbers is the strikeout rate. After consistently being in the 14% range for the last three years, that number is all the way down to 8.4% this season. That places him second in all of baseball, behind another Giant in Buster Posey.
Now, the walk rate is only 4%, which would be ninth-worst. Good thing he’s not a professional speed walker. He’s a hitter and hitters hit!!! I kid. I love baseball players that have a high walk rate, as that shows a good penchant for the strike zone and discipline to wait for their pitch. Let’s dig into things a bit more and see if he’s just a hacker.
The first thing I usually go to is O-Swing%, which shows how much a player chases pitches thrown outside the strikezone. For The Convent, that rate is at 37.6%, which puts him 16th-worst in MLB. That’s not good, but the O-Contact% is 76.2%, which is 14th-best in baseball. In addition, The Convent’s chase rate has consistently been in the mid-30% range, yet he’s been able to maintain a .280 batting average over his career. In addition, all the contact rates look good for The Convent: 92.3% in the strikezone, 86.3% in general, and a low 7.3% swinging strike rate. Bottom line is that The Convent has the confidence and ability to hit any pitch. He hacks, but it doesn’t seem to be a flailing-type of endeavor.
In regards to home/road and lefty/righty splits, The Convent has been equally adept against both (.297 average against LHP and .301 average against RHP). All four of his home runs have come against righties, though. He’s been predictably a little worse at home (.267 average) and mashed on the road (.324 average with three home runs).
Really, the only things that would give me some concern would be the drop in hard contact rate, increase in soft contact rate, and decrease in going to the opposite field. We know that The Convent likes to swing, so are pitchers figuring out ways to get him off-balance more? Naw. The Convent has probably been able to make weak contact on pitches that he missed before. Therefore, going forward the strikeout rate will probably increase while the number of weakly-hit balls will decrease.
It’s all about expectations for The Convent. Isn’t that the case for all convents? As long as you’re not expecting to hit skins at a convent, you should be okay. The same thing goes for The Convent. He’s not a power hitter, so anything you get in that department is a bonus. He is also entreched in the two-hole of the Giants’ lineup. The speed is real and he should hit for a high average. Did you know that only seven players stole 30+ bases last season?