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Florimon's switch hitting...why?

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#1 longstrangetrip

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 12:11 PM

First of all, I think of shortstop as primarily a defensive position, and Florimon more than fills the bill there. His range factor (RF) last year was 5.59, easily the best in baseball, and his DWAR of 2.2 was the second best.

But his hitting from the right side is a big problem. I don't know that I have ever seen such a big differential in switch hitting splits:

BA HR OPS

RHB .176 0 .450
LHB .236 9 .665

.215 is a huge differential in OPS, and it begs the question why the Twins would allow Pedro to continue to hit from the right side. I recognize that his left handed hitting would likely not be as strong against left-handed pitching, but I can't believe it would plummet to the level of his right handed hitting. Florimon showed surprising pop from the left side last year with 9 HRs, and LaVelle says he has added 10 pounds of muscle to his frame during the offseason. But he has never homered from the right side of the plate.

The Twins should either talk Florimon out of switch hitting, or bench him against lefties if he continues to struggle against them. We need his defense, but can't afford another .450 OPS from the right.

#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 12:17 PM

What's truly sad is the he's still a below average hitter from his "strong" side of the plate.

#3 longstrangetrip

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 12:54 PM

Yeah, not great...but maybe about average for a SS. .665 would have him on par with Zach Cosart and Elvis Andrus...certainly satisfactory when you pair that with top 5 defensive stats. But .450 is ridiculous. To put it in perspective, the worst OPS for shortstops with more than 100 ABs last year was Ruben Tejada at .519. And Pedro is .069 worse than that.

#4 snepp

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:02 PM

In the minors he was a better hitter from the right side than from the left.

#5 cmathewson

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:19 PM

In the minors he was a better hitter from the right side than from the left.


In the minors, pitchers don't throw 3/2 breaking balls. I hope he makes the adjustment.
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#6 longstrangetrip

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:23 PM

Good point, snepp. And my son tells me he's naturally a RHB too. Hard to explain the flip flop in splits since he hit the majors, but the results are dramatic. Visually he looks bad at the plate as a RHB to me also.

I guess the brass is being patient with him because of his success from the right in the minors. His defense is good enough that I'm willing to accept the poor hitting...but I still think they ought to closely monitor the switch hitting.

#7 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:44 PM

In the minors, pitchers don't throw 3/2 breaking balls. I hope he makes the adjustment.

I doubt Florimon is seeing many 3-2 breaking balls in the majors either. He's likely to see a lot of 3-2 fastballs since nobody is terribly afraid of challenging Pedro Florimon.

In any case, his MLB career OPS with a full count is .636, not much different (but slightly higher) than his career OPS overall.

And I think the most likely cause of the RH/LH difference is SSS from a guy who doesn't hit well from either side.

#8 Thrylos

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:28 PM

I guess the brass is being patient with him because of his success from the right in the minors.


Depends how you define "success" I guess :) And under .700 OPS is not successful at any level.

His career numbers in the majors are bit different that what you mention:

vs RHP .224/.286/.347 (441 PA) & vs LHP .204/.256/.259 (165 PA)
Other than the SLG, which is significant different, the others are likely within the standard deviation of the sample size which is smallish as a RHB.

As far as his defense goes, here is his ranking with a few metrics (in the MLB and in the AL)

Fangraphs Def: 14th (6th in the AL)
UZR/150: 18th (11th in the AL)
RZR: 8th (1st in the AL)

I am not a huge fan. I really want to see the Twins give Escobar a change for the starting job because he is better with the stick and at least close (if not better) with the glove.
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