FanPost

Smoak's splits

So I was looking through Smoaky's handy dandy Fangraphs splits page this evening, trying to find a little more hope in that .168/.286/.317 line and .273 wOBA / 61 wRC+. It's only 119 PA's, which might make this exercise rather pointless, but Smoak's got some extremely dramatic splits so far, dramatic enough that I thought it worth bringing up.

In 82 PA's vs. RHP's (batting left-handed) he has a .217/.341/.391 slash line, which gives him a .328 wOBA and 98 wRC+ against right-handers (almost exactly league average). He's walking more (15.9 BB%) than he's struck out (14.5 K%) and his LD% is a healthy 20.3%, so although his IFFB% is a tad high (16%) his .214 BABIP left-handed is still seemingly way, way too low.

It gets downright weird (and ugly) when you look at what he's done in his 37 PA's against lefties (batting right-handed): .063/.162/.318, or a .141 wOBA and -29 wRC+. No, that's not a typo on the wRC+, that's a minus sign.

His K% jumps to 28.1% batting right handed, and the BB% falls to 10.8%. His BABIP right-handed is an abysmal .043, which no doubt leaves plenty of room for regression, especially when you consider his LD% against lefties is actually higher - 29.2% - but his IFFB% batting right-handed is a whopping 45.5%.

So batting lefty he's still producing at a very acceptable rate for someone who's been this unlucky, with a very good K/BB - but from the right side he turns into Taylor Teagarden, nearly doubling his strikeout rate and popping up almost 50% of the time.

Perhaps this is a knee-jerk - 37 PA's is a bigtime SSS and there's obviously no way he's actually this bad right-handed - but looking at how dramatic these splits are, and the fact that they're in line with his minor league splits, I'm at an utter loss to why this club would continue to throw Smoak out there full-time against lefties right now when he's scuffling this badly against them. Unless of course they've really decided that keeping Joaquin Arias around is more important than getting someone in here to prevent first base from being a total black hole vs. left-handers and potentially keep their top offensive prospect from going into a complete tailspin.

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