This is going to use my Robinson Chirinos piece template, redux, but applied to Sean Rodriguez. I’m using Roddy’s platoon splits from his 2,500+ Plate Appearances from 2005 – 09 over various levels of the Angels farm system. The perception is that Sean has pretty wide L/R splits so I wanted to see if we could take a look and then regress them around his 2011 projections.
Here are Sean’s splits over this period:
(Update: I fixed the Batting average numbers as I was initially using PA as the denominator, R/A to Sternfan1 for catching it.)
You can see that it’s not like he’s ever hit for average, but he did show solid OBP versus both lefties and righties. He showed real strong SLG against both type as well, but let’s run these numbers through the regression calculator and see what gets spit out:
Again, the Forecast columns come from the average of this CAIRO and THT Forecasts projections. Optimistic is based on the average, while pessimistic discounts 10%, and average is the average of those two numbers. I don’t think these projections are quite as liberal as they were for Chirinos as it’s easier to project a player that has gotten some reps with the big squad. Focusing on the Optimistic projection, we can see that Sean would be expected to have a .761 OPS against lefties (.323 wOBA) and a .714 OPS against righties (.315 wOBA). Over, 450 Plate Appearances that’s a little over 3 runs difference, which would seem to be smaller than what you would expect out of a guy with an extreme split.
A guy with a plus glove at multiple positions, I think I will gladly take a power-infused wOBA of .323 against lefties and if he could maintain something around a .315 wOBA against righties, then I don’t think there is a reason to platoon him against all but the most difficult matchups. If an option presents itself in the form of a masher of righties that provides roughly the same defensive value and utility then I might think to change my stance, and of course our major league scouts may see something that is just simply not fixable at this time and I would obviously respect their opinion that Sean would need to sit.
Keep in mind that the average AL second sacker had an OBP/SLG/wOBA line of .328/.391/.315. So I think it would be safe to say that Sean probably is going to be below average against righties at getting on and close to average against lefties, but he’s going to be above-average against both in SLG and well above average against lefties in the power department. Lastly, regarding wOBA, you’re talking an average wOBA against righties, while being .008, or about those same 3 runs that we saw earlier. Add it up and you’re talking about a player that could be around 3 WAA compared to his 2B brethren.