Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fast Take- Josh Donaldson & Joe Mauer

Donaldson has always flashed good plate discipline in the minors, but never really made great contact. As seen here, Donaldson has made the mechanical adjustments necessary to generate more power. He posted a .1000 OPS in AAA last year, .844 OPS in the bigs after the ASB, and currently has a .936 OPS. Selective sampling, I know, but it looks like he's turned a corner.

His .360 BABIP would hint that he can’t sustain a .323 batting average, but a rough estimation of his XBABIP spits out a .337 mark. So even if you shaved off .23 off of his AVG due to luck, Donaldson is still hitting a cool .300.

Donaldson currently has a prime spot in the heart of the order batting 5th, so RBI are ripe for the taking. I’m curious to see where Bob Melvin will insert Josh Reddick once he returns from the disabled list. Reddick was dropped in the order because of a very poor start. If he gets the vote of confidence and returns to the #3 spot it’s bad news for Donaldson’s counting stats. Ideally Reddick gets slotted in the #6 spot to give Donaldson some protection.

If you can trade Donaldson for proven talent by all means go for it, otherwise he looks good to roster for the rest of the season.

Mauer has really become unhinged at the plate, striking out 20.9% of the time this year when his career rate sits at 10.8%. This isn't just an aberration, it’s a trend. This is the 3rd straight year his K rate has increased. He’s chasing pitches that he doesn't even normally think about taking the bat off of his shoulder for. His stats still look good, but his problems have been masked by a league high .451 BABIP.

wouldn't worry about him too much this year, he’s still talented enough to get away with these issues for now. For those who own him in keeper leagues, this is a clear sign. A 30 year old catcher with an injury prone past is starting to become reckless. Now is the time to sell.

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