The Process Versus Twins Hitters | The Process Report

The Process Versus Twins Hitters

Joe Mauer Left .849 .963
Drew Butera* Right .453 .591
Jason Kubel Left .663 .881
Jim Thome Left .802 .942
Justin Morneau Left .840 .959
Michael Cuddyer Right .897 .743
Alexi Casilla Switch .620 .681
Matt Tolbert Switch .708 .630
Danny Valencia* Right .967 .713
Delmon Young Right .853 .734
Jason Repko Right .553 .667
Denard Span Left .801 .739

(Three-year samples used when possible)

*Career numbers

These tables all exclude 2011 stats

(Favors means the split is +/- .020 points)
Matchup favors LHP: Mauer, Butera, Kubel, Thome, Morneau, Casilla, Repko
Matchup favors RHP:  Span, Young, Valencia, Tolbert, Cuddyer
Matchup is a push:  N/A

Whereas Boston could (and did) play righty batters when the Rays went lefty, the Twins have little choice. Their three best hitters are lefties and so is Kubel, leaving Minnesota in an awkward position. Those guys can still hit lefties some, of course, but Cesar Ramos and Jake McGee are going to come in handy throughout the four-game series.

Old friend Delmon Young will get a chance to sock it to his whilom team, but he is a different batter than he used to be. Even cosmetically, Young has adjusted his batting stance (as the 2008 versus 2011 images below show) by shifting his hands and getting into a deeper crouch. His hands are also very active in the preload phase of swing. It’s rather annoying.

Young’s career stats with the Twins don’t look terribly different from those with the Rays (.289/.325/.438 with Minny versus .293/.319/.419 with Tampa Bay), damning  since young only spent one full season down here, and even then he was 21-years-old. Give Young some credit, as his 2010 featured the highest slugging percentage of his career (.493) thanks to 46 doubles and 21 home runs.

As for as rate stats, Young has struck out 16.8 percent and walked 4.5 percent with the Twins, as opposed to 18.7 percent and 3.8 percent in 2007. Walking isn’t Delmon’s thing and neither is working an at-bat, as he had the lowest pitches per plate appearance rate of his career in 2010 (3.24, the previous low was 3.50), but the highest contact rate (80 percent in place of 75 percent).  PECOTA’s top three comparisons for Young are Jorge Cantu, Jeff Francoeur, and Chris Young, which tells you what he’s all about: free-swinging and decidedly not defense.

Bat-slinging and yelling at the manager aside, there isn’t much reason to harbor ill will towards Young. If he were still a Ray, he would be nearing the end of his affordability stage despite some unimpressive production besides the baseball card stats. That he is in the midst of carving out a niche as a run producer and could get paid by a foolish general manager because of it is actually a bit heart-warming.  After all, Young’s flaws helped to start the trade string that includes everyone’s favorite little guy.

So, thanks Delmon. I guess.

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