Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Zobrist or Harris?

Brendan Harris had a nice night during yesterday's weird loss, going three for four. He's batting .467 in eleven at-bats. With Ben Zobrist hitting .170 in fifty-seven times up, one wonders if Harris should get a shot at the shortstop job. Apparently, I wasn't the only person asking this question, as the discussion appeared on D-Rays Bay today.

Obviously, the sample size is too small for us to infer anything from Harris' results thus far. Zobrist's sample size, however, is growing, and he hasn't been impressive. Interestingly, PECOTA projects the current shortstop at .279/.348/.395 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage). These numbers would be more than adequate, especially considering that Zobrist is likely a stopgap until the Longoria/Brignac era commences.

Problem is, he hasn't shown anything close to the ability to achieve those projections, hitting more like a utility infielder than a starter. PECOTA forecasts Harris at more reserve-appropriate .259/.314/.390. So, according to minor league history and projected ability, Joe has the right guy in there, for now.

It seems to make sense, then, to give Zobrist a little more time, though certainly not in the two-hole. His on-base percentage is a stunningly low .170 right now. It won't remain quite that bad, but the number is poison near the top of such a potent lineup. Seems to me he should be hitting eighth or ninth until he finds himself.


Ray said...
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Ray said...

I agree that Zobrist should be given a little more time to settle in, but having said that, move him down to the bottom third. You can't stick with one batting order regardless of the results.

BaseballKeith said...

Bat Aki second.