Hello everyone! I obviously am new around here, so allow me to introduce myself. They call me Kep, and I am a huge Pirates fan. I have long been enamored with the team as long as I have understood baseball. I'm a pretty young guy and have not been alive since the Pirates have last been over .500. Needless to say I have absolutely no idea what it feels like to have a winning sports team as my team. This fact alone makes me obsessed with a winning team.
Now in my opinion, I feel that while the Pirates are far from a contender they are only a few pieces short of being a competitive team on a regular basis. The main thing holding back the Pirates is without a doubt the wasteland that is first base.
Having kept up with Neal Huntington's most recent interviews about being "content with the first base situation going in to the season" (I'm paraphrasing of course) the possibility of a platoon featuring Garrett Jones and minor league free-agent Nick Evans.
Personally, if this were to occur I might possibly have a brain aneurysm. However I thought I would take a closer look at the numbers of this possible platoon.
The common idea is that Garrett Jones is a killer against righties but couldn't hit a southpaw if he gave a polar bear a high five. This looks true taking into account his .147/.181/.279 (BA/OBP/SLG just to clarify) against lefties in 2011. A 1:10 K:BB ratio against lefties sure doesn't shade away from the conceptions about him.
Many see him as average or slightly above average against righties? Well it can be argued that he is very good against righties. An OPS of .808 is definitely nothing to scoff at especially when taking into account he had a Babip of .304.
If a real first baseman is obtained he looks to be obsolete however. Many people would like to see him stick around as a bench player, well according to his pinch-hitting stats and in-game-replacement stats he is actually quite horrible in that role.
To look at his (better?) half of the platoon we shift to Nick Evans formerly of the New York Mets. Evans is supposed to be a lefty killer correct? I see that as false. According to this past season's numbers he only had 65 plate appearances against lefties which is hardly enough to take a decent sample from. Even if you were to take these plate appearances as law, he only had a .236/323/.436 slash against lefties. Compared to his numbers against righties he does hit lefties better however he wouldn't even resemble a right handed platoon option.
In the field Jones is somewhat reliable. Having fielded 47 balls at first base this past season and only committing three errors. Which is 6% of balls he fielded resulted in errors by him. Evans on the other hand fielded 97 balls at first base and only committed three errors also resulting in roughly 3% of balls hit to him resulting in errors. So Evans believe it or not would seemingly be a much more reliable fielder.
I hope my thoughts help to give some more insights into what we could possibly be stuck with opening day. My numbers can all be found at baseball-reference.com