Saturday, July 25, 2015

Matt Duffy outperforms the Panda

 He has a 2.9 WAR so far this year. Sandoval is -0.4 according to Baseball Rerfernce though he was 3.4 last year

The Giants 3B has been a better player than anyone expected, according to Owen Watson at Just a Bit Outside.

The stories behind Crawford and Panik’s breakouts have already been chronicled: through a few swing changes and pulling more fly balls, both Giants middle infielders have increased their power production by leaps and bounds this season. However, it's not terribly surprising these two are putting it together, as one (Panik) was a highly-regarded prospect, and the other (Crawford) was a very good college player.
The same cannot be said of Matt Duffy. An 18th-round pick in the 2012 draft out of Long Beach State, Duffy tallied a total of 501 college at-bats, but never hitting a homer. Over parts of three years in the minors between 2012-14, Duffy hit 13 homers in 1,087 plate appearances: that's a minor-league home run rate of one every 84 plate appearances. Houston's Jose Altuve hit a home run, on average, every 77 plate appearances between the 2013 and 2014 seasons, so Duffy homered in the minors at a rate just below what Jose Altuve has for the past two seasons. Duffy was productive in other ways, however, showing doubles power and a nice balance of patience and limited strikeouts.
Then 2015 rolled around, and the 24-year-old forced himself into an everyday role over Casey McGehee by hitting everything in sight. Duffy had eight homers in the first half of the season, performing 27 percent better than the average major-league hitter (while also barely showing his stolen-base ability). His average fly ball and home run distance currently sits at 297 feet, ranking 34th in the majors -- just behind Andrew McCutchen. That power explosion, coupled with Duffy's above average defensive work (something he was known for dating back to his college days), have put him in very good company among rookies in 2015.


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