An Offensive Threat?
He is not a good hitter against left-handed pitching and the numbers show it slashing .233/.295/.358 in his career off them with just 7 Homers and a wRC+ of 73 in 367 plate appearances. In 1,303 plate appearances against right handers, Mitch slashes .261/.325/.463 with 58 homers and a wRC+ of 106. He also strikes out less than 20 percent of the time as opposed to 23 percent against lefties.
With that in mind, it seems Wash and company have finally realized this and are keeping him to just face righties which he is doing very well so far in 2014. In 94 plate appearances against right handers this year, Mitch is slashing .299/.330/.460 with an above average wRC+ sitting at 111. He has been a bit fortunate to the tune of a .366 BABIP this year, but that could just be due to his career high line drive percentage and career low ground ball percent, which is at 29/37.5 percent respectively (17/43.2 percent last year).
So he is seeing the ball well and hammering it when he makes contact. I would like to see his walk rate go back up (sitting at only 5.5 percent) the rest of the way. If he can do that then we really have a productive part time player here. And if Wash ever needs a late mop-up pitcher in a blowout again, Mitch can certainly handle that job pretty well, too. I know we all enjoyed seeing him shatter Charlie Blackmon’s bat.
As we all know with Mitch, it’s about keeping him healthy and confident up at the plate. He could go into one of his frustrating lulls that drives us all crazy the rest of the year. Right now, he’s in a groove and doing his part to help the team score. All we can do is hope he continues this surprising productivity.