Sunday, April 24, 2011

Haters Gonna Hate, but Pat the Bat is Not as Bad as You Think.

San Francisco Giants' Pat Burrell throws his bat after striking out against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning in their Opening Day MLB National League baseball game in Los Angeles, California March 31, 2011.    REUTERS/Alex Gallardo

Pat Burrell has gotten a bunch of criticism this season, especially before he went off for four hits in the last two games, raising his average from .208 to .250. Much of this criticism has been undeserved.

Burrell has been one of the best hitters on this Giants team this season and, on top of everything, he is a bargain at $1 million for this year. Yes, even with all of those strikeouts and a batting average barely above his weight, he's still a bargain.

Here is his ranks among the team:

wOBA- 2nd (.385)
OPS+- 2nd (135)
OBP- 5th (.348)
SLG- 2nd (.533)
HR- 1st (5)
BB- 2nd (7)

When you put all of that together, that is a very nice hitter and there isn't another player that the Giants could substitute into left field that could give close to the production of what Burrell is giving right now.

He has issues that he can improve upon (namely strikeouts, defense, and his struggles against left handed pitchers). I can look past those issues, however, when he can hit for power when he puts the ball in play and he can continue to have patient at-bats. He also has the ability to work the pitcher. He should have an everyday spot in the lineup.

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