By Scott Barancik, editor
Danny Valencia has seen limited playing time this season, starting just 22 of Toronto’s 75 games through Friday (6/27/2015), and only now reaching 100 at-bats. But research by Jewish Baseball News suggests Toronto manager John Gibbons couldn’t ask for much more from a utility/platoon player.
To try to capture the universe of utility/platoon players, we looked at MLB players who had accumulated fewer than 200 at-bats thru 6/26/2015. An overbroad grouping, to be sure, but it was the best we could come up with on the spot.
So how is the 30-year-old Valencia doing when measured against this group?
Among A.L. and N.L. players with 75 to 200 at-bats through Friday, the 30-year-old Miami native’s .330 average ranked second only to teammate Chris Colabello, who’s not really a utility/platoon player. (Since his call-up from Triple-A a month into the season, Colabello has started 45 of Toronto’s 48 games.)
MLB: Batting average leaders with 75-to-200 at-bats (thru 6/26/2015)
Valencia ranks high in RBI productivity. At one RBI per 4.76 at-bats, he trailed only L.A.’s Justin Turner and Baltimore’s Matt Wieters as of Friday.
MLB: RBI productivity leaders with 200 or fewer at-bats (thru 6/26/2015)
ABs per RBI
Valencia also has shown impressive power. In 100 at-bats, he’s hit 4 HRs and 11 doubles, good enough for a .560 slugging percentage.
MLB: Slugging leaders with 75-to-200 at-bats (thru 6/26/2015)
Though not considered a high-level fielder, Valencia is versatile, having played five positions so far in 2015. And he hasn’t made a single error at any of them.
The NBA has its Sixth Man of the Year award. If the MLB had a 10th Man award, Danny Valencia would be a top candidate this season.
Want our daily updates sent free to your e-mailbox? Click here