I know it’s early, and we don’t want to worry too much about statistics. A bunch of hitters on this team have started off slowly, and most of them will probably recover. Similarly, Wilson Ramos won’t hit .364 all season. But one player that does worry me is Rick Ankiel. He’s currently hitting .231/.306/.308, which is pretty much atrocious. I’d be less worried, except last season he only hit .232/.321/.389. Basically, if 2 of his hits were a HR and a triple instead of the 2 singles that they were, he’d be right on pace for last season, with a few less walks. Not good, and not convincing me that he is going to do any better.
In fact, it wasn’t just last season that he hit so poorly. In 2009, he had 404 PAs and hit .231/.285/.387. It’s starting to look familiar. Maybe he’s a .231/.300/.387 hitter. Which would mean his ISO power is decent at .150, but not so great that it can excuse the rest of the junk. It’s not even very good power, it’s better described as “some pop” or something similar. Ankiel is a vet, and he’s played well in center field, but this experiment may quickly be coming to an end. If it does, then who else can they play there?
This may surprise some fans, but Nix has played more CF in his career than any other position. He’s spent about 58% of his innings playing CF, the rest in the corner OF spots. And his fielding has been good there. Over his career his UZR/150 is 9.3 in CF, so it looks like he can field the position. The problem with Nix, though, is his bat. He has started out strong, managing to make the club and then hitting .276/.300/.483 in 30 PAs. The power is still there, but his numbers suggest that he doesn’t walk that much, and it’s true. He is also probably not a .275 hitter in terms of average, as his career numbers are .244/.286/.426. And his best years, really his only good years, were in Cincinnati, a great park for hitters. But, even if he hits .240/.290/.426 from here on out, it may beat what Ankiel can do.