Although the results Mariners fans were hoping for haven’t quite come to fruition, he’s still the right-handed specialist the lineup desperately needs.
Eat, sleep, mash right-handed pitching. That’s what I imagine a day in the life of Seattle Mariners minor league slugger Daniel Vogelbach consists of. In an era where platooning players is more prevalent than ever, it’s only a matter of time before the legend of Vogelbach sneaks his way on to the every day roster.
I know, I know…you probably rolled your eyes when you read “the legend of Vogelbach”, but trust me, this dude eats right-handed pitchers like chicken wings.. Currently, through 43 games in Tacoma, Vogelbach sports a .298 average, 7 homeruns, 32 RBI and has a .402 OBP. Including Sunday’s game where he went 4-5 with a HR, 3 RBI and walked.
Although he is striking out 19% of the time, he counters that with a very veteranesque 14.5% walk ratio. A 4.5% ratio difference is pretty damn acceptable in my book. Even in his brief seven game stint in the majors this year, Vogelbach managed an even better walk rate of 15%. As it goes for many players of his skill set, the swings and misses are still there. He is going to whiff a bit more than you or I may be comfortable with, but the upside that Vogelbach has is even bigger than his 6′ 250 lb frame.
As I mentioned before, that upside comes in the form of his consistent mauling of righties. In that same 43 games, Vogelbach is hitting .347 with all seven of his HR against said righties. Vogelbach is to righties, what Valencia is to lefties (career .320 hitter against southpaws).
What Vogelbach really needs, is a shot at consistent playing time at the major league level. At this point of his career, he has shown that minor league pitching just isn’t good enough anymore. No matter how long you keep him down, at this point it seems like it may end up doing more harm than good. Consistently playing against sub-par opponents begins to stunt your growth as a player after awhile. In the past two years combined, the Mariners have played Vogelbach in a grand total of 20 games and he has gotten a measly 33 plate appearances is those games. In a starting role, 33 plate appearances would be the equivalent to 8 games. Writing a player off as “not good enough” after 8 games worth of PAs is just silly.
With a .389 wOBA, 134 wRC+ and a .342 BABIP that actually doesn’t seem completely unsustainable, it’s officially time to give Vogelbach the ABs in Seattle that he deserves. With all the injuries and offensive struggles the Mariners have been through already this year, giving Vogelbach a full-time look as the platoon hitting, righty specialist doesn’t seem like too farfetched of an idea. Let him hit his way out of his struggles and unleash the monster he has inside of him.
It’s time for Mariners fans to have a new, power hitting youngster to cheer for.