2012 Season Review: Rock The Vogt

Elsa

A look back at the career of Stephen Vogt, circa 2012.

Looking back on the career of Stephen Vogt, there are three particular moments that stand out among his many excellent performances, and it is these we remind you of on Election Day:

March 7, 2012: A Powerful Instrument

"The Vogt is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men." - Lyndon B. Johnson

The setting is preseason, in the Rays first meeting with the Evil Empire. Stephen Guy Vogt enters the game 3-for-8 with and RBI and one run scored in four preseason games. Vogt had established himself as a wrecking ball against minor league competition with 105 RBIs he previous season, pushing the Durham Bulls to their 2011 Division Title - but he had not faced the likes of Hiroki Kuroda. Then again, Kuroda had never faced Stephen Vogt.

With two men on base, Stephen Vogt worked a 2-2 count before placing bat against ball, reaching for a 70 mph slider. A mere mortal would have been content to stop at second, but not Stephen Vogt. His drive and determination against the New York Yankees would give him a triple off Kuroda. He would score in the next at-bat and finish 3-for-3 on the afternoon.

September 17, 2012: The Rifle

"A Vogt is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user." - Theodore Roosevelt

Two outs in the ninth inning, down four runs against Boston, Cody Ross has already worked a 1-0 count with Jacoby Ellsbury on second base. Dane De La Rosa fires a 79.7 mph slider to the plate. Ellsbury jumpes at DLR's first move and takes off for third base - and who should be catching?

Stephen Vogt.

From his perspective, the slider whips into the bottom left corner of the strike zone, near Cody Ross's knees. Ross politely ducks - as to not take a fastball from Stephen Vogt's might arm to the face (a likely scenario, it's Cody Ross) - and Big Daddy Vogt rifles the ball to a well placed Sean Rodriguez, leaving Ellsbury stunned at his foolishness.

September 26, 2012: Rock The Vogt!

"All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or back gammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong..." - Henry David Thoreau

We would be remiss to not mention what is certainly Stephen Vogt's most memorable performance as Dancer #1 from the Rays Rookie Hazing of 2012. Vogt's swagger and shortness immediately standout as he leads the squad onto Fenway Park's field.

Vogt's catching prowess certainly leant a hand to his can't-miss leap frog abilities, showcased in the solo dance break at the one-minute mark. Watch carefully at the end to see Vogt's superb blonde-curly-wig maintenance on the right side of the screen. His beautiful golden locks rival the likes of rock legends White Snake and Shirley Temple.


What Have We Learned?

"Thinking is not to agree or disagree. That's Vogt-ing." - Robert Frost

Stephen Vogt is clearly a giant against our two greatest rivals, much like the Great Pumpkin before him. You may have been dissuaded by Bull Moose Vogt's 0-25 record last season, but it should be noted that in his 27 at-bats, Stephen Vogt struck out only two times and walked twice. And who were those walks against, you ask?

Why, New York and Boston - in both situations bringing the tying run to the plate. Vogt showed his mastery by intimidating Rafael Soriano away from the strike zone for his first major league walk, and by working a seven pitch at-bat to his advantage against Andrew Bailey.

Why do we remind you of all these things? Every Vogt matters. Every at-bat contributes to a winning team. So follow in his example.

Get out there and Vogt!

Additionally, let not your opinion of Stephen Vogt be influenced by very small sample sizes! Examining his last four years of performance, Vogt has never put up a wRC+ below 118 at any level in the minors and has been a very consistent hitter. The outlier is his promotion to AAA in 2011 where Vogt took a more aggressive approach, but he still maintained his OBP above .300.

Season

Level

G

PA

HR

R

RBI

SB

BB%

K%

ISO

BABIP

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

2010

(A+)

106

414

8

56

47

3

7.5 %

11.1 %

.166

.372

.345

.399

.511

.413

160

2011

(AA)

97

427

13

52

85

4

7.0 %

11.9 %

.187

.310

.301

.344

.487

.364

118

2011

(AAA)

31

131

4

15

20

0

3.1 %

22.1 %

.226

.340

.290

.305

.516

.353

118

2012

(AAA)

94

396

9

48

43

1

10.6 %

15.4 %

.152

.306

.272

.350

.424

.349

116

Recovering from a near-career-ending shoulder injury after ten games in 2009, Vogt led the Florida League in batting average and OPS in 2010, and was awarded the Rays Minor League Player of the Year in 2011 - proving himself to be a great contact hitter with a 20.0 LD% and 32.5 GB% (the lowest for the entire Rays farm system, min. 300 at-bats).

Furthermore, his defense is valuable, as evidenced by his arm, and the fact that he is versatile enough to play Catcher, Infield, and Outfield. Given more opportunity, Vogt could prove to be an excellent bench player for the Rays in 2013 and should not be counted out due to a few pinch hit opportunities that didn't work out well for a late-September call up.

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