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Analyzing Rocco's Rehab

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This is going to be on an extremely small sample size, but I'm a bit concerned over one aspect of Baldelli's hitting game and people did want a Rocco watch. First his stats:

Stop OBP SLG
Total 0.306 0.389
VB 0.310 0.405
MON 0.392 0.542

Baldelli's outburst in Montgomery began in his last seven at-bats when his updated minor league numbers are compared to the week old Minor League Splits numbers. With a quick eye test it appears Rocco has gotten four hits, a homerun, and walked while only striking out once. Sure, it's AA, and you should be quite weary when a week of at-bats is the difference between a .935 OPS and a .653 OPS, but I'm not as concerned with the raw statistics as I am with the trajectory statistics of Rocco's batted balls.

So what's the problem? Well, per Minor League Splits (and this has very well changed this past week) 59% of his batted balls were grounders and only 10.3% were line drives. To give you an idea of who that profiles in the majors I turned to Fangraphs leaderboards and quickly found a match with Gary Matthews Jr., a perennially high groundballer has trouble maintaining solid numbers due to a fluctuating, and mostly low, line drive rate resulting in a lower BABIP than league average.

If Rocco were to reproduce the same LD% in the majors his BABIP would be expected around .220, that's simpy not going to work. I'll be interested to see the updated numbers from this week, perhaps he's starting to hit more line drives, but as it stands I would still consider Rocco our third option for a right-handed bat behind Jonny Gomes and a trade, and my personal fourth option behind Justin Ruggiano.  The most important thing though is that Rocco is playing nearly everyday.