Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Twins ditch Mastroianni, pick up Sam Fuld. Upgrade?

[And right as I post this I see on Twitter the Gophers picked up commitments from Zach Lofton and Bakary Konate.  Post coming on that tomorrow.]

Never let it be said that I don't tackle the tough questions on this blog. With the Twins grabbing Sam Fuld of waivers and subsequently losing Darin Mastroianni to the Blue Jays it's finally time to look at the big question every is asking these days - who is the better sixth outfielder?  I know, I'm brave to put myself out there like this on such an important and controversial topic, but someone has to do it.  The people demand answers.

Mastroianni's career slash numbers are .220/.288/.295, while Fuld's are .233/.312/.334 - both pretty terrible.  Fuld's minor league career numbers are .283/.371/.402, and Mastroianni is at .280/.370/.370.  Generally pretty comparable and crappy.  The differences are Fuld walks a little bit more, Mastroianni strikes out about twice as often, and although neither is going to hit it out of the park very often Fuld has slightly more gap power.  Edge to Fuld.  Since we're talking sixth outfielder here (when everyone's healthy) the biggest value these guys could bring is as a pinch hitter, and I would definitely feel better with Fuld up there than Mastroianni who mostly just made me roll my eyes.  He's not a great bat by any means, but he is an upgrade.

Both had some success stealing bases in the minors and both have exactly one big league season with a nice steals total - Mastroianni had 21 in 2012, Fuld 20 in 2011.  For their careers Mastroianni has stolen 24 bases while being caught just 4 times, while Fuld totals 38 with 13 caught.  Edge Mastroianni, but in general I hate pinch running so maybe not having the faster guy is an overall positive?  Fuld balances the speed difference by being a better overall base running, at least according to UBR (Ultimate Base Running), a complicated way to try to quantify base running ability.  I don't know how much credence we can really lend to it, but for whatever it's worth Fuld's been goode for his career while Mastroianni has been simply average.
Defensively, and this is important since this is the center field back up spot, these guys are both quite good according to Fangraphs' defensive metrics, specifically UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating).  Fuld has overall been better over his career, but Mastroianni jumps ahead if you look at it on a per 150 games basis.  They both have good range and a good arm, and neither make many errors.  Call it a tie.

I'll take the swap.  They're pretty much dead even in most things except Fuld is better with the stick, and since their role is going to mainly be coming off the bench I'd rather have a better hitter.  Mastroianni is four years younger than Fuld, which would be a selling point in some cases, but not here.  Reality is these guys are non-prospects, so age doesn't really matter.  They're both better than Alex Presley, anyway.

Now you have the answer to this pressing topic that I'm pretty sure most Twins fans weren't even aware of.  I'm generous like that.

1 comment:

rghrbek said...

You forgot to mention that Fuld bats left handed, which makes a possible platoon with Hicks (since he can't hit, maybe a little from the right side).
Of course Gardy loves platoons!