Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The 2011 Tyler Colvin Experience Has Ended

The Cubs have decided to send down the young Tyler Colvin. The former first round draft pick hit 20 homers last year, despite receiving only partial playing time. The hope this year, is that he would again clobber the ball and push Kosuke Fukudome for playing time.

Instead, Colvin hit .113/.191/.258 (batting average / on-base percentage / slugging percentage) over 68 plate appearances, while Kosuke underwent his typical April surge. Even though Fukudome has yet to hit his first home run of the season, the Japanese right fielder has dominated to the tune of .326/.434/.368.

Hopefully, though, full-time plate appearances in Triple-A Iowa will help Colvin not only find a groove, but work on his plate discipline. Even last year, when he hit 20 bombs as a rookie, Colvin was still only 12% above average (per the statistic weighted runs created plus, or wRC+) — that is on average about how good Darwin Barney has been so far, and he hits mostly singles.

It looks increasingly — with each day's passing and subsequent addition to the loss column — the Cubs will be well out of contention come the All-Star Break. As such, Kosuke, whose BABIP (batting average on balls in play) suggests he has been quite lucky so far, could either come back to earth hard (and consequently lose play time) or could find himself on another team (say, one in contention).

This would then open an everyday slot for Tyler Colvin, who will hopefully have resurrected his hitting in Triple-A. Granted, Colvin's poor performance this year could be attributed to his really low BABIP (.116), but at the same time, his batted ball profile does not give us anything to smile about: very few line drives, lots of ground balls, and lots of fly balls.

So here's to you Colvin: May you find your stroke and more among the Des Moines mighty!

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