When I happen to be in my car during a Yankee game, listening on the radio, I’m surprised by just how often the Yankees face a “really good hitter.” That isn’t a distinction that I give out, but the radio voices of the team, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, sprinkle that phrase on batters quite liberally over the courses of the games and the season. One player they happen to lavish this praise upon is the now former Detroit Tiger, Brennan Boesch. John and Suzyn sure do love this guy and they even discussed it briefly last night during the game against the Phillies. Both commentators, of course, wanted the Yankees to give Boesch a shot. To their credit, they usually see Boesch rake against the Yankees. He owns a career line against the Bombers of .363/.369/.538/.907 with 3 home runs in 84 plate appearances. However, that is most definitely not an accurate picture of Boesch.
After hitting just .240/.286/.372/.659 (77 OPS+), Boesch’s career line is .259/.315/.414/.729. Now that’s certainly not terrible, but it’s not something that will solve the Yankees’ forecasted hitting woes. The only slightly interesting thing about Boesch, a lefty hitter, is that he has a reverse platoon split for his career, OPSing .717 against righties and .767 against lefties. That’s really about it. While we’re on his splits, it’s worth noting that Boesch has tended to start hot–he owns an .818 OPS in the first half for his career–and finishes cold: he has a .580 (!) OPS in the second half of the season. To me, this says that while Boesch gets off on the right foot, the pitchers are quickly able to knock him off of that foot and Boesch is unable to make adjustments. Given all of this, like Mike said yesterday, Boesch would be more of a project than a player of value. Signing Boesch to anything other than a minor league deal would be making a move for the sake of making a move, and we all know that doesn’t exactly work as a strategy. For whatever reason, though, he has some name cache among Yankee fans, probably because he’s happened to hit them well. Given Boesch’s profile–or lack thereof–I’d rather the Yankees just go to Zoilo Almonte if Melky Mesa–who’s seemingly won the open outfield job–can’t perform up to snuff. At least Almonte can switch hit and has flashed lots of power against righties in his minor league time.