Mike Zunino seems to be going for all or nothing recently. In his last 31 games he’s had 21 hits for a terrible batting average just under the Mendoza line. But 10 of those hits were homeruns.
While everyone would want to see his BA and OBP start to climb, I think we’re also enjoying this power surge. Even with such terrible numbers he is able to provide value to the bottom of the order with the long ball.
The ultimate goal is to get the full value from every position. I looked further into Zunino’s numbers to see where he was striving.
His average is low in most situations and, as you would expect, his number are better against lefties. The interesting thing is his power numbers spike against righties.
This year Zunino has 13 homeruns against righties and just 4 against lefties. For a guy who strikes out as much as Zunino does those homeruns are what’s keeping him on the field.
Even though he might be sacrificing some average, it’s clear he’s not going to be hitting anywhere close to a respectable average or somehow start drawing walks to bump his OBP. If this is his strategy then it seems to be working and we hope it will continue.
For a team that ranks 21st in the MLB in homeruns, having some sort of power threat that keeps the pitchers honest is nice to have. The Mariners offense is not one to be feared. With the addition of a legitimate leadoff hitter the top of the order should start producing more.
After the top of the order there is not much support. With any luck, Zunino can keep up with this sort of play. Power from the bottom of the order is a valued commodity and hopefully something that will keep them in the playoff race.