Give Jack Wilson Some Time
Alright, it’s no secret that Jack Wilson has been struggling at the plate since coming to Seattle. He’s hitting .193 with a .223 wOBA in his 16 games here. Because of this, and the fact that Josh Wilson happened to get on a hot streak while Jack was hurt, I’m seeing a lot of criticism of Jack. This is somewhat warranted, as we gave up a lot to get him here, and the rest of this season is somewhat of a test for him, so the front office can decide what they want to do with him for the 2010 season. It’s frustrating to see, but for a few simple reasons, we should cut him some slack.
1) He’s playing fantastic defense. His UZR/150 since joining the Mariners is 25.3. What he’s lacking at the plate he’s making up for with his D, which has certainly come as advertised.
2) He’s going to start hitting. Not only is he a career .268 hitter, but his wOBA in Pittsburgh this year was .299. No, he’s not a great hitter, but there’s absolutely no reason to believe his bat isn’t going to pick up. It’s 16 games people.
3) It really doesn’t matter. We’re 7.5 back in the wild card here in late August. In the long run, this slump isn’t going to matter one way or another, as we aren’t really in a race anyway. Now, if we some how manage to gain ground quickly and we’re 4.5 back a week from now, yes, his bat heating up could make a difference. But as of now, who cares?
4) He’s having bad luck. His line drive rate with the Mariners is 20% – 3.7% higher than it was with the Pirates, yet his BABIP in his 16 games in Seattle is .250. It was .290 in his 75 games with Pittsburgh.
5) Small Sample Size. I’ve said it a few times in this post already – he’s played 16 games here. 16 games. Judging Jack Wilson based on 16 games is almost as crazy as judging Josh Wilson based on 10 games.
I understand liking Josh Wilson. Believe me, I do. He stepped up when we needed him to, and because of that he may get more chances to prove himself with this team in the future. Disliking Jack is another story though – that I don’t understand, and that’s an opinion I can’t respect.
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