Just before I begin this post know that for no good reason, I am absolutely in love with Michael Saunders. I think this guy is a great left fielder that just hasn’t put things together at the plate just yet. Yet, he is an above average corner out fielder.
If you look at Saunders stats it shows he currently has a wOBA of only .264 in 88 PA. He has 27K/5BB which is disconcerting to say the least. You would immediately start to think that he may need some more time in the minors or that he is yet another bust. But, as Griffin talked about in his previous posts, we need to give these guys more patience and we need to realize as fans that these are SMALL sample sizes.
So far he is sitting at a strike out percentage of 34.9%. The league average is right around 20%. But consider this, every promotion he has had from AA to AAA to MLB he has taken almost 100+ PA to figure it out.
In 2007, after his promotion to AA his strikes outs sat at 38.5% in 60 PAs! The following year (2008) repeating AA, in 289 PA he cut that strike out percentage to 26.6%, which is still high. He was posting a wOBA of .384 and an ISO of .194. Upon promotion to AAA he struck out 31.6% of the time and his wOBA sunk to .304 in 105 PAs.
This year upon return from rehab from off season surgery he put up a wOBA of .400 and an ISO of .234 in 282 PA.
His BB% has also shown(while declining at every stop in the minors) to be around league average (9%) so you can expect that meager 5% to take a jump.
If after 300 PA this guy is still posting a sub .315 I will be shocked. He learns and adapts very quickly. He is only 22 and turns 23 this off season.
He may never reach “All-Star” status, but he will get much better with the stick. Just add him to your list of “I gotta be patient with” guys (you know the same list that Jack Wilson is on)