But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention his production that he has provided this spring. Through 22 at-bats, Gutierrez has hit two home runs, knocked in eight runs and is hitting splits that would make Ted Williams look twice: .409/.458/.773. Now, I’m no mathematician, but that looks like a current OPS of 1.231 – very Bonds-like.
Now I’m not delerious enough to think that Gutierrez will keep these splits around all season long. But hitting .279 in a rookie season can translate pretty well given the fact that he’s only 25-years old and will now be getting ABs on the regular. In a piece on MLB.com, Gutierrez mentions that his relaxed mentality will help with his improvement.
“It’s a great feeling right now,” Gutierrez said. “It’s different than other years. I know I can start playing almost every day. So it makes you feel relaxed. That’s what I’m doing right now, is trying to relax and play my game, and that’s it. I don’t think about anything else.”
Whatever it takes to get that .232 average against righties up a bit, I’m all for it. He’s not the best at hitting the bender, and does have a knack for the K. Of course, the Tribe is no stranger to the platoon in the outfield, so if his struggles continue, there will be no way for the kid to get 500 ABs. However, it’s great to see news and numbers like we are given the lack of consistency that we’ve had in the corners of our outfield over the past few seasons.