When interviewing Cevallos about Zobrist, I asked him how many home runs Zobrist could hit if given enough playing time. Cevallos said he would hit 30 home runs. Zobrist came up just short with 27. I recently contacted Cevallos about Sutton, and asked him a similar question: If given 600 at-bats, how many home runs would Sutton hit? Cevallos said, 25. He also noted that while both players had similar power, Zobrist’s swing would lead to a higher batting average, but Sutton’s stroke could produce a lot of doubles.
If that doesn’t sound good enough to you then have a look at some of Sutton’s 2011 numbers. In 45 games of Triple A, Sutton put up a .295/.382/.476 slash and in 31 games with the Red Sox he managed a .315/.362/.444 line. Those are some impressive numbers and it would be great if he could replicate them in Atlanta… but that just isn’t going to happen.
He is due for some regression. In Triple A his BABIP was .355 and it jumped all the way up to .415 in the bigs. Those numbers just aren’t sustainable, even if he has had a high BABIP throughout his professional career.
I am not trying to tell you that Drew Sutton is the next Ben Zobrist. It’s probably not going to happen. However you do need to know that it is completely possible that he could turn into a productive full time player. With Prado’s value growing by the day, Chipper’s need of regular rest, and Drew coming off the best offensive year of his career, he has a great chance to get significant playing time and surprise a few Braves fans out there.
You just won’t be one of them.
*thanks to @EthanPurser for the illumination