March 17, 2012; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Drew Sutton (4) at the plate during the spring training game against the New York Mets at Digital Domain Park. Atlanta won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Drew Sutton should take Matt Diaz’s spot on the bench

Andrelton Simmons and Mike Minor have been the talk of Spring Training for the Braves so far but I am much more interested in “the next Ben Zobrist” aka Drew Sutton.

Drew Sutton has done well in 14 Spring Training games (24 AB’s) with a .375/.444/.500 line including a double and a triple. Matt Diaz (12 games, 34 AB’s) on the other hand hasn’t dazzled anyone with his .206/.270/.324 line. Sutton also has the advantage with his plate discipline walking 6 times compared to Diaz’s 3.

But don’t think I would take 20 or 30 at bats and tell you who should make the team based on them. Digging a bit further, and going back into last season we find even more evidence that Sutton is a much better fit for the bench spot.

AVG OBP SLG HR BB% K%
Sutton (MLB) .315 .362 .444 0 5.0% 21.7%
Sutton (AAA) .295 .382 .476 5 10.9% 19.8%
Diaz .263 .302 .323 0 4.5% 19.4%

Granted, Sutton didn’t have a ton of AB’s last year in the bigs but he had good numbers in triple A as well. The biggest differences are in the on base percentage and the slugging percentage which both are more important than average in my opinion.

I don’t see how Sutton could not make the team at this point and if he loses the spot to Matt Diaz I will be shocked. Sutton has the potential to be an above average offensive contributor, can play all infield positions and the corner outfield positions, and also hits from both sides which will be valuable late in games.

Even if Sutton doesn’t produce anything close to his numbers above his projections are still better than what Diaz put up in 2011. I don’t think I need any more evidence to point out how obvious this decision should be. If you think I am wrong I would love to hear a reason why, because quite honestly I can’t think of one.

 

Ben Duronio has a nice article discussing the possibility of Drew Sutton starting at shortstop and I was definitely interested in the possibility. Why not?

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Drew Sutton Matt Diaz Spring Training

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