April 17, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky (1) hits a two RBI double in the second inning against the New York Mets at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

What the heck is Tyler Pastornicky doing???

If you guys didn’t know already I am fond of Tyler Pastornicky. It may be against sports journalistic values to come and and tell you that I favor a player but I’m just going to be honest with you. I like the kid. I’m not going to act like he’s better than he actually is because I like them but hopefully I am going to write more about him than a player of his caliber would normally have written about him. It’s because I love the little guy, the underdog, the guy no one thought could do anything. It’s because he has an interesting story.

But does that mean Tyler Pastornicky has lived up to the (not exactly lofty) expectations of being the Atlanta Braves starting shortstop?

No, his intrigue level has nothing to do with what he’s doing on the field, but he has definitely done exactly what we I have expected of him, at least in his first year in the bigs.


Before the season I did my projection for Tyler Pastornicky, like I did with most of the other starters. You can click here if you want to go back and read that to see how well I did (I thought I did pretty well for my first time and all…..) and point something out that I was completely off on.

My projected stat line—which wasn’t based on anything other than looking at his minor league numbers, knowing roughly what kind of a hitter he is, and going with the gut—had Pastornicky at .265/.330/.380 on the season. At this point in time Pasto is sitting at .263/.323/.386.

I’m pretty happy my predictions are that close but I am also happy that Tyler is managing to be as productive as we needed him to be. He has looked good at the plate even when he makes outs, and surprisingly (to me at least) hit the ball backside a good amount of the time.

I’m writing this Sunday night and Pasto is barely under the league average for wRC+ at 99. He has decent walk and strikeout rates at 6.3% BB% and 17.5%K%. He hasn’t managed to steal a base yet, which is a bit surprising seeing as how he speed was really his biggest asset and how the team has been much more aggressive on the base paths this season. I’m sure he will come around however.

In comparison Alex Gonzalez had a triple slash of .231/.273/.385, a wRC+ of 79, a BB% of 5.4% and a K% of 17.1%.

The only numbers that are really even close are the strikeout numbers, and even then Tyler has managed to walk at a full percentage point more, while striking out just .4% more. Granted the difference is EXTREMELY small with so small a sample, but it is still good to see in our rookie shortstop.

The main selling point with A-Gon was always the defense and the general consensus with Tyler was that if he hit like he is hitting now while playing average defense, we would take it as an upgrade. I agreed with that.

So far Pasto has only made 1 error and has a .978 fielding percentage which is 17th for eligible shortstops. UZR does not like Tyler at all, and in that category he is 28th out of the 30 starting MLB shortstops, with a –3.4 rating. DRS also doesn’t like Pastornicky and puts him at –5. I have said before I am not big on defensive metrics, especially for infielders so I will have to go with Pastornicky being average defensively and the defensive stats being inaccurate (they are over a small sample anyways) just like with Freeman.

So in conclusion, Pastornicky has been doing exactly what we should be expecting of him and if you want more, you should probably go pull for the Rangers or something.

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  • FredOwens

    Some of us know hitting talent and some of us are lucky. I’d say you and I are both.  Rev has always hit and based on that I said he would, so far I’m right. OTOH lots of players have always hit in AAA and never produced in the bigs. Glad to see a nice young man doing well. I wish he had better range and a better arm but players like him have been really good shortstops without either. His problem is Simmons in his rear view mirror who’s likely ot make him the utility guy he was projected to be.

  • http://www.sabbump.org/ clearwall

    Im pleasantly surprised to see him hitting so well. I kind of thought, after spring, he’d hit around .210 and be sent back down at some point this season. Im glad he’s driving and scoring some runs and is an actual ASSET out there. However, it is still early and pitchers haven’t adjusted to him yet. I want to see how he reacts once guys figure out what he absolutely cant hit and exploit it. That will be more telling.
    On the issue of stolen bases, I think that’s a predicament of his spot in the order. you’re not going to steal much when the pitcher comes up with 0 or 1 out and a chance to just move him over with a bunt. The steal is much less guaranteed and, outside of Hanson, most of our P are good bunters.

  • SavBravesFan

    I whole-heartedly agree. Love his at-bats. As for his steals, I don’t think he will do very much in the 8th spot in the line-up, as one of his main objectives is to turn the line-up over. And, if he were to be caught stealing while the pitcher is batting, that would be just as bad as striking out. IMO. As I see the other person agrees w/ my thinking.