Is it too early for the Pittsburgh Pirates to talk extension with Jack Suwinski? Let's see how some portions of the fan base feel..
Jack Suwinski, through most of his Pittsburgh Pirates career, has been a streaky hitter. When he is good, he is really good, but when he is bad, he is unplayable. In the last 7 games, he has started to enter another streak with 2 home runs, 4 RBIs, and 2 walks. His average is .273 with an on-base of .333. This has increased his batting average in the 30 games to .136 with 6 home runs and 18 RBIs, along with an on-base of .290.
Over the past year, he has improved his stats in multiple metrics. In 106 games last season, he hit .202 with 19 home runs and 38 RBIs. In 122 games this season, he has hit .205 with 23 home runs and 58 RBIs, along with an increased walk rate. His on-base this season is at .332, up from .298 last season. Even with only a .005 higher average season over season, you can see he is starting to walk more, but the problem is he is almost chasing the ball too much, striking out in almost 34% of his trips to the plate. To put his on-base percentage into perspective (.332), he has around the same as Bryson Stott (.337), Michael Harris (.334), and Julio Rodriguez (.342), all of whom are considered all-star talent.
"Money Ball" still exists but has been used less and less, but Suwinski is one of the best Moneyball players. One of his biggest struggles is when the bases are empty. When empty, he is batting .192 with an on-base of .309, with 15 home runs and 15 RBIs. With runners on, he is batting .232 with an on-base of .353, along with 6 home runs and 39 RBIs. What is his main difference with runners on and the bases empty? When the bases are empty, he is trying to do too much by attempting to hit a home run to create runs instead of trying to reach base.
I think it's worth risking a long-term contract with Suwinski. You just need to teach him to be less aggressive. In April, Suwinski was less aggressive to start the season and had a batting average of .297 with 6 home runs and 18 RBIs, along with 14 walks to 23 strikeouts. His on-base was at an elite .413, which was .011 lower than what Joey Votto's 2010 MVP season was.
I made a Twitter poll asking "Would you Extend Jack Suwinski on a Long-Term Contract?" These were the results, and here are some of the responses.