Pittsburgh Pirates: Three More Underlying Numbers to Focus on in 2023

Pittsburgh Pirates v Arizona Diamondbacks
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Jack Suwinski: 122 wRC+ Against Right-Handed Pitching

Jack Suwinski ended up providing the Pirates with a decent rookie season. He was a solid hitter at the plate, delivering around league-average numbers that included a .709 OPS, .311 wOBA, and 100 wRC+ while also providing quality outfield defense at all three spots. But one area he excelled at was hitting right-handed pitching.

Suwinski posted a strong .237/.330/.465 batting line against opposite-handed pitching. Although he had a poor 29.9% strikeout rate, he drew walks at an 11.5% pace. Suwinski hit 14 of his 19 home runs against right-handed pitching as well, leading to a .228 isolated slugging percentage. Overall, his ability to hit right-handers came to a .344 wOBA and 122 wRC+ in 261 plate appearances.

Suwinski only ranked 63rd in wRC+ among batters with at least 250 plate appearances vs. RHP but was still better than Trea Turner, Xander Bogarets, and Corey Seager. But Suwinski only managed a 47 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Sure, he still had a decent 9.9% walk rate and a .163 isolated slugging percentage, but the platoon splits were more than pronounced.

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But with Connor Joe, Suwinski's issues against southpaws can be mitigated to a degree. Suwinski had less than 150 plate appearances against left-handers compared to 261 against right-handers. He'll still receive the bulk of playing time but will be more effective overall. I like to think that Suwinski could be a Joc Pederson 2.0 but with better speed and fielding.