Player: Nick Swisher
Stat: Base On Balls
The Number: 75
Report: We could talk about Nick Swisher’s average (.260). We could talk about his HR’s (23). We could also talk about his RBI’s (85). But we’re not. Instead we are going to focus on the one aspect that has made Nick Swisher a pretty good Yankee: Base On Balls.
In 2010, Nick Swisher wasn’t the most patient hitter as he had racked up 58 walks. But in 2011, that was when Swisher had stepped up his game and learned to take pitches. Sure Swisher had done it before when he was in Oakland (100 in 2007) and in his first year as a Yankee (97 in 2009) but Swisher has seemed to learn the art of taking pitches. He walked 95 times last season which is something you would expect from a hitter like Granderson or Gardner. Not only do the walks pile up, but it makes Swisher’s On Base Percentage look pretty good.
The Verdict: I say that Nick Swisher goes over the 75 BB mark. I would predict at least 85 walks in 2012 which is not a very far off number. Swisher has been in the 90’s a couple of times and in the 80’s once (his 2008 year with the Chicago White Sox). But if Swisher continues to play the game like he did last season, then there is no reason for Swisher not to have at least 85 walks in 2012.
Player: Raul Ibanez
Stat: Home Runs
The Number: 30
Report: The Yankees signed free agent Raul Ibanez to a one year deal for his power. Unfortunately in 2011 when Ibanez was a Philly, there wasn’t a lot of power to go around. Sure he had 84 RBI’s, but his batting average was .245 and he only hit 20 HR’s. He also wasn’t very good at being patient at the plate. He only had 33 walks in 2011. Sure, Ibanez wasn’t the same guy that he was 9 years ago with the Kansas City Royals, but I think that it might change once he enters Yankee Stadium.
Yankee Stadium has a short right field porch which is easy to hit HR’s (just ask Mark Teixeira & Curtis Granderson). I get the feeling Ibanez might fit in around there.
The Verdict: Ibanez will probably be a little under 30 HR’s, maybe 27 HR’s because of the right field porch at Yankee Stadium. Ibanez definitely has some power left in him. It just depends on how he uses it.
What do you think? Do you think Swisher will go over/under 75 BB? Do you think that Ibanez will go over/under 30 HR’s? Put your thoughts in the comments section below.