When the Mets acquired Daniel Vogelbach at last year’s trade deadline, it was seen as a very solid move across the league. Vogey is one of the premier left-handed bats in baseball, and though his splits show that he’s a platoon bat, boy, is he the ultimate righty masher. The Mets chose to exercise his $1.5 million team option for this season, and he should certainly see his fair share of plate appearances.
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Vogey is truly in the upper echelon of platoon bats:
What makes Vogelbach such a solid player isn’t the nicknames and fun that fans have with his stature but the fact that he absolutely obliterates right-handed pitching. Across 377 PAs against righties last season, he smashed 18 homers, posted a 150 wRC+, and walked 16.4% of the time. He is one of the pickiest batters in all of baseball, and he swings less than every player in the league. Yet, his pickiness comes with him being able to pick-up on bad pitches and wait for the ones he wants to attempt to send over the fence.
In today’s game, the “three true outcomes” hitters have made a great living for themselves, and Vogey is no different. Even with him only being able to hit when a righty is on the bump or in a PH situation against a righty, he still posted a 1.5 fWAR and 128 wRC+ on the year as a whole. As previously mentioned, he swings less than the rest of the pack, and that allows for him to work counts in his favor and make pitchers pay for poor location. He sits in the 99th percentile for his walk rate and the 94th percentile for his chase rate. Simply put, he swings when he wants to swing.
He’s patient, like he’s slow cooking a pig over an open fire:
His Swing % of 32.2%, lowest in baseball, is one of the more interesting things to see for a player that relies so heavily on their power stroke. Danny Burgahs is one of the most dominant platoon-bats in all of baseball, and this season he’ll be able to showcase his impact over the course of a full season in Queens. In just 55 games with the Mets, he hit 6 HR (all against RHP), posted a 144 wRC+, and took the long walk to first base 18.0% of the time.
His makeup is the traditional slugger, but his approach is eerily similar to some of baseball’s best hitters, like Juan Soto. Unfortunately for Vogey, he doesn’t play 1B very well, thus making him almost a full-time DH. On the flip side, with the universal DH now being around for good, he should easily be able to carve out a role on a talented Mets team.
Vogelbach is one of the best hitters in baseball, even if some of the stats may look a bit ugly. Gone are the days where batting an empty .300 means something, and in this current era of baseball, with all the stuff that pitchers are throwing out there, being able to recognize the pitch and wait on it is one of the crafts of the game. Vogey has mastered that craft, and he looks to put it on full display with the Mets this season. If he’s able to up his 10.6% barrel % to even, say, 12%, that’ll lead to a few more longballs and line drives that get to the wall.
The Mets have a fantastic squad heading into this season, and Vogey looks to have slimmed down a bit whilst continuing to hit the cages at an animalistic rate. He looks to build on a great limited showing for Uncle Steve’s squad and continue his dominance against righties. Fortunately for Vogelbach, there will be far more opportunities against righties than lefties, as that’s the makeup of the game, but it sure is unfortunate for pitchers.
Amongst all hitters with at least 200 PAs versus right-handers, he was T12th in baseball with his teammate, Jeff McNeil, with that 150 wRC+. That mark was higher than Kyle Schwarber, Nolan Arenado, Bryce Harper, and known righty-killer Joc Pederson.