Earlier this week the Detroit Tigers released outfielder, Brennan Boesch as a abundance at the position along with suspect production led to his dismissal. Meanwhile, the Yankees are still without any power in their outfield for the first month and a half of the season. Could Boesch be the answer?
Boesch is only two seasons removed from a .283/.341/.458 (117 wRC+), which led many Tigers fans to believe that he could hold down right field for the club for many years to come. However, he fell back to earth and became a completely different player in 2012. During his breakout 2011 season, Boesch clubbed 16 home runs while driving in 54 runs in 472 plate appearances. The following season, in 25 more PAs he hit 12 home runs and drove in 54 runs, while maintaining a .240/.286/.372 (77 wRC+) slash line. His 2012 WAR rating (-1.3) was indicative of his entire season, he was very much replaceable.
Much of his success at the plate in 2011 came down to his BABIP (.324), which was slightly above of the norm. That same number came down to the lower end of the spectrum at .284 in 2012, dropping his offensive stats with it. Not only that, but his walk total dropped (7.4% in 2011 to 5.2% in 2012) and his strikeout totals increased 17.6% to 20.7%, neither of which are trending in the right direction.
I won’t even touch upon his defense because it’s so atrocious. Think of having a bad Raul Ibanez in right field every day and that what you have in Boesch. Moving on to his splits, he has a discrepancy between righties and lefties. He actually hits better against same side pitchers with a .286/.348/.420 (110 wRC+) slash line, but that only comes in 374 career plate appearances with a ballooned BABIP (.374), so you can’t draw any sort of conclusion just yet. As for righties, his career .250/.305/.412 (92 wRC+) slash line looks rather pedestrian at best.
It really comes down to whether the Yankees think his lefthanded swing could do some damage at Yankee Stadium. The 27-year-old still has a little bit of time to fix things, but that time is running out. Boesch is likely a fringy bench player in New York, who only serves to play in pinch hitting situations or spending the day as a DH. I can’t foresee him playing the field all that much in pinstripes. Competition is great, but you’d like a player who isn’t so specialized, and he’s not that great as a specialty either, more of a mystery.
For a player hitting just .188/.278/.250 this spring in 16 at-bats after coming off a terrible season, the Yankees shouldn’t touch Boesch. Once Curtis Granderson returns, Boesch is expendable and really has no long-term use.
What would you do Yankees fans: Sign Boesch or let him pass on through?