John Jaso Against Southpaws

Matthew Carruth

John Jaso Can't Hit Lefties, Except Maybe He Can

It's been said long and often that the two fatal flaws of John Jaso were that he's bad at catching and that he can't hit lefties. I can't definitely refute the defense one. I do think that Jaso is a sub-par defensive catcher. His numbers seem to convey that. However, the numbers that are available also convey that he's not a disaster back there, merely mediocre.

The hitting lefties thing though. That deserves a more thorough examination. Here are John Jaso's career platoons.

Split PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
vs RHP 897 767 207 49 5 19 117 100 .270 .368 .421 .789
vs LHP 151 122 20 3 1 1 23 28 .164 .302 .230 .532

Yep, that looks pretty bad.

Except there's something very important here, sample size. Notice how few plate appearances Jaso has had against lefties? 151. That's roughly about one month's worth. In the first 149 plate appearances of the 2012 season, Albert Pujols posted a .510 OPS. You wouldn't conclude from that split that Albert Pujols couldn't hit anyone, would you? Stuff happens over samples that small. It's not gospel.

If that was all the info we had, the reasonable, informed opinion to take would be an agnostic one and state that while the evidence looks poor, we can't be confident how well or poor Jaso fares against left-handed pitchers.

That's not all the info we have. We also have his minor league splits.

Year Level Split PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 AAA LHP 92 78 21 1 0 2 13 11 0.269 0.380 0.359 0.739
2009 AAA RHP 305 264 69 14 2 3 36 38 0.261 0.361 0.364 0.725
2008 AAA LHP 40 36 10 2 0 1 4 7 0.278 0.350 0.417 0.767
2008 AAA RHP 78 72 20 5 0 4 6 7 0.278 0.333 0.514 0.847
2008 AA LHP 76 59 17 3 0 1 13 6 0.288 0.447 0.390 0.837
2008 AA RHP 275 224 60 10 2 6 49 26 0.268 0.404 0.411 0.815
2007 AA LHP 166 147 42 9 0 5 17 16 0.286 0.367 0.449 0.816
2007 AA RHP 310 263 82 16 2 9 44 36 0.312 0.416 0.490 0.906
2006 A+ LHP 68 63 15 3 0 0 4 13 0.238 0.294 0.286 0.580
2006 A+ RHP 332 303 98 19 0 10 27 35 0.323 0.383 0.485 0.868
2005 A LHP 62 55 18 1 0 1 5 12 0.327 0.403 0.400 0.803
2005 A RHP 312 273 84 24 1 13 37 41 0.308 0.394 0.546 0.940

Or in total.

Year Level Split PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
All All LHP 504 438 123 19 0 10 56 65 0.281 0.375 0.393 0.768
All All RHP 1612 1399 413 88 7 45 199 183 0.295 0.388 0.465 0.853

Wow, look how irredeemably awful John Jaso is at hitting lefties. Or, wait... what? Over a larger sample size, there's actually not much of a difference at all. An 85-point difference in OPS is actually smaller than the MLB average in 2012 among lefty hitters, who saw a 100-point drop in OPS facing a southpaw.

Jaso's minor league numbers don't trump his major league ones. They add to the picture. And because they cover a much larger sample, they should be the first point of reference. And what it portrays is that Jaso is more likely to be a perfectly normal hitter when it comes to platoon splits.

If only someone would give him a chance.

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Lookout Landing

You must be a member of Lookout Landing to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lookout Landing. You should read them.

Join Lookout Landing

You must be a member of Lookout Landing to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lookout Landing. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker