- Contact. In the Majors, Langerhans has run a career contact rate of 74.0%, which is below the league average. He hangs out in the high 70s in AAA. It's not that Langerhans has a really long swing or anything - it's that he just misses the ball a lot. He makes contact with pitches out of the zone like Russell Branyan and he makes contact with pitches in the zone like Wlad. The only thing keeping his overall contact rate a little higher is that he doesn't chase as many balls. He does a good job of identifying pitches, but he doesn't do as good a job of hitting them.
- Consistency of contact. In the last post, I showed you that, since 2006, Langerhans has hit six big league home runs longer than 420 feet. The issue is that that's out of 752 plate appearances. So while he's definitely demonstrated that he has some good power, he doesn't show it that often. He only has 24 Major League home runs in 1141 trips to the plate, and he has 37 in 1242 in AAA. Split between two levels in 2008, Langerhans only went deep six times. There's nothing in his track record that suggests he's going to come in here and start beating pitchers up. It's good to see him hitting for more power in AAA this year, and I imagine he'll hit at least one or two impressive shots with Seattle, but he's not exactly Adam Dunn. His 9.7% HR/FB makes him out like AJ Pierzynski.
- Playing time. The more time Langerhans spends on the field, the more time Balentien spends on the bench. And while I personally don't think this is that great of a concern, since I'm not real high on Wlad's ability now or in the future, most fans of teams in our position don't want to see some journeyman taking time away from a ~25 year old with power potential. A lot of people want to see what Wlad can do given regular action, and Langerhans' presence will likely prevent that from happening. So how much you like Wlad will in large part determine how much you like this trade.
- League transition. I imagine this has crossed a few people's minds, so it's worth pointing out that Langerhans has spent (edit: almost) his entire career with NL organizations. Of course, that didn't bother Endy. And Branyan's certainly re-acquainted himself with the AL pretty well. I forgot why I brought this up. This point is stupid.
- Insufferable blogosphere. We love talking about players like this more than I imagine you love reading about them. I apologize in advance.