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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Baer: Erik Kratz Continues to Impress

The Kratzenjammer Kids…as some Phillie Twiddle’s show.

Third-string catcher Erik Kratz went 2-for-4 with a game-tying three-run home run and a lead-off double in the 11th to set up the eventual winning run in yesterday’s 8-7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Snapping an 0-for-12 slump, the well-traveled catcher sent his triple-slash line soaring to .333/.400/.800 in 50 plate appearances, causing many to scramble to create room for him on next season’s roster, whether as the back-up catcher…

  Aaron Talasnik @ATalasnikCSN

  I’m Kratz-ing my pants right now as I Kratz my hands. Best backup cult hero catcher since Sal Fasano.

...Obviously, Kratz isn’t a 1.200 OPS player and he will absolutely come down to earth as the sample size grows larger, but there is something to be said about the 32-year-old Minor League journeyman who has hit 11 of his 15 total hits for extra bases. For one, he is an extreme pull hitter, even though pitchers have tended to pepper the outer half of the plate.

Kratz has hit both left- and right-handed pitchers well (.596, .406 wOBA) and hasn’t been fooled by fastballs or off-speed pitches (.604, .385). Even among the hitting “basics” (walks, strikeouts, home runs), Kratz is as evenly-split as you can be within a small sample. Simply put, he hasn’t shown many weaknesses, even as pitchers have attempted to exploit his pull-friendly style. When the pitch is on the outer-third of the plate or further, Kratz has posted a meager .272 wOBA. Of the 14 outside pitches he has put in play, only two of them have actually gone to the right side of the field — a ground out to first base against the Braves, and a fly out to right field against the Diamondbacks.

Repoz Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:06 AM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

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   1. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4207828)
One of the few pleasant surprises in a dreary Phillies year.

Last night the announcers made a fuss that the team was ONLY 9 games below .500.
   2. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4207841)
And we thought it was all going to be downhill after his first three Phillies hits were home runs.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4207845)
Kratz looked like he had decent power when he was with the Pirates - just not the bat speed to make effective use of it. I'm glad to see that he's doing well.
   4. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4207853)
Prince Fielder tried to shamu Kratz in a play at the plate when Kratz was in Pittsburgh. Fielder just bounced off, and fell down.
   5. escabeche Posted: August 14, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4207908)
Saw this guy scramble home to score the winning run on a sacrifice fly to cap-off a 4-run bottom of the ninth against Milwaukee. When the pinch runner is your backup catcher you know the world has turned upside down and sideways.

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