What’s Wrong With Zorilla

By Dustin Staggers

Ben Zobrist burst onto the MLB and Tampa Bay Rays fans radar last season with a 27 HR, .948 OPS, 8th in MVP voting kind of season.

While he had hit for a lot of power in his limited AB’s in 2009, his numbers last season seemed kind of flukey for the type of player that he appeared on the surface to be.

While he was still only 25 and seeing limited action in 2006 and 26 years old and seeing limited action in 2007, his AB/HR ratio didn’t indicate this guy was a true slugger. In those two seasons he had 303 Plate Appearances and hit a grand total of 3 HR. In 08 and 09, he had 826 PA’s and 39 HR. The first two years he had a PA/HR ratio of 1 HR per every .101 PA’s. The second two years he had PA/HR ratios of 1 HR per every 21.17 PA’s. That is a stark contrast even considering the development that guys can have especially in their mid to late 20’s.

In the minors, Zorilla had a grand total of 1336 AB’s with only 23 HR for a AB/HR ratio of a HR per every 58 AB’s.

We all know this season Ben has a total of 0 HR and many people are wondering where his power went. My take is more than likely, those 08 and 09 power numbers were more of an aberration then something we could base future performances off of. I doubt he will keep us his current pace of 0 HR in 131 PA’s, but more than likely, he will settle somewhere into the range of 1 HR per every 50 AB’s. For a typical player that would put him on pace to be a 10 HR guy, not a 30 HR guy and an MVP candidate.

This season Zorrilla has 147 PA’s and 0 HR, obviously even besting (probably not the right word when talking about something so awful) his PA/HR ratios of his first two seasons in the league.