Vogted Down

By Robbie Knopf

Stephen Vogt was in the big leagues for the Rays. He went 0 for 17. Is he that bad? No. But anyone who thought he could be a legitimate MLB contributor had to kidding themselves. Vogt broke out in 2011 as a 26 year old at Double-A. How is that possibly impressive? Look at these stats: a .298/.335/.494 line with 37 doubles, 7 triples, 17 homers, and 105 RBI in 128 games. Sure, those are solid. But a .335 OBP in his so-called breakout year? The Double-A Southern League average OBP was .339. Sure, he spent time at Triple-A, but he was not that impressive. He got some RBI, he hit some doubles. But 17 homers aren’t that impressive either. Sean Rodriguez blasted 30 homers at Triple-A. Would you call him a power hitter?

Russ Canzler did it all in 2011 at Triple-A Durham, winning the International League MVP award with a .314/.401/.530 line with 40 doubles, 18 homers, and 83 RBI in 131 games. Those stats are much better than Vogt’s. And Canzler is a year and half younger than Vogt. Yet the Rays completely disregarded him and swapped him to the Indians for cash. At least in his 5 major league plate appearances, Canzler got a hit (what a concept) and gave the Rays some professional plate appearances. Vogt couldn’t do any of that. Vogt is a nice guy. He has some power. But he feasts on mistake pitches and has never been great at patience or pitch recognition, and as the mistakes have become fewer and far between as he has moved up the professional ranks, his ability to get on-base has disappeared more and more noticeably. How about this graph?

The expectations for Vogt got out of control. We should have expected nothing from Vogt. If he ever gave us something, great. But nothing about him suggested that he was going to succeed at Triple-A, let alone the big leagues. Think before you Vogt.