The Matt Adams Paradox.

Good morning all. I hope your week has gotten off to a good start.

Matt Adams has rebounded nicely this year after last years injury riddled debacle where he has a .240/.280/.377 slash line. This year he has a .280/.340/.461 slash line with 4 homers and 4 doubles in 97 Plate Appearances, or PA’s. Those are pretty good numbers, and many people would be happy to get that from their first baseman. (Our other primary 1B option, Brandon Moss, is hitting .218/.315/.482. That .482 is due to the 8 homers he has, twice as many as Adams’ 4. When Moss hits the ball, it goes far, he just doesn’t hit it often enough, as hit .218 average and 39 strikeouts in 127 PA’s would attest.)

As I said, many people would be happy with a 1B who had a slash line like Adams…yet when I talk to my fellow fans about Adams on twitter they grumble a little. Those fellow fans consider Adams one of “Matheny’s Guys” and think we have better options at 1B. We already ruled out Moss, so let’s look at those other options of which there are two.

First up is Matt Holliday. He has a .236/315/.453 line in 165 PA’s and has whacked 6 homers and 12 doubles so far. Even if it’s in fewer AB’s, Adams line is better. The theory goes that you want to keep the established vet’s bat in the lineup. In the AL, you’d do that by putting him in the DH spot instead of just sitting him entirely and missing his bat. We’re in the NL though, so here we often slide said established vet into 1B. That makes sense, on a part time basis. Many people seem to want Holliday in 1B on a full time basis though, putting someone like Jeremy Hazelbaker (.262/.302/.544) into LF instead. Adams has a better all around line than either guy, with higher average and obp, so I’d rather keep him in at 1B. (Hazelbaker vs. Holliday is an interesting debate, but I’ll save that for another time.)

There is another 1B option, of course, and he is currently hitting .335/.405/.518. I’d rather keep Stephen Piscotty right where he is in right field though.

So in the end, I think Adams should stay put at the starting first baseman. Does this mean I’m suddenly a fan of Mike Matheny‘s? No the man still ticks me off with some of his other moves, but for now we agree about Matt Adams.

No quick hits today, as i’m in a bit of a time crunch.


As always, thanks for reading.

  • Scott Cameron May 23, 2016, 9:40 am

    This is a really great piece. I tend to look more at OPS than OBP. Hazelbaker’s OPS is significantly higher than Adams. Or Holliday. But I see your thinking here. Adams is a platoon player in any case. He’s still just 2-15 vs LHP this year. That’s not going to change. Having Holly at 1B, then Pham in CF rotating with Grichk & Hazelbaker for those 2 spots in LF/CF is a better option. 4 HR’s & 4 DBL’s isn’t much production. OTOH any of the 3 OF’s sans Holliday can. So why would you put your least athletic player who’s production numbers aren’t as good as your speed OF options ever even in the game except to PH? Still I like th

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