Preseason Homework Assignments - Alberto Callaspo

Thearon W. Henderson

We got sidetracked by the hitting mechanics pieces the last few weeks, but now return to the Homework Assignments. You didn’t think I was going to forget about Callaspo, did you?

In July, Oakland traded Grant Green for Alberto Callaspo straight up. It didn't look like Callaspo would make it through the offseason on the roster, but alas. So let's look at his 2013 and project into 2014.

By the numbers

Below are Callaspo's season stats across two teams.

Season

Team

G

PA

HR

R

RBI

SB

BB%

K%

ISO

BABIP

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

BsR

Off

Def

WAR

2013

2 Teams

136

516

10

52

58

0

10.30%

9.10%

0.11

0.266

0.258

0.333

0.369

0.312

99

-5.6

-6.2

-5.2

0.6

Certainly nothing to write home about (kinda tells you what they thought of Grant Green). Of course, Callaspo is projected to see most of his at-bats on the right side of the plate. So let's look at his 2013 and career right-handed splits.

Season

Split

BB%

K%

BB/K

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

ISO

BABIP

wRC

wRAA

wOBA

wRC+

2013

vs L as R

8.90%

6.00%

1.5

0.268

0.333

0.430

0.763

0.161

0.259

21.3

2.8

0.336

115

Career

vs L as R

6.80%

7.20%

0.94

0.300

0.346

0.420

0.766

0.120

0.309

118.8

12

0.337

109

That's more like it. Downright respectable. From here on out we will just consider his right-hand hitting numbers. Let's just forget that he is a switch hitter. Probably the most notable things about Callaspo are that he doesn't strike-out much and he doesn't have much pop (.120 career ISO).

On the other side of the ball, Callaspo has potential to man every base. So he's got that going for him. Which is nice.

Areas for improvement

Power - Is it too much to ask to hit for more power? It probably is.

Keep the ball out of centerfield - Check out Callaspo's career numbers on balls hit to pull, center and opposite fields (again, right-handed only)


Pull

Center

Opposite

wOBA

.431

.299

.262

% BIP

35

39

26

Callaspo hits the majority of his balls up the middle, with very little success. As we saw with Eric Sogard, hitting balls to centerfield is for the big hitters. I would like to see a few more of those BIP over on the pull side, especially in the Coliseum.


Defense - For most of Callaspo's career he posted above average defensive marks. Last year he was below average. Defensive metrics can fluctuate, so it could be nothing. Or it could be he has lost a step. Or he doesn't like playing second base. Whatever it is, it probably isn't a huge concern if he is at first base. But it would be nice if Oakland's utility infielder was a solid defensive player (or is Sogard Oakland's utility player?).

Swing analysis

Does anyone really want to see a swing analysis on Alberto Callaspo? Yeah, I didn't think so. But for completeness let's take a look at his right-handed swing.

 photo GIFfront_zps876d1a81.gif

Really no flaws, but if it is a movement to create power (launch the bat, front side inward turn, dynamic hip engaging, strong shoulder function, etc.) Callaspo doesn't do it. Callaspo has the definition of a "simple" swing. At MLB level, that is good for just about one thing only: pulling singles. Which is what Callaspo has made a career of and I can't knock that. But for someone with 225 lbs. behind the bat, I would like to see what he could do with using just a little bit more of the body in the swing.

 photo GIFSide_zps1796986f.gif

Projection

This may surprise you, but I am glad Hotdog made it through the offseason on the Athletics' roster. I have a suspicion that Callaspo will come in really handy this season. Maybe someone will be hurt or not play well and he will step in. Or he might serve as a trade chip at the deadline. However it may be, mark my words, Callaspo will earn his salary in 2014.

As far as production, it is kinda hard to guess how many at-bats Callaspo will get. But over those at-bats, I see him going .274/.335/.400, mostly from the right side.

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