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Is Scott Hairston a Breakout Candidate?

By Mike Silva ~ March 27th, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, Statistical Analysis.

One of Sandy Alderson’s “under the radar” signings this winter was outfielder Scott Hairston. So far this spring Hairston, brother of former Yankee Jerry, is hitting .353 with two homers and eight RBI. With the health of Carlos Beltran in question it’s possible that Hairston will be the starting right fielder on Opening Day. Last week famed statistician John Dewan listed Hairston as a potential breakout candidate.

Last season Jose Bautista had an historic breakout offensive campaign for the Toronto Blue Jays. Bautista was a part time player who never hit more than 16 homers, or drove in 54 runs before his 54 home run/124 RBI 2010. Dewan is using spring training statistics to determine who could be a potential breakout candidate ala Bautista.

There are 36 players whose Spring Training slugging percentages (minimum 40 at-bats) exceed their career totals by at least 200 points, with Hairston (.674) being one of them. The only season that Hairston has received consistent playing time was 2009, and he produced a solid 17 homers, 64 RBI, and a .265 batting average for San Diego and Oakland. His strength throughout his career has been hitting left handed pitching to the tune of a .829 OPS.

No one is suggesting Hairston will slug at the level of a Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, or even Bautista, but he’s the type of undervalued player that makes a team better. He hits lefties, as mentioned, gets on base, and has solid power. This is a far better Plan B to Beltran than what we saw last year in Jesus Feliciano or Jeff Francoeur. Ironically, Hairston’s potential platoon mate, Willie Harris, is on the list as well.

Other locals that are on the “breakout” list are Alex Rodriguez, Josh Thole, and former Yankee Melky Cabrera.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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3 Responses to Is Scott Hairston a Breakout Candidate?

  1. Samuel

    Hairston’s career OBP is .303 and was .295 last season in 336 PA.

    Hairston is 31 and will NOT be any good this year.

    He is a typical so-so player who will bounce around to four more teams in his career before he is finally released at age 35.

  2. AZBen2321

    Not sure where you got your info. Hairston just needs playing time, something the DBacks and Padres never gave him. Give him 20 games and consistant at bats and the numbers will be there.

  3. Dave

    ¡¡¡VIVA MÉXICO!!!

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