Nick Swisher‘s fourth year with the Yankees has been productive, just like his first three. He’s been the same high-walk and high-power guy since 2009, though in 2010, he was a little more contact and a little less walk. As a switch hitter, Swisher has always been strong from both sides of the plate with the Yankees. Here are his platoon splits from 2009-11:
vs RHP: .373 wOBA/122 wRC+
vs. LHP: .378/125
vs. RHP: .377/133
vs. LHP: .382/136
vs. RHP: .335/107
vs. LHP: .412/159
With the exception of 2011, those splits are all pretty even with a very slight tilt in the “vs LHP” direction. If we take a look at 2012, though, the trend is reversed. So far (not including last night vs. Francisco Liriano and the White Sox), Swisher has wOBA’d .333 vs southpaws, good for a 106 wRC+. Against righties, though, Swisher has posted a .373 wOBA and a 134 wRC+. Part of that has been that for the first time since 2009, Swisher has been an above average producer when batting lefty and going the opposite way.
In 2009, as a lefty hitter hitting to left, Swisher posted a .441/167 wOBA/wRC+. In 2010 and ’11 respectively, the split was .247/44 and .315/93. 2011 was a little better, but still not great. This year, Swisher is hitting to the tune of a ridiculous .557/260 split when he hits the ball the other way as a lefty batter. He’s already got five homers as a lefty to left field after having just three such homers in 2010 and 2011 combined. He has as many doubles (8) to the opposite field as he did all of last year in 40 fewer PAs (81 in ’11, 41 this year).
Wherever the hits fall, it’s a good thing. But, since a player’s going to get most of his PAs from the left side, it’s good when they fall the way they have been for Swisher. He’s had an odd year with three incredible months (April, June, and August…all wOBAs over .400) one terrible month (May, .241 wOBA) and one decent month (July, .324 wOBA). No matter what, though, he’s found a way to be productive in a different way and it’s encouraging to see.
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