For younger and inexperienced players on non-playoff teams, the months of August, September, and October can be some of the most important during the early stages of their careers’. With chances to play and prove themselves galore, sometimes these guys are able to make the most of their opportunities and parlay them into more playing time the following season, or even a starting job down the road. One Padres player in particular has definitely made the most out of his increased chances, and Logan Forsythe has played at a level which could make him the front-runner for starting Second Baseman spot in 2013.
At the Plate
Like most of the other San Diego hitters, Forsythe has really kicked his offensive production into another gear recently. Entering San Diego’s game on August 7th, Logan had a season stat line of a .252 Batting Average (40 Hits in 159 At-Bats), 6 Doubles, 2 Triples, 2 Home Runs, 11 RBI’s, a .326 Slugging Percentage, and a .352 On-Base Percentage.
Decent stats, especially considering the fact that he had just come off of the Disabled List, but still nothing which would put him as the odds-on-favorite to win a the Second Base job next season. Since August 7th however, Forsythe has been on an absolute tear at the plate:
.351 B.A. (33 for 94), 17 Runs, 5 Doubles, 3 Home Runs, 12 RBI’s, 7 Walks, 4 Hit-By-Pitches, .419 On-Base Pct., .521 Slugging Pct, .940 OPS.
Like Chris Denorfia, Forsythe has also some flexibility in terms of where he can hit in the batting order, in addition to his ability to hit with consistency. This season, Logan has already hit 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 8th, and has logged an On-Base Percentage worthy of being in the lineup every day no matter where he has hit. Over the last few weeks however, Forsythe seems to have found a comfortable home in the 2nd and 6th spots, has outshined his Middle Infield competition in the forms of Everth Cabrera and Alexi Amarista with the lumber, and has shown a knack for absolutely crushing Left-Handed Pitching to the tune of a .374 Batting Average, .452 On-Base Percentage, and a 538 Slugging Percentage.
In the Field
When the season began, Forsythe was pegged by many as a “Utility Infielder” as he could play, and had played Third Base, Shortstop, and Second Base during his first-ever big league stint with the Padres in 2011. A Third Baseman in college, Forsythe’s chances of starting at the position were pretty limited with Chase Headley around. Thus, Forsythe’s best opportunities to play in 2012 and likely carve out a career with the Padres were limited to Shortstop and Second Base. Unfortunately as I alluded to above, Logan missed a large chunk of the regular season and almost the entirety of Spring Training with a foot injury.
Thankfully after the “Hudson-Bartlett Experiment” fizzled out, Forsythe finally got an opportunity to shine at Second Base. When he came off of the Disabled List in June, Logan split time and shared reps with the “Utilityman Deluxe” Amarista at Second. Forsythe’s increased playing time has not come with some miscues in the field, and his 9 Errors (in 58 games) rank him as having the 5th most amongst National League Second Basemen. Errors aside, this extra time at the end of the season Second Base has and should prove to be a solid learning experience for the second year player, and should hopefully lead to him learning how to play the position with a bit more consistency. Growing pains here and there should be expected, and he can always be a solid option to go to if Headley or even Cabreraneed a day off at their positions.
I could not be happier with the way that Forsythe has made his bid to seize the Second Base job over the last month and a half. Since the “Bartlett-Hudson” endeavor failed, I was wondering which players would take it upon themselves and try to shore up the Middle Infield. This franchise has been in need of some consistent production out of the Second Base position since Mark Loretta left town, and I am glad that Forsythe is making his case to earn a starting spot.
Will Forsythe eventually hold off Amarista in the event that the Padres do not need to move “Little Ninja” all over the diamond? That has still yet to be determined. But if Forsythe can continue to put up consistent offensive numbers and do a serviceable job in the field, the position is his to lose. I am sure that Manager Bud Black would welcome some consistent production out of members of his Middle Infield like Forsythe over the coming seasons.
Stats Courtesy of: Baseball Reference