Darnell Struggling Against Righties

By Editorial Staff

Hot prospect James Darnell, the third baseman at Double-A San Antonio, hit .294/.377/.553 in High-A last year.

This year, he has similar numbers, at .289/.347/.553…but that’s just against lefties.

Against righties, James Darnell is batting just .164/.254/.255, with just one of his four homers.

His K/BB ratios (14/5 vs. righties, 10/4 vs. lefties), are similar, considering Darnell has slightly more at-bats against righties.

The difference, then, is how well he’s hitting the ball.

Here’s a look at his batted-ball splits thus far:

Pitcher Hand         GB%         LD%           OFFB%          IFFB%
Left                            40.3        20.8          27.2               11.7
Right                         45.7        13.3           24.9               16.1

Darnell’s a power guy, so you want to see lots of liners and flies from him, as they lead to more extra-base hits.

Clearly, his liner+outfield fly percentage split (48% vs. LHP, 37.2% vs. RHP) is significant). The liner difference explains the huge batting average split as well, as liners are usually responsible for over 50% of a player’s hits.

It looks like Darnell’s big issue is that he’s just not squaring up pitches from righties very well. Still, it’s a small sample, and at least he’s consistently making contact and maintaining a decent, if unimpressive, K/BB ratio.

Still, he’s going to need to hit more liners to get his average vs. RHPs to much above .2o0, and he’ll need to get the ball into the outfield more to get his power stroke going against them.

The good news is that he’s still killing those lefties.