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Thoughts on Dallas McPherson

April 15, 2009
Is Dallas McPherson the answer to the Giants third base problem?

Is Dallas McPherson the answer to the Giants' third base problem?

The Giants signed former Angels top prospect Dallas McPherson to a Minor League contract the other day, giving the organization some depth at the hot corner with a hitter that has outstanding power and plate discipline, two things the Giants lack at a position they sorely need it at.

McPherson has been sidelined with injuries throughout the course of his career, and now at the age of 28, has yet to play a full season in the Majors. He has a combined total of 399 plate appearances with a .323 wOBA over parts of four seasons

In 2008, McPherson hit a gaudy .269/.375/.609 (.414 wOBA, 31.9 wRAA) with 42 home runs for the Marlins’ AAA affiliate in Albuquerque. At first glance, his numbers appear outstanding—but when you break it down, it’s actually quite discouraging.

Vs. RHP: .285/.395/.635
Vs. LHP: .217/.308/.528

Home: .290/.383/.685
Road: .244/.367/.522

Park Neutral: .246/.356/.540

It should be noted that McPherson struck out in 37.5% of his plate appearances in AAA, which is ridiculously high. It doesn’t translate well, especially against more talented pitching. So when you have a player whose success is based on his ability to hit right-handers in a launching pad of a park, how does that translate into the Majors, specifically at AT&T Park?

MLE: .202/.290/.438, 29 HR

Well, the power is nice. Everything else isn’t. Players typically peak at the age of 27, so it’s doubtful that Dallas will ever become an everyday player, or a middle of the order presence in the Giants’ lineup. It’s certainly possible, but not probable. Players do break out at later ages, but I see no real reason to believe Dallas will. But there’s no harm in trying—the Giants need to take chances on players like McPherson. For all we know, he could be our Carlos Pena.

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