Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why Is Everybody Hating Nate McLouth?

This guy's not as bad as you think.

I don't understand the hate for Nate!  McLouth that is.  Now that he's off to a slow start, hitting .237 after 11 games, many fans and sports writers are ready to ship him off to Gwinnett or Mississippi or Timbuktu.  To say that he doesn't help the Braves is ridiculous.  

Few will argue his defensive ability.  His glove is above average and his ability to run down balls in the gap is better than average, due to his good speed.  His .237 average is misleading as well.  So far in 2011, McLouth has a 1.56 ground ball to fly ball ratio, which had led to fewer wasted AB's.  His strikeout percentage is down as well this year, and 23.3% line drive rate, which is among the top 40 of all hitters in baseball.  This shows that he's consistently hitting the ball hard, just hitting them right at somebody.   McLouth has also been productive in moving runners along, which is important for a number 2 hitter. 

His .293 on-base percentage and reputation for not drawing walks doesn't help his case to hit second, but McLouth is still an asset for the Braves, and should probably move down in the lineup to 7 or 8.  McLouth has proven in years past that he is capable of being a 25-25 guy, but I think those days are in the rearview.  I think a .285 average with 15-18 homers and 70-75 RBI is within reach.  That's solid production, and certainly greater than any other option short of a trade can do. 

I've said it before and will continue to say it:  don't give up on a guy/team because they get off to a slow start in the first two weeks of the season!  Nate's .237 average is 37 points higher than Albert Pujols', but we're not throwing him under the bus are we?  Give McLouth a chance!   


1 comment:

  1. I think it's probably the slow start coupled with the pitiful performance he put up last year. I wholeheartedly agree with you that he should be moved down in the line-up. Your second hitter should be getting on base more. Then again, outside of Chipper, McCann, and Heyward nobody for the Braves is getting on base consistently.