I was excited on Rule 5 Draft Day because I'd been hoping that the Mets would draft this Brad Emaus fellow who was available and had an .890 OPS in AAA last year. I didn't know much about him, but I'd glanced at his stats and I thought he could make an excellent righty half of a 2B platoon. What I didn't know until just now, after poring over the derelict data files on minorleaguesplits.com, is that Emaus actually may have a bit of a reverse platoon split. Check it out:
MiLB career, vs. L: .245/.345/.374
429 PA - 372 AB - 91 H - 60 1B - 22 2B - 1 3B - 8 HR - 139 TB - 53 BB - 52 K - 4 HBP - .266 BABIP
MiLB career, vs. R: .288/.376/.450
1318 PA - 1155 AB - 333 H - 217 1B - 77 2B - 7 3B - 32 HR - 410 TB - 155 BB - 164 K - 8 HBP - .314 BABIP
For the most part, Emaus is exactly the same hitter against lefties and righties: .12 BB/PA, .12 K/PA, very similar GB/LD/FB rates, etc. Just two little differences:
1. His BABIP plummets from a robust .314 vs northpaws to .266 vs the sinister set.
2. He also has a slightly lower ISO against lefties.
So what to make of this? Emaus only has 429 career PA against lefties in the minors, which suggests that his low BABIP against them may just be a small-sample blip. On the other hand, he's had a worse BABIP against lefties at every single minor league stop of his career. But to muddy the waters further, he has hit exceptionally well against lefties in Spring Training and Dominican Winter League competition, to the tune of .450/.500/.650 in 60 AB (with just one strikeout!) from 2009-11. That's a tiny sample, but if you add it to his minor league lefty splits, it lifts his anemic career line vs. LHP all the way from .245/.345/.374 to .273/.366/.412, fueled by his BABIP rising from .266 to .301. Which goes to show what small samples we're talking about all around.
So basically, we probably don't have enough data to reach any firm conclusions about whether Emaus has problems hitting lefties. But one thing we can say is that he has never had any problems whatsoever hitting righties, making him not a particularly good candidate for a platoon...but possibly a better candidate for everyday player.
Given that he makes so much contact, BABIP is going to be a huge factor in Emaus's hopes for success in the majors. With his plate discipline, if he can maintain a league-average BABIP after April rolls around, he should be an above-average hitter in the bigs. If he can't make consistent hard contact against top-level pitching then he could be the next Doug Flynn.