FanPost

Splitsville: Will the "Vegas Effect" Set Wilmer Up for a Big Fail?

The variations may differ but the cries are growing louder: "Promote Wilmer, he's raking" "Plug Flores into 2B and Trade Murph he's earned a promotion" "Deal Ike, slide Murph over and hand 2nd to Wilmer - he's crushing it"

For the time being we'll set aside the fact that the front office doesn't seem exactly enthused about Flores' glove at second base because the bat is can't miss - right? After all a .318/.356/.517 triple slash doesn't lie. Well, one disturbing metric suggests the numbers might need to be taken with a grain of salt.

The stick in the mud is his home/road splits. Wilmer's overall .873 ops is boosted by a .972 showing in Vegas vs. .765 when he's on the road. That's a .207 point difference and the sample size is 333 ABs.

And it's found across the entire triple slash. BA .351 vs. .283, OBP .380 vs. .331 and SLG drops from a monstrous .592 at home to a meh .434 on the road. Are such drastic home/away splits a harbinger of doom? Maybe a look at other guys who have seen time in both Vegas and NYC can offer some insight.

First, three players that have been assets at the mlb level. The big league data is based on small sample sizes but let's look anyway.

Player

Overall Vegas OPS

Vegas Road vs. Home OPS

Vegas Road OPS

NY Mets OPS

Vegas Road OPS - NYM Tot OPS

Satin

.911

+.030

.925

1.017

+.092

Brown

1.093

+.206

1.199

.830

-.369

Quintanilla

.903

-.198

.796

.700

-.096

The two most succesfull promotions Satin & Brown both had a higher AAA OPS on the road than at home (column 3 in bold). A positive number means the ops was higher on the road, while a negative one means lower OPS on the road. That is very unlike Wilmer's splits where his home OPS bests his road OPS by over .200 points. Our bordeline case, Quintanilla, looks much more like Wilmer's current home/road differential and his big league OPS has been .096 lower than his road OPS while with Vegas.

What about guys who haven't distinguished themselves with the bat after being promoted?

Player

Overall Vegas OPS

AAA Road OPS vs. Home OPS

Vegas Road OPS

NY Mets OPS

AAA Road OPS - MLB Tot OPS

Cap'n Kirk

.825

-.333

.669

.546

-.153

Lagares

.929

-.269

.807

.579

-.228

Cowgill

.801

-.427

.580

.518

-.062

Lagares is included because we're only looking at offensive performance. Here are 3 guys that did much worse on the road while at Vegas. The road OPS drop-off ranges from -.269 to -.427. And all 3 have seen a drop from their AAA road OPS once they hit the bigs. In the cases of Kirk & Cowgill, their road OPS predicted they'd struggle at the big league level.

So for the four of six guys that hit much better in Vegas than on the road all have seen an OPS drop-off of .062 to .228 from the AAA road number once they hit the bigs. The average drop-off for the guys who did worse on the road has been .135 OPS points from the baseline road AAA OPS.

And now let's look at Wilmer & Ike.

Player

Overall Vegas OPS

AAA Road OPS vs. Home OPS

Vegas Road OPS

NY Mets OPS

AAA Road OPS - MLB Tot OPS

Flores

.873

-.207

.765

DNA

DNA

Ike

1.091

+.699

1.545

.500

-1.045

Ike's home/away splits are encouraging but too small a sample to take seriously. As for Wilmer? His profile looks a lot more like Cowgill, Kirk, Lagares and Q than Brown & Satin. If you apply the average .135 OPS drop-off from road AAA numbers it would predict an overall big league ops of around .630. That's .076 OPS points worse than Murphy and I've not run across anyone that predicts Wilmer's glove is equal to Murph's.

But Q and Lagares, (road AAA OPS's of .796 & .807) are closer comps to Wilmer's .765 road OPS. So far Q has lost .096 OPS points off the road baseline while Lagares has lost over .200 points. If either proved predictive for Wilmer, he'd sport a sub .700 OPS.

Of course this is just an exercise but there's a pretty clear pattern provided the big league sample sizes aren't distorting big league performance levels too dramatically.

Given Wilmer's tender age and large home/away splits I'd much rather have him finish the Vegas season in AAA and get a look-see in September. Of course if a deal for Murphy or Ike provides a terrific return then by all means pull the trigger and call on Wilmer. Just don't expect very much out of him for a while.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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