After a Forgettable Start, What Should We Expect From Evan Gattis This Year?
Evan Gattis is kind of having a rough go of it at the moment.
It had been 219 days since the Astros' outfielder/designated hitter/catcher last got a hit, stretching back to September 6th of last year. Of course, most of those days occurred when no baseball was actually being played by anybody, but still, it's been a while.
Now, let's say this right at the top. We're dealing in the Land of Small Sample Sizes here. A little over one week of game action doesn't make a season. That being said, the early returns for Gattis have not been good, both for the Astros and those who have had to start him in fantasy.
Entering Monday night's game against Oakland, Gattis had been 0-for-34 dating back to last season with the Braves, and after his first three at-bats last night, was 0-for-23 in six games this season with one walk. He had struck out in 54.1% of his plate appearances this year (13 strikeouts in 24 plate appearances), a "tad" worse than his career average of 23.6%, and at one point this year, he struck out in eight straight plate appearances.
Evan Gattis is the 1st player in Astros history to strike out 4 times in consecutive games— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) April 9, 2015
Oh, and there is also this little nugget of information.
Then, it happened.
In his fourth and final plate appearance against the A's Monday night, Gattis stroked a single to left field to finally erase his oh-for-April batting line. Sadly, he was not carried off the field atop the shoulders of his teammates.
Obviously, Gattis isn't as bad as he's been so far this year. In fact, he's actually been a good power hitter throughout his career, hitting 22 homers in 401 plate appearances last year with a .352 weighted on base average (wOBA) and an isolated power (ISO) of .230. The year before, he hit 21 homers in 382 plate appearances, with a .237 ISO and a .329 wOBA. And, at 28 years old, he's under team control until 2019 and is making only $526,500 this year, so he should be a bargain.
But you don't score many WAR points when you're not getting any of the base hits, especially when you can't play defense.
Look, this isn't going to last forever. Evan Gattis is going to get hits, he's going to get hits for extra bases, and he's going to hit homers. Sometimes, players get into slumps at the beginning of seasons, rather than the middle or the end. But Gattis is coming off two decent offensive seasons, and it's likely he's pressing in his first few days with a new team.
Our projections see Gattis hitting 28 home runs this year in 540 plate appearances, with a .501 slugging percentage and a wOBA of .349. Our projections think Gattis is going to be OK, and while it's probably a good idea to let him ride the pine for the next little while in fantasy, the chances he will recover and at least be as productive as he had been the last two years are good.
Just close your eyes until that happens, Astros fans.