Yasmany Tomas Is Having a Breakout Season Offensively

The Diamondbacks' outfielder has made big strides at the plate in his second season, but is his glove hurting the team?

The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Yasmany Tomas as an amateur free agent out of Cuba in December of 2014 to a six-year, $68.5 million contract. His rookie year was underwhelming, however, as he finished with an 88 wRC+ and a .707 OPS.

Now, through about one-quarter of the 2016 season, Tomas is living up to his contract. Over 163 plate appearances, Tomas is slashing .286/.350/.483 with 6 home runs and 11 doubles. His wOBA of .358 and wRC+ of 120 both rank third on the team.

He’s also absolutely dominating left-handed pitching; in fact, four of his six home runs this season have come against a southpaw. Over 50 plate appearances against lefties, Tomas is hitting .386 with a 1.210 OPS.

How has Tomas improved as a hitter in his second year in the pros?

Plate Discipline and Power

This season, Tomas has struck out considerably less frequently and has nearly doubled his walk rate from last year. Also, Tomas has shown more power at the plate, as his Isolated Power shows.

Year BB% K% ISO
2015 4.0% 25.8% 0.128
2016 8.6% 18.4% 0.197

Showing off some of his power, Tomas went deep last night against the Pirates. And, you guessed it: off of a lefty!

Batted Ball Profile

Due to his decreased strikeout percentage, Tomas has been putting the ball in play more often than last year. This season, Tomas is hitting more fly balls and his home run to fly ball ratio is at a healthy rate for good power hitters.

Also, Tomas is hitting the ball harder much more often than during his rookie campaign. His hard-hit percentage of 41.5% is actually the 12th-best in all of Major League Baseball.

Year FB% HR/FB% Hard%
2015 23.2% 13.0% 31.0%
2016 29.7% 17.1% 41.5%

His Defense

Where Tomas really needs to improve is in the field. Even with good performance at the plate this season, Tomas is only worth 0.2 Wins Above Replacement at this point of the season because of how poor his defense is.

This year, Tomas has logged 331.2 innings in the outfield, after logging 494.2 last year. His Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 in the outfield during 2015 was -19.5. It has slightly improved this season to -11.4 but certainly is not at an acceptable level.

Mercifully, the Diamondbacks decided to remove Tomas from playing third base this year after he posted a -33.1 UZR/150 over 272 innings at the hot corner last season.

Tomas’ Future

Tomas has definitely made significant strides at the plate this season, and with a relatively normal .321 batting average on balls in play, there doesn’t seem to be much room for regression.

However, in order to be a complete player, Tomas will have to work to become at least an average defender in the field.