I thought I’d try to do something different today, so let’s do a statistical breakdown of Tacoma Rainiers catcher Cal Raleigh.
There’s a lot of fun stuff to look at, because he’s a switch hitter and he’s having such a great season here. I’m not going to dive into the analytics – we’ll leave that to the experts – but instead I’ll take you through some basic splits and breakdowns that I find interesting. A lot of this is stuff I look up prior to each game, for my broadcast notes. After that, I’ll offer some thoughts on his defense.
For the season, Raleigh is hitting .354 in 35 games (144 at-bats), with 20 doubles, eight homers, 32 RBI, 12 walks, and 20 strikeouts. His OBP is .405 and he is slugging .674. Fantastic, across the board. Now, let’s do some breakdowns.
Let’s start with the switch-hitting:
vs. LHP: .432 (16-for-37) with three home runs, 1.407 OPS
vs. RHP: .327 (35-for-107) with five HRs, .964 OPS
Clearly he’s been much better against the lefties, when he is batting right-handed. My favorite part of the split: he has struck out just one time against a left-handed pitcher.
Interestingly, he has not mauled left-handed pitching like this previously in his pro career. This could be a small sample size, or maybe he’s made some adjustments, or perhaps he’s just feeling supremely confidant against them right now.
By the month:
The Triple-A season started on May 6.
May: .361, ten doubles, five HRs, 19 RBI, 1.103 OPS
June: .344, ten doubles, three HRs, 13 RBI, 1.044 OPS
The basic stats say it all: he has been consistently hitting. I guess the 23-game hitting streak said that pretty loudly, too. He’s actually hit safely in 32 of his 35 games this season!
In the clutch:
with runners in scoring position: .442 (19-for-43)
runners in scoring position and two outs: .643 (9-for-14)
in extra innings: .667 (2-for-3 with a HR)
Lots of small samples here, but this is some impressive stuff. Other teams just do not want to face Raleigh in an RBI situation.
The big caveat – home and away:
in Tacoma: .282 (20-for-71) with eight doubles, three HR, .842 OPS
on the road: .425 (31-for-73) with 12 doubles, five HR, 1.310 OPS
This is why he is hitting .354 on the year. Raleigh is absolutely taking advantage of the fact that every away game the Rainiers have played so far this season has been in a high-elevation ballpark similar to a Triple-A version of Coors Field in the majors.
Not that his numbers at sea level are bad – they definitely are solid, every team in the majors would love to have a catcher hitting .28o with an .850 OPS. But he’s really boosting his overall production in the road games. Imagine if the Mariners played 81 away games at Coors Field, and what the numbers would look like. That’s what has happened so far here. (The Rainiers do have upcoming road trips to pitcher’s parks in Sugar Land and Sacramento).
Throwing out thieves:
Raleigh has thrown out 29.2% (7-of-24) attempted base stealers so far this season. This is about an average rate for a catcher in Triple-A – maybe a smidge below average, but again we are dealing with a small sample size. A 40% caught stealing rate is considered excellent, under 20% is concerning. He bounces a lot of throws into second base, but they often arrive accurately and in position for the infielder to make a play. I’d like to see more of his throwing to get a better feel for it – so many opposing steal attempts are over before the catcher even makes a throw, due to the runner getting a huge jump or the pitch being in the dirt.
No stats here, just an observation on my part: Raleigh appears to be very good at receiving throws from infielders and outfielders, and making tags on plays at the plate. He seems to slow the game down, and catch the ball cleanly before going for the tag. That’s a whole lot easier said than done in the heat of the moment.
This is all out of my realm, watching from the broadcast booth, but is presumably why he is still in Tacoma. My understanding is that the Mariners are looking for him to simply gain more experience in these areas before bringing him up. But it seems like it’s going to be soon, so let’s enjoy him in Tacoma while we’ve got him.
(personal for Rob M.: Cal is batting .314 with three homers on Thursdays)
YESTERDAY: Tacoma excelled in each area during a 7-1 win at Albuquerque last night: good pitching, good hitting, and good fielding. Ian McKinney started and lasted six innings, allowing one run and earning his first Triple-A win. Jarred Kelenic homered twice and drove in four runs, and Cal Raleigh hit a pair of doubles. Left fielder Luis Liberato made a tremendous throw to gun down a runner at home plate and complete a double play in the first inning, allowing McKinney to escape a jam. The Rainiers even tacked on four runs in the late innings, which is something I always carry on about during the broadcasts in these launching pads. In this case it turned a 3-1 lead into a 7-1 lead and created easier work for the bullpen.
TODAY: Tacoma (23-18) at Albuquerque (13-30), 5:35 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Colorado Rockies.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Warren Schaeffer.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 1-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Darren McCaughan (3-2, 4.63) at RHP Jesus Tinoco (0-0, 4.43)
McCaughan hopes to carry the momentum from his tremendous start in Las Vegas his last time out. Tinoco starts a bullpen day for the Isotopes – their scheduled starter Ryan Castellani was designated for assignment yesterday.
ROSTER MOVES: Nothing yet today, although Negron did say that infielder Wyatt Mathisen could report in time for tonight’s game. That’s quick for a guy who was traded from the Durham Bulls yesterday.
HOT HITTERS: Cal Raleigh has hit safely in four straight games, right after his 23-game hitting streak came to an end on Friday. He was 38-for-96 (.396) during the streak, which started on May 15… it was Tacoma’s longest hitting streak since Chad Akers tied the franchise record of 26 in 1999… Jack Reinheimer has hit safely in six of his last seven games, going 10-for-26 with four doubles and two homers… Jose Marmolejos has a six-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: Albuquerque just lost five out of six in Reno, and has dropped six of the last seven overall… that being said, some of the Isotopes’ dormant bats have awakened: after a two-month slump, Sam Hilliard has hit five homers in his last six games, with 13 RBI… Rio Ruiz has 20 hits during a 12-game hitting streak… ex-Rainiers infielder Taylor Motter has a six-game hitting streak and is batting .385 in June… the Isotopes just signed former Rainiers infielder Kelby Tomlinson.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
Unfortunately, there is no traditional terrestrial radio station carrying the games at this time.
TRIPLE-A WEST SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- Yesterday’s plea for help worked: here’s a (bootleg?) link to the game story from the Albuquerque paper.
- The Seattle Times has an off-day article on the overachieving Mariners, and if they can continue it. Tonight they start a tough road trip to play the White Sox and Blue Jays.
- Retired MLB veterans Ian Kinsler and Danny Valencia signed to play for the independent Long Island Ducks to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics, where they will play for Team Israel. Current Tacoma Rainiers Ty Kelly and Zack Weiss are also members of Team Israel, and are planning to play in the Olympics in late July.
Listen to every home and away Tacoma Rainiers game for free HERE. You can also download the MiLB First Pitch app for a free and easy one-click listening experience at home, work or in your car. Watch an HD video broadcast of every game with an MiLB.TV subscription. Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Triple-A West. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
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