15 August, 2006

MLB Debut - Travis Ishikawa

The Jints have been patient with Travis Ishikawa, a smooth fielding first baseman with a sweet stroke. At the same time, he does come with a reputation. It's probably time he earned it.

Ishikawa probably won't be mistaken for Prince Fielder or Conor Jackson. He might be a Hal Morris type, hitting for average but never turning the corner to be a all-star. Or, he could fizzle out at AAA.

He hit .282/.387/.532 at San Jose in the California League, with an OPS was +14 above the league average. That looked like Ishikawa's breakout year. But, despite his callup to the Giants in 2006, the numbers show a step backwards. As of 15 August, he's hit .232/.316/.403 in 86 games at Connecticut. Although in a pitcher's league, those are poor numbers. His walk total is just 35 in 350 plate appearances.

Stepping back to April, Ishikawa got an early call to San Francisco when Lance Niekro went on the bereavement list. He spent less than a week with the club and made a couple of brief appearances. On 18 April, he grounded out on the first pitch he saw, pinch hitting for Jack Taschner in the 7th. He picked up his first MLB hit the next day in another pinch hitting role and played an inning in the field.

Travis has had a couple more trips up to the big club since then and compiled a line of .292/.320/.500. On 26 May, the first appearance of his second stint, he went 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs.

With the Hillenbrand deal, Ishikawa's opportunities have diminished. Clearly, he needs further seasoning at AA.

The Baseball Cube


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