Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers ’17 — #47 Jett Bandy
We’ve made it past Pitchers and Catchers reporting and sit 47 days away from Opening Day.
Another truncated intro as I didn’t have a chance to write this up early due to a busy last 48 hours.
Let’s take a look at one of those players required to have reported by yesterday and who had his first official workout as a Brewer today…
Jett Adam Bandy is a 6'4" catcher from the University of Arizona who bats right-handed and will turn 27 years of age just before Opening Day this year.
Originally drafted in the 31st round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Bandy had spent his entire pro career in the organization of the The Angels Angels of Anaheim, Orange County, California, USA until being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on December 13, 2016. Part of the give for Bandy was the Brewers’ long-tenured primary backup catcher Martin Maldonado, a move that finished a changing of the guard behind the plate for Milwaukee.
Getting younger and avoiding arbitrated salaries seemed to be the main impetus behind the deal, two things which are a common refrain during large-scale rebuilds. In Bandy, the Brewers were able to get both goals accomplished while getting a player with a somewhat similar profile to the one they gave up. Maldonado called a good game, received very well, and carried a howitzer on his right shoulder. Bandy has a reputation of being very good at throwing out baserunners (roughly 40% caught). I don’t know much of how Bandy works yet so that’s an unknown, but I can see by the limited (but growing) catcher statistics available that Bandy doesn’t receive as well as Maldonado.
The other questions that I’ve read about Bandy in articles I pulled up while learning about him is that there is concern he wore down as 2016 progressed. 2016 saw a prolonged stint in the big leagues for Bandy in which he played in 70 games including 60 starts. That presumption appears to be reflected in his offensive numbers to a degree, though there are certainly other factors which could have influenced those statistics as well.
Still, for the purposes of illustration, here are Bandy’s month-by-month splits.
- May: .300/.333/.400, 3 G, 13 PA, .300 BAbip
- June: .256/.268/.436, 13 G, 42 PA, .242 BAbip
- July: .286/.379/.469, 16 G, 59 PA, .316 BAbip
- August: .221/.260/.426, 22 G, 73 PA, .208 BAbip
- Sep/Oct: .163/.182/.209, 16 G, 44 PA, .212 BAbip
That’s a very narrow look at the numbers, but I included BAbip to call out the general correlation between it and actual Batting Average. I also compared the runs in Bandy’s success to exit velocity averages (on baseballsavant.com). There wasn’t as much correlation directly to AVG but what did exist was to show that certain stretches of time when Bandy was crushing the ball, it just wasn’t finding the grass. Most egregious? There was a week in September when he averaged over 95 MPH in exit velocity but recorded exactly zero hits.
All this is to say that in Bandy, it appears as though the Brewers have a strong thrower, average to below-average framer, decent receiver, but with an offensive potential that exceeds that of Maldonado at this point in their respective careers.
For 2017, I see one of two paths for Bandy. I laid them out in my camp opening competition preview on Monday, but the short version is that if he doesn’t win the starting big league job, he’ll probably start in Triple-A so that he can get the more work.
That said, the catching competition is very open for the 2017 Milwaukee Brewers. Bandy is maybe a little behind because Pina was in the organization all last year and Susac had a couple of months to get in front of coaches here, but if the manager and general manager of this team have shown nothing else, they will play the best players. If Bandy shows it to be him, he’ll be starting in 47 days at Miller Park, which #47 on his back.
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