Hattery: The future of versatility: a tool for platoon advantage

From Michael Hattery at The Hardball Times on November 14, 2017:

Aside from the flyball revolution, the seemingly unending rise in strikeout rates, spiking breaking-ball usage and bullpenning, major league baseball has seen other trends move forward in 2017. Of course, with the game in flux and specialization becoming the norm, it is difficult to isolate the next movement or changes that will shape organizational strategy, but it may very well be versatility development.

The hip conversation, and rightly so, revolves around versatility as it relates to pitcher-hitter deployment. Shohei Ohtani and Brendan McKay represent the newest fixation with soaking value from the versatility skills of special talents, much as the Padres did in 2017 with Christian Bethancourt, and perhaps humorously, the Minnesota Twins achieved with Chris Gimenez. While this narrow portion of the fewer than one percent of the population who are capable of playing baseball have shown the potential roster value of their both-sides-of-the-ball skills, there is a very slim group of players who can even attempt this crossover, let alone succeed at both roles to the level necessary.

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/the-future-of-versatility-a-tool-for-platoon-advantage/

Originally published: November 15, 2017. Last Updated: November 15, 2017.