Megdal: The state of pitchers hitting

From SABR member Howard Megdal at The Hardball Times on April 17, 2019:

A broad smile spread across Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin’s face as he considered the question: if he got 600 at-bats a season, the same as the position players, what kind of production could he provide the Philadelphia lineup?

“I’ll give you a dream answer,” Eflin said, standing in front of his locker after a recent home game. “And that’s be .280 with 30 [home runs]. And 120 [RBIs]. How about that?”

Eflin, to be clear, wasn’t merely talking about a fantasy in which the Phillies began to deploy him in the field every day. The scenario involved a sea change in how pitchers across baseball, from the amateur ranks clear through the minor leagues and into both the American and National Leagues, are developed as hitters.

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Originally published: April 17, 2019. Last Updated: April 17, 2019.