Toronto Blue Jays slugger Rowdy Tellez is evolving into the Sultan of Southpaw Swat due to his successful lefty on lefty stat line this season.
So perhaps it is a little early for the Sultan of Swat comparison, however, Blue Jays rookie first baseman Rowdy Tellez is enjoying success versus tough left-handed throwers early into his MLB career.
I decided to dive into the lefties splits following his tough at-bat in the ninth inning versus Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman last night. Tellez would put a charge into a ball that resulted in a sacrifice fly to left field but the rookie was unfazed by the unfavorable matchup with the southpaw flamethrower.
The 24-year old is hitting .277/.300/.538 with four homers and 17 runs batted in through 65 at-bats versus southpaws this season. Tellez boasts dramatic reverse splits hitting just .211 versus right-handed pitching although he does have 10 homers in 161 at-bats.
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Surprisingly, last season in Triple-A Tellez hit just .248 without a home run in 142 plate appearances versus lefties with the Bisons. In his brief cup of coffee with the big club last season, Tellez hit just .100 against southpaws in 20 at-bats.
The past numbers indicate that Tellez may regress versus lefties although it appears he has made considerable strides this season. According to Fangraphs, Tellez has a 41% hard contact rate and a 43.6% medium contact rate thus far this season, in comparison teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. owns a 40.7% hard contact rate.
Tellez still has holes in his game and will need to find a way to make consistent contact versus right-handed pitching to avoid the dreaded platoon role moving forward.
However, Tellez is on pace for a 25 home run campaign in his first full season in the majors regardless of what side of the bump the hurler throws from, not bad for a guy selected in the 30th round, 895th overall.