Batter to Watch: Evan Gattis
Evan Gattis didn’t exactly have a notable 2017 season. His 325 plate appearances and 12 home runs were the fewest of his career by a large margin. Of course, these career-low numbers had more to do with various injuries and ailments than anything else. Thankfully for El Oso Blanco now, he is relatively healthy in the postseason.
Thus far in the 2017 postseason, Gattis has accumulated 12 plate appearances in three games. No home runs in those 12 plate appearances, but he has collected two singles and two doubles. One of his doubles in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox didn’t look particulary comfortable as he flopped into second base.
Anyway, Gattis has been one of the Astros’ key batters in the past few seasons. Since his 2015 season, Gattis has provided power and stability in the Astros lineup. He is also capable of producing many triples. See his 2015 highlights for more information.
Will Gattis play in every game in the ALCS?
Most likely not. And that is more due to matchup and the Astros’ starting pitcher for that particular game. All of Gattis’ at-bats have taken place with him as the designated hitter. Brian McCann and Juan Centeno are the likely catchers. However, Gattis has a more productive bat when he catches than as a designated hitter.
2017 Offensive Metrics as a catcher: .288/.335/.543, 133 wRC+, 11 HR, 37 RBI in 200 PA
2017 Offensive Metrics as a designated hitter: .218/.271/.309, 58 wRC+, HR, 13 RBI in 118 PA
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Astros use Gattis as a catcher in this series at least once. I am not saying it will happen, but it isn’t outlandish to think that it will. But Gattis does provide the Astros lineup with another capable batter who can change the game in one swing. The Yankees may need to be careful with El Oso Blanco.