By The Numbers: Brian Stavisky, 2005

Some players were just born to hit, and Brian Stavisky appears to be one of those players. The 2004 California League Most Valuable Player has done nothing but post impressive numbers since he arrived as a pro in 2002. The 25-year old outfielder has a career OPS of 883 and is coming off of a solid campaign in Midland, where he hit .316. We take a closer look at Stavisky's 2005 campaign to see what his strengths and weaknesses are as a hitter.

Brian Stavisky, Career Statistics

Year

Team

Lg

Age

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

BB

K

XBH

2002

VAN

NWST

22

.294

.407

.441

102

30

10

1

1

15

30

12

2003

KNCTY

MID

23

.266

.396

.393

331

88

20

2

6

62

74

28

2004

MOD

CAL

24

.343

.413

.550

513

176

39

5

19

54

89

63

2005

MID

TX

25

.316

.398

.475

510

161

36

6

11

69

84

53



Team Leader

Stavisky has made winning a habit since joining the Oakland A's organization. In 2004, he helped lead a Modesto A's team to their first California League championship in more than 30 years. Then, in 2005, Stavisky repeated the trick by helping the Midland Rockhounds to their first outright Texas League crown. Stavisky was a winner in college, too, as he and fellow A's prospect Steve Stanley teamed to guide Notre Dame to a rare College World Series appearance in 2002.

The tall left-handed hitter earned the durability award for the Rockhounds in 2005, as he appeared in a team-high 135 games. After an injury-plagued first full professional season in 2003, Stavisky has posted two straight 130+ game seasons.

Despite playing in the same outfield as the Texas League MVP, Andre Ethier, Stavisky managed to lead the Rockhounds in a number of offensive categories in 2005. Stavisky's 36 doubles were tops on the team. He also tripled six times to lead the team, despite not being particularly fleet of foot. Stavisky and Ethier tied for the team-lead in hits with 161. He also led the team in walks (69) and in RBI (88). Stavisky was second on the team in batting average (behind only Ethier) and on-base percentage (behind only Daric Barton) and was third in runs scored (behind Ethier and Stanley, the team's lead-off hitter).

Not a Speed-Burner

Stavisky did lead the team in a few dubious categories, as well. He was first in hitting into double-plays (23) and he had the most steal attempts without succeeding (0-5). Some pundits have compared Stavisky to former Oakland A's outfielder Ben Grieve for his line-drive stroke, great eye and lack of foot speed. These numbers would seem to back-up that comparison. Like Grieve, Stavisky is a corner outfielder and designated hitter. He played the majority of his games in left and at DH in 2005, filling out the rest in right (save for one appearance at first).

Hits Lefties for Average

Southpaws don't appear to phase Stavisky, despite the fact that he is a left-handed hitter. In 2005, Stavisky hit .318 versus right-handers and .310 versus lefties. However, his power numbers and his plate discipline did drop off against southpaws. When he faced right-handed pitching in 2005, Stavisky collected all but nine of his 53 extra-base hits. His walk to strikeout ratio also fell from 56:50 versus right-handers to 13:34 versus left-handers.

Position Doesn't Matter

Unlike some players who struggle when they are moved from position to position, Stavisky was remarkably consistent whether he was playing in left, right or DH. He received more than half of his at-bats at the DH spot and hit .329 with eight of his 11 homers. As a left-fielder, Stavisky hit .310 with 19 extra-base hits in 158 at-bats. When out in right, he hit .314 in 51 at-bats.

Home-Field Advantage

Although he hit well everywhere, Stavisky hit especially well at the Rockhounds' home park. In 64 home games, Stavisky batted .326 with seven of his 11 homeruns. He also doubled 22 times. On the road, Stavisky hit .307 with four of his six triples in 71 games.

Hit Him Fifth or Sixth

Stavisky spent a large portion of the season protecting the Rockhounds' potent middle of the order, hitting in the fifth and sixth spots behind such hitters as Barton, Ethier, Brant Colamarino, Jason Perry, Casey Myers and Kevin Melillo. He was at his best in those slots, hitting .329 in 158 at-bats in the fifth hole and .338 with three homers in only 74 at-bats in the sixth slot. He also performed well in the second spot, hitting .333 in 51 at-bats. Stavisky "struggled" in comparison when he was in the third and fourth spots, hitting .287 in 122 at-bats when hitting third and .282 in 85 at-bats as a clean-up hitter.

Strong Finisher

Although he played nearly everyday in the stifling Texas heat, Stavisky did not wear down as the season went on. In fact, his two worst months were in April and June, when he hit .268 and .261, respectively. From July 1 through the end of the season, Stavisky really upped his game, hitting .336 over 235 at-bats. He also hit six of his 11 homers over those 235 at-bats and he drove in 48 runs.

Good with Runners On

Not surprisingly (considering his rank as the top RBI-man on the team), Stavisky hit well with runners on-base in 2005. With runners in scoring position, he hit .316 with four homers in 152 at-bats. With runners on-base, he hit .321 with six homers in 271 at-bats. He struggled some with runners in scoring position and two-outs, hitting only .254 in 59 at-bats.

Outlook for 2006

There has never been any question over whether Brian Stavisky can hit. However, he was 22 when he was drafted, so he has always been old for his league, which has led some critics to dismiss his numbers as "age-inflated." There have also been questions about Stavisky's fielding ability. He isn't a great natural athlete, but he usually catches what he can get to out in left-field.

Stavisky is currently in minor league camp battling for a spot on the AAA-Sacramento roster. If he makes the River Cats squad and he can continue to hit at AAA as he has done over the past two seasons in A and AA, he will quiet some of the critics that claim his numbers are inflated due to his age. His excellent approach to hitting and his ability to hit despite not playing in the field (a skill many young hitters struggle with) could make him an excellent pinch-hitter/fourth outfielder in the major leagues sometime soon.

He could raise his profile even further this season if he gets his slugging percentage back into the .500-range that it was in 2004. In any case, Stavisky enters the 2006 campaign as one of the best pure hitters in the A's organization and, if his last two seasons are any indication, he should put up good numbers again in 2006.


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