The Mariners made the decision on Wednesday to designate for assignment 1B/DH Daniel Vogelbach, essentially ending his career as a Seattle Mariner.
A fan favorite last season, body like the Babe, with a fun-loving personality. Finally clicked for him in the first half of the 2019 season, the previous seasons were filled with struggles at the MLB level that kept him down in AAA most of the time. Unfortunately for Vogelbach, those struggles resurfaced again in the second half of last season, and into the 2020 campaign.
No question about his power, he hit 30 home runs last year, good enough to participate in the Home Run Derby, but finished with a disappointing .208 average, and only drove in 76 runs. In the first half of the 2019 season, Vogelbach hit 21 homers with a .238 average and .811 OPS (On-base + Slugger percentage). Unfortunately, the second half of 2019 was a completely different story, he hit just 9 home runs with a .162 average and .626 OPS.
UNIT SZN. First homer of the year for Daniel Vogelbach clears the cardboard cutouts. pic.twitter.com/Hstdyi9dDP
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) August 6, 2020
Those poor statistics continued into the current season, he’s hitting a meager .094 batting average with just 2 home runs and 4 runs batted in. Even on a last-place team, those statistics are just not good enough to stay at the major league level. Most were really hoping Vogelbach could factor into the future of this club, but he’s in his 5th season with the Mariners and has only had consistent success for about 3 ½ months of those 5 seasons.
In his career with Seattle, he has a .196 batting average with 36 home runs, the power is nice, but not enough to overcome for his lack of consistency to get on base. He’s still young at 27, the key for him is consistency, the home runs will come, but he needs to improve all the aspects of his hitting.
For a guy with his pure power, he’s very passive at the plate, it seems at times he’s so afraid to strike out, that he’ll unnecessarily work counts to draw the walk. A guy with his power needs to be the aggressor at the plate, not be afraid to swing and miss occasionally. For home run hitters, strikeouts come with the territory, a necessary evil if you’re hitting 40 plus homers a year. Not saying it’s ok to strike out 200 times in a season but being passive and working counts is what speedy leadoff hitters do. Not a 270 lb. DH who can easily hit it 450 feet.
He gave Mariner fans plenty of thrills with his Vogey Bombs to the left-field upper deck. From all indications, he’s a fantastic teammate and person. Hopefully, he’ll get picked up soon and find success with another team. Sometimes a change of scenery can really light a fire under an athlete. Good luck Vogey, and thanks for the memories.