Magic Snake Ball Part 1; Cooper Hummel
A traditional Magic 8 Ball has 20 possible outcomes when you ask a question and shake it. It has 10 positive outcomes, 5 neutral outcomes and 5 negative outcomes. We are going to narrow this down a bit as we ask our Magic Snake Ball questions. The Majic Snake Ball will have 2 each from positive, neutral and negative. They will be; signs point to yes and most likely for positive, for the two neutral answers we will have, ask again later and cannot predict now, as far as the possible negative answers, don't count on it and very doubtful. So, I am going to write a series of fun, lighthearted, articles where in the end we ask the Magic Snake Ball to answer a question about our beloved Diamondbacks. So grab it with both hands, give it a good shake, and let's see what the answer is!
Magic Snake Ball, will Cooper Hummel be part of the next great Arizona Diamondback winning team?
As we shake, let's give you some background on switch hitting 27 year old left fielder. In his professional career he has been a Mudcat, a Shucker, and part of the Nashville Sounds. Those were his stops in the Milwaukee Brewer organization who selected him in the 18th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Then on July 8th 2021 Cooper, along with Alberto Ciprian was traded to the Diamondbacks for fan favorite, third baseman Eduardo Escobar Hummel then finished the year as an Ace, which was better than any of the other names above. But, it was how he finished in those 46 games for the Reno Aces that caught the eyes of Diamondback management. He did it with 6 home runs, 37 RBI's and a slash line of 353/429/575. This caused the Diamondbacks to add him to their 40 man roster in November of 2021, be invited to Spring Training in 2022 and make the big league club.
Now, because of where he is in his young progression, and where the Diamondbacks are in building this young roster, and the point of which we are in the season, being less than 20 games in the following numbers will be a very small sample size. Hummel has played in 12 of 14 games with 34 plate appearances. He has 3 runs and 4 hits with 2 of those being home runs. I know he is only batting .154 in this small sample size, but his on base plus slugging is .738. Then there are two more stats we need to look at which are OPS+ and walks to strikeouts. The average baseball player as it refers to OPS+ is 100, and Cooper is at 117. So far in the young season he is getting on base and is doing that showing a skill that few ballplayers seem to have which is walking more ofter than he is striking out. Currently, with 8 walks and 7 strikeouts, but also in Spring Training he had a total of 8 walks and only 6 strikeouts.
I like Cooper Hummel, he passes the eye test, he looks like a ballplayer to me. I don't think Hummel will be a star, but I do believe he will be a great lead-off hitter, a great role player as the man who starts many rallies by simply getting on base and passing the proverbial baton to the next player in line. That is what I think is wrong currently with this team. Every player has the same or similar qualities. They can play multiple positions, they can play great defense, and their hitting and other offensive skills are suspect. Cooper has a very defined set of offensive skills, he gets on base. Singularly, that is not enough, but as a part of a team he plays an important role. I believe in Cooper so much, I want to declare him the starting left fielder. But wait, that currently belongs to David Peralta. That sounds like another article for another day.
Well, that is my opinion, but let's stop shaking the Magic Snakeball and ask it what it thinks. It answers "ask again later." And we will. After Cooper is given the starting left field job. But, I do believe when given a starting job, Cooper Hummel will become part of the next great Arizona Diamondback winning team.