Matt Stairs didn’t get regular appearances for the first time until 1996 at the age of 28. Unlike Darick Hall he wasn’t a late draft pick, Stairs wasn’t even drafted at all.
In his first 38 games that year, he had 102 plate appearances, earning him a .286/.363/.517 slant line. For a left-handed power bat with low pedigree, this sounds suspiciously like Hall’s .263/.300/.516 slash.
Both players rely heavily on power, but are somewhat positionless. Stairs appeared in 507 games as a pinch hitter and played in another 435 as a designated hitter. Hall appears to be moving in the same direction, especially if his time with the Phillies is to continue.
Hall only profiles himself as a first baseman. He has some left-field experience, but all of it in foreign leagues or in college. Either way, he’s blocked at first base by Rhys Hoskins, left field by Kyle Schwarber and DH by Nick Castellanos/Bryce Harper.
And once Harper returns from his injury, starts for Hall will be even harder to come by. Still, one thing is certain, Hall definitely deserves playing time. He would rank eighth in the National League in average exit speed if he qualified.
Even more impressive, he would rank first in the NL in Barrel %. Schwarber trails him by 0.1%.
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Hall has just five homers under his belt in 2022, but Statcast says he was unlucky. Based on entirely neutral playing factors, Hall should have seven homers. If he had played all of his games at Dodger Stadium or Globe Life Field, he would have 11.
Only at Citizens Bank Park, Kauffman Stadium or T-Mobile Field, with their deep center field fences, would Hall have been limited to just five home runs.
On a 162-game pace at neutral parks, Hall would average 42 homers. That’s more than any Phillie has hit since Ryan Howard in 2009.
Despite his lackluster defense, Hall is an ideal option for late-inning tight shots. There are few Major League hitters like him who rely solely on power, but the Phillies certainly know what that kind of player can bring to the table.
They found out when one of them “ripped a bullet in the night” in October 2008.
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