April 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm by Ben Duronio under Player Analysis
It is definitely early to say that Pastornicky will be a solid Major League shortstop, but over the past few games I have really liked what I have seen. There have been very few bright spots over the first four games of the season, but Pastornicky not looking over-matched on either side of the ball has been refreshing.
Defensively, he has shown a better arm than I expected. I did not see this type of arm in the spring training games I watched, so it was good to see him rifle a few balls in yesterday’s game. During the series against the Mets, his range to his left seemed solid and he made a nice play on what ended up being Kirk Niuenhuis’s first Major League hit — after looking at the replay it seemed to me that he was out.
Offensively, Pastornicky could end up benefiting in the eight hole. He has a very smooth contact swing and has shown plate discipline in the minors — though mostly in his tenure with the Blue Jays. Even so, with eight hitters being pitch around occasionally in order to get to the pitcher, he could thrive in the eighth spot if he remains patient at the plate. His swing has looked pretty solid as well, though he will likely have a very high ground ball rate. He doesn’t seem to get under many balls and has an up-the-middle type swing, which was on display in his triple and last night’s single.
Nothing about Pastornicky’s game will likely ever be tremendously impressive, but so far he is playing exactly like we had hoped before the spring. He has been pretty much average defensively and average offensively, which is all the Braves could really ask for given his skill set and past performances. I would be jumping to gun to say that this is the player we should expect to see throughout the season, but it is the player we hope to see. We’ll check back in a few weeks to monitor whether or not his solid play has continued.