Detroit Tigers Prospects

Was Eric Haase The Most Overhyped Detroit Tiger Of 2021?

Gavin Kozlo
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 17: Eric Haase #13 of the Detroit Tigers flips his bat after a strikeout in the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 17: Eric Haase #13 of the Detroit Tigers flips his bat after a strikeout in the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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Was Eric Haase The Most Overhyped Detroit Tigers player of 2021?

Fan favorite and hometown kid Eric Haase had a great first impression on many Detroit Tigers fans and coaches in his rookie year. But the question stands, Will he be able to have a repeat year in the 2022 season?

Last year was kind of a storybook-type year for Haase. He got designated to assignment in the spring, didn’t get claimed, and then due to injuries got his shot at the major league level and did not disappoint in the slightest. In 2021 Haase had a line of, .231/.286/.459/.745 along with 22 HR and a 1.9 WAR. But, when you take a deeper dive into his numbers it does not tell the same story as a Rookie of the Year candidate.

Now, I know a lot of people are not gonna be happy hearing this but Eric Haase will more than likely not have another repeat year. The only thing he may be able to repeat is the homerun numbers. But home runs are not the end all be all.

Haase’s future with the team is definitely a utility player with the newest Tiger Tucker Barnhart who will most likely be the everyday starter and Jake Rogers when he returns from injury. This is mainly because Eric Haase is in reality a subpar hitter.

For example, Haase only has a 6.8 BB% and a horrible K%. That being 31.2%. Which would put him in the bottom 22 percentile in BB% and bottom 5th percentile in K%. To add to this, Haase also has one of the worst whiff rates in all of baseball, along with a poor chase rate. If you don’t know what that means, it means that Haase doesn’t walk, strikes out 31% of the time and chases a ton of pitches, and misses a ton of hittable pitches. In other words, Haase either hits an HR or XBH or he ends up getting out.

Haase also can really only handle fastballs. Having only a .146 batting average and a 40.7% whiff rate. Offspeed pitches didn’t fair much better for Haase, a .226 average but a 38.9 whiff rate. Only having 30 hits in 176 AB with breaking pitches and offspeed pitches.

Haase will probably only see the field as a starting catcher next year if Barnhart needs a day off or a left-handed pitcher is on the mound. Below is a chart of his splits between right-handed pitchers and left-handers.

Left VS Right splits

AVG

OPS

OBP

SLG

VS Left

.283

.907

.315

.592

VS Right

.203

.661

.272

.390

As you can see in the chart. Haase struggles a great amount against righties and really only shows good hitter qualities against lefties. Now, this isn’t just a rip on Haase. He does have potential, he hits the ball extremely hard, when he does make contact the barrel% is outstanding, but that stuff also doesn’t mean as much when he chases nearly every pitch and whiffs a lot.

Does Eric Haase’s defense help his case that he is gonna be here for the future?

Again, short answer…no. With this young pitching staff, Eric Haase is probably not the guy you want to catch them. Haase was one of the worst framers in all of baseball last year. Being in the bottom 8th percentile. On top of that, he only had a 23% lgCS%, and a -3 DRS.

This is the main reason the Tigers went out and got the 2x Gold Glove winner, Tucker Barnhart. Also why when Jake Rogers comes back he will still more than likely be the everyday starter for the Tigers. Whether that be in late 2022 or in the 2023 season. Because like stated before, with three and maybe even 4 depending on when or if Beau Brieske gets called up, you do not want one of the worst overall defensive catchers in baseball behind home plate.

In conclusion, the hometown kid Eric Haase had his shining moments and did indeed help bring some joy and excitement to the city of Detroit. But in the end, with the 28-year-old rookie, you have to put emotion aside and look at the numbers and when you look you can see Haase probably will still put up 20-25 HR but he will not be a great player to watch every day, and probably will disappoint a lot of people when the 2022 season rolls around.

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