After spending the previous two seasons around the infield, Brandon Dailey would see time at catcher exclusively in 2013. The 21-year old spent the whole season in Dayton and had a tough time making contact.
Dailey’s season did not get started until May 28th, but he arrived in Dayton with a 2-4 day where both hits were doubles. Then, the next day against South Bend again, he went 0-3 to end a short month of May.
June got going on a good note. Including a 0-3 game on the 1st of the month, he hit 8-25 in 7 games with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. During that period, his best game was on the 12th against Bowling Green when he had a 2-3 day with a solo home run, 2 RBI, a walk, and a strikeout. In the next 4 games, he went hit less and only reached base once after being hit by a pitch. Then, he hit 3-7 in his last two games of June with all 3 hits being singles. For the month, Dailey hit for a .239/.314/.326 line. He walked 4 times and struck out 10 times.
To start July, Dailey hit safely in 4 of 5 games but only totaled 4 hits in 18 overall at bats. However, in this small sample he did show some pop with a home run and two doubles. His last 4 games of the month, he collected just one hit and one walk in 19 plate appearances with 5 strikeouts. In all, he totaled just a .152/.222/.303 line while walking 3 times and racking up 12 strikeouts.
In August, things would continue to trend downward for Dailey. For the entire month, he only manufactured 4 hits in 34 at bats. At Bowling Green, on the 2nd, he was able to go 1-3 with a walk. On the 12th, at Fort Wayne, he hit a triple in one of his 5 at bats but struck out twice. Then, on the 20th, against West Michigan, he went 1-3 and did the same at Lansing on the 26th. Dailey’s line for August was .118/.214/.176 plus he walked 4 times and lowered his strikeouts to just 7.
September consisted of just one game for Dailey. In that game against South Bend, he hit 1-4 and struck out twice.
While there was not a lot of positives for Dailey this past season in the batters box, there was one statistic that stood out. In previous seasons, Dailey has had better splits against right-handed pitchers. This season, however, his splits flipped and he hit much better against southpaws. In 105 plate appearances against righties, he hit a .152/.223/.217 line. While obviously a smaller sample, he hit .281/.351/.500 in 37 plate appearances versus left-handers.
The transition to catcher may have taken away some of his past offensive success as he had career lows in average, on-base percentage and slugging in the 2013 season. Mix in some inconsistent playing time and you can understand why he may have had some offensive struggles. Defensively there is still some work to be done behind the plate, but he showed off a strong arm as he threw out 38% of opposing base runners in his first season behind the plate and showed off good athleticism. As he gets more comfortable with the defensive side of things his offense may come back around.
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