Welcome to the Bench: Matt Hague

Background
Born: 8/20/1985 (29 y, 11 m, 29 d) Bellevue, Washington, US
Drafted: 9th round (264th overall) in 2008 by Pittsburgh Pirates
Teams: Pittsburgh Pirates (2012, 2014)
Positions: First Base (16 games), DH (4 games)
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 225 lbs
Bat: Right
Throw: Right
Full Baseball Reference Bio

2015 Stats (AAA Buffalo)
GP   AB   1B   2B   3B   HR   RBI   BB   SO   SB   CS    BAA    OBP   SLG
121  531  120   30    1     10    83     57    56      5     1    .348    .427    .482
Fangraphs Profile for Career Standard and Advanced Stats

The Call-Up
August 17, 2015 Blues Jays option Drew Hutchison to AAA Buffalo and call-up Matt Hague. Originally acquired August 18, 2014 off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

What he brings to the team
Hague has been tearing up the International League all season. Up until his call up yesterday he has led the league in average, on base, hits, RBIs, and is second in slugging, second in walks, third in doubles. His electrifying performance has made him a fan-favourite in Buffalo and has earned him the nickname “MattVP”. He is a right-handed hitter who is mashing lefties to the tune of .394/.480/.577 this season. In the minors he has been splitting time between first and third base. He’s essentially a cheaper, less experienced Danny Valencia. He should be a valuable bat coming off of the bench until he is inevitably sent down before the Tigers series when it is assumed Hutchison is to be called up. It is entirely possible that Alex Anthopolous sees something he likes and Hague certainly wouldn’t be his first dumpster-diving pickup (i.e. see Jose Bautista, Justin Smoak, Chris Colabello etc.).

Why he’s on the bench
Why was Valencia on the bench? The Jays have plenty of right-handed batters who can hit lefties (Jays currently lead the MLB in wRC+ vs. left-handed pitchers). They also have their fair share of corner-infield DH-type player. To get playing time he’ll have to battle Navarro, Smoak and Colabello for at-bats at first or DH (wherever Encarnacion isn’t playing). His limited track-record of 33 career MLB games immediately puts him behind the eight-ball in his fight for playing time. He could be a useful pinch-hitter though. His Toronto career could follow very closely to former hero, current lost boy Dan Johnson.
At least he has a good sense of humour.

I think he likes the Triple A life a bit too much…

Other Stuff

On July 23 John Lott wrote a much better profile of Matt Hague on The National Post

Here’s a video of Hague’s most relevant MLB at-bat:

And I’ll leave you here with this weird little video:

Matt Hague is just seizing the crap out of his days.

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