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OF/INF Garrett Hampson
- Drafted by Colorado Rockies in third round of 2016 MLB Draft
- Made MLB debut on Jul. 21, 2018
- Signed minor league free agent deal with Marlins on Dec. 20, 2022
- 2023 will be his age-28 season
“Hamp” is a plus-plus runner. In each of his five MLB seasons, he has ranked in the 96th percentile or higher among qualified players in Sprint Speed. He leverages that tool to bunt his way on base—averaging five bunt hits per season, according to FanGraphs—and steal bags efficiently (80% career success rate). Hampson takes the extra base in 64% of his opportunities, as defined by Baseball-Reference—dating back to 2018, that’s roughly the same as famously aggressive baserunners like Javier Báez (65%) and Ronald Acuña Jr. (63%). One of the few major leaguers with a significant lead on him in that department is teammate Jazz Chisholm Jr. (72%).
In 2022, Hampson hit more groundballs than ever before (48.5 GB%) to let his legs make an impact. Because of his speed, he rarely gets doubled up (12 career double plays grounded into).
Hampson has the versatility to play two of the most important defensive positions on the diamond: shortstop and center field. Last season, he was the only major leaguer to make at least 20 starts at both spots, per Stathead.
Throughout most of his career, the righty-swinging Hampson has seen the ball well against left-handed pitching. Since 2021, he’s been slashing .279/.353/.470 (109 wRC+) with the platoon advantage, striking out less than 20% of the time. During that period, Hampson has registered extra-base hits against the likes of Julio Urías, Josh Hader, Blake Snell and Aaron Loup.
Hampson’s batted ball quality is lousy overall. His career marks in hard-hit rate, average exit velocity and maximum exit velocity are all significantly below the MLB average, and 2022 was more of the same. His recent increase in grounders has come at the expense of line drives (career-low rate last season).
The hitter’s paradise that is Coors Field has been Hampson’s home ballpark throughout his MLB career. There’s been a trend of him getting gradually less and less effective at the plate in road games, bottoming out at a .180/.240/.252 slash line (38 wRC+) last season. Specifically, his batting average on balls in play plummets in venues where defenders have less ground to cover—Hampson’s lifetime BABIP at home is .337 compared to .278 on the road.
2023 Marlins Role
ZiPS Projection: .219/.280/.329, 74 wRC+, 7.4 BB%, 27.3 K%
Among all of Miami’s non-roster invitees, I think Hampson may have the best chance to snag an Opening Day job. The Marlins are thin on experienced major leaguers who can contribute at shortstop or center field (let alone both). Although Hampson’s bat has serious limitations, he could give Jazz Chisholm Jr. or Joey Wendle a rest against tough lefties in addition pinch-running and end-of-game defensive responsibilities.
At first glance, Hampson appears to be a lesser, redundant version of Jon Berti. However, it’s telling that Berti did not play a complete game in center field in 2021 or 2022 despite the Marlins’ struggles at the position. Besides, Berti has missed time with injuries during each of his MLB seasons.
Ultimately, Hampson must be more productive at the plate than he was in 2022 in order to stick around for the full season.
Over/Under 0.5 home runs for Garrett Hampson with the Marlins in 2023?
This poll is closed