Yesterday, I listed and discussed seven hitters whose Statcast Barrel% surged the most versus 2021. Now let’s flip over to the hitters whose Barrel% marks declined most versus 2021. Were their HR/FB rates dragged down along with it? Will either marks rebound in 2023? Let’s dive in.
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Since Barrel% has been recorded beginning in 2015, there’s a 0.82 correlation between the Statcast metric and HR/FB rate. That’s pretty big! While Barrel% theoretically includes all batted balls, the vast majority occur on fly balls, as 76% of barrels hit in 2022 were of this batted ball type. The rest came from line drives. So a quick shortcut to determine a hitter’s HR/FB rate potential is to simply look at his Barrel%. The higher the mark, the better. Let’s take a look at which hitters increased their Barrel% marks most versus 2021 and whether their HR/FB rates also increased.
Yesterday, I listed and discussed six pitchers with at least 150 innings pitched that most underperformed their Statcast xERA marks. Let’s now flip over to the overperformers. As you could guess, there are far more overperformers than underperformers. That’s because a pitcher is less likely to be allowed to record 150 innings if he significantly underperforms his xERA. At some point, results matter and teams don’t have the luxury of patience to wait for their results to match their underlying Statcast metrics. So pitchers that overperform are allowed to throw that many innings, even if their underlying metrics suggest impending doom. Until that impending doom actually occurs, they will keep getting the ball.
Last week, I discussed the hitters who underperformed their Statcast xwOBA marks most. Given that projection system typically weigh historical results in some fashion to compute an upcoming season forecast, it’s possible that list includes some hitters who may be underprojected. So let’s now turn to the pitching side. We’ll start by reviewing the starting pitchers who recorded at least 150 innings that most underperformed their Statcast xERA mark. Note that based on my calculations, the league xERA was 4.03, versus a 3.97 actual ERA. So on average, pitchers slightly overperformed their xERA marks.
If you’ve followed my Tout Wars auctions and LABR in recent years, you would know that I can’t seem to quit Adalberto Mondesi. His tantalizing combination of speed and power make him a potential top 10 fantasy player. Unfortunately, health issues has ensured that has never happened. After being limited to just 54 plate appearances last year due to an ACL tear that required surgery, I thought this was finally the perfect opportunity to move on. Sadly for my auction budget and early round pick, Mondesi was traded to the Red Sox on Monday. Having not yet looked at the park factors, my knee-jerk reaction is that this is great for his fantasy value. Rather than speculate without the data, let’s actually compare the park factors of his old and new homes and find out if this move actually is a positive.
Yesterday, I identified and discussed the qualified hitters who most underperformed their Statcast xwOBA marks. Today, let’s review the overperformers.
Let’s start reviewing various 2022 metrics. Today, I’ll start by comparing a hitter’s wOBA to his Statcast xwOBA. If a projection system is directly weighing previous season surface results, rather than incorporating batted ball data, the forecast could be more pessimistic or optimistic than it should. This list of xwOBA underperformers could potentially beat their projections if only their 2022 surface results, and not the underlying data, are considered.
Last Friday, the Twins acquired starting pitcher Pablo López from the Marlins. After spending his entire career in Miami, how might his new park affect his performance? Let’s consult the park factors to find out.
Nearly a month ago during the latter half of December, the Blue Jays traded prospect Gabriel Moreno and veteran Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for Daulton Varsho. While no longer a catcher, he still played 31 games at the position last year and will therefore maintain his premium eligibility. How will the move to a new home park impact his performance? Let’s consult the park factors.
Back on Nov 16, the Mariners acquired Teoscar Hernández from the Blue Jays to beef up their offense. After spending the majority of his career with the Blue Jays, how might the move to a new home park affect his performance? Let’s consult the park factors and find out.