Today, let’s look into the hitters whose average distance of fly balls and line drives (ADFBLD) increased the most versus 2020. Remember that 2020 was not only a short season, but also affected by COVID-19 infections and the effects of the pandemic.
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Yesterday, I listed and discussed the leaders in average distance of fly balls and line drives (ADFBLD). Let’s now flip to the laggards.
As you might imagine, I had to go deeper into the laggards to find enough surprising or interesting names to discuss. Most of these guys are obvious, but some are not.
I found Yonny Hernandez pretty intriguing last year when he was recalled. He wasn’t a top prospect, but has walked at insane rates in the minors, and combined that with super low SwStk% marks. His strikeout rates were good, but not great, likely because of his extreme patience, which I’m guessing has led to a higher rate of called strikeouts. He has excellent speed, stealing as many as 46 bases in the minors in a year. What he doesn’t have, though, is power. He hit just four home runs during his professional career, going back to 2015. So while his appearance on this list is no surprise, as a result, it gave me an opportunity to discuss his name, since it was easy to forget he debuted after his .265 wOBA. With the Rangers making over their middle infield, his path to playing time got far more difficult. But if he finds himself with regular at-bats again, I’m interested, especially in OBP leagues.
Yeah yeah, we know Nick Madrigal has little power. The question now as he starts his journey on the North side of Chicago with the Cubs is whether he’ll start running again. The intrigue here was the potential for a strong batting average, combined with steals. The batting average was there before he got hurt, but he had stolen only one base. Without any power, he needs to steal double digit bases, or he’ll be a one category guy.
Franchy Cordero qualifies as the first surprise on this list and a real shocker. While he has a number of flaws, including staying healthy, power hadn’t been one of them. Somehow, Cordero managed just a mid-single digit HR/FB rate, .071 ISO, and one homer over 127 at-bats. Has he run out of chances? It’s possible. That’s unfortunate, because he also owns speed and I was really curious to see what a full season of at-bats would bring us.
According to RosterResource, Derek Hill figures to open the season on the short side of a platoon with Akil Baddoo. Hill has shown excellent speed in the minors, while posting double digit HR/FB rates during his time at both Double-A and Triple-A, so the potential is there for a nice little speed and power mix. His flies and liners didn’t travel very far, but surprisingly, he posted a better than average Barrel FB%. Combine that with some other strong metrics, and he actually underperformed his xHR/FB rate. So I wouldn’t be totally scared off by this low ADFBLD, though I would think the other metrics are a bit more fluky and harder to sustain to keep up that xHR/FB rate. Strikeouts are an issue, especially since it doesn’t walk often, but the speed alone means he’s worth a look in deep leagues if he falls into regular playing time.
J.P. Crawford continues to appear on lists that suggest limited power, and for some reason, it continues to surprise me. While he only posted double digit HR/FB rates (and just barely) twice during his minor league career, I figured his power would grow and he would be posting double digit marks in the Majors by now. The problem here is that he doesn’t steal many bases and actually stole fewer bases this past season than he had in each of the two previous in like double the PAs. So if he’s not stealing bases, his power will need to blossom to be worth caring about in anything but deep leagues.
This week, let’s move on to another important variable in my hitter xHR/FB rate equation, average distance of fly balls and line drives (ADFBLD). This metric is pretty straightforward to understand, as it’s simply calculating the average distance a hitter’s fly balls and line drives traveled during the season. Obviously, if you want power, the higher the ADFBLD, the better. So let’s review the leaders in the metric and discuss any surprising names. I used a minimum of 30 FB+LD to get my list.
Yesterday, I reviewed the hitters whose Barrel FB% (BFB%) surged the most in 2021 vs 2020. Today, let’s flip on over to the decliners. As a reminder, due to a potential batted ball classification issue between flies and line drives in 2020, BFB% looked suppressed in 2020 (while Barrel LD% was inflated), so there were far more surgers in 2021 as a result, as the two metrics returned back to their normal levels. So that also means that there are fewer decliners and the magnitude is smaller. It’s all relative though, so these declines are more significant than the raw differences suggest.
Today, I’ll continue my 2021 reviews of hitter Barrel FB% (BFB%). This time, we’ll take a look at the BFB% surgers compared to 2020. Remember that not only was 2020 a short season, but it was marred by irregular preseason training and interrupted by COVID-19 infections. So this is going to be a weirder list than usual with small sample marks in 2020 as hitters had less time for regression toward their career means.
Yesterday, I began my 2021 review of my xMetrics and its variables, by reviewing the hitter Barrel FB% (BFB%) leaders and discussing the more interesting names. Today, we’ll flip over to the BFB% laggards. As you could guess, this list is going to include more obvious names then the leader list. Hopefully there are at least a couple worth highlighting.
It’s finally time to look toward the 2022 season by reviewing my plethora of xMetrics and where hitters finished in the various components of each. While these posts won’t include actual projections, the first step toward developing a forecast is understanding the past.
We’ll begin by diving into my xHR/FB rate equation and some of the variables driving it.
Over a month after the announcement, we’re finally getting around to covering the fantasy impact of Javier Baez’s signing with the Detroit Tigers. If you have forgotten, Baez signed a six-year, $140 million deal with the team on Dec 1, the same day a flurry of signings were announced before we went into lockout mode. Let’s now consult the park factors to see how the change in home venue might affect Baez’s results.
Alas, it’s the final in-season metric review of the year! It took a while, but I think it’s important to perform these reviews to be held accountable for what I share. It’s not enough to just share analysis, my opinions, and advice if it’s all wrong! So these reviews have helped prove that the in-metric analyses were worthwhile, as the majority of players moved in the direction expected. Today, we finish up by reviewing the xwOBA overperformers through June 28. Let’s find out how they performed over the rest of the season.
Finally, we’re at the last of the in-season metric reviews! Today, we return to Statcast’s xwOBA. If you recall, earlier I reviewed the underperformers through early May, so the sample here is much larger. You would expect xwOBA to mean a little less, and actual wOBA to mean a little more over the larger sample. Let’s find out if that ended up being true for this small group.