Barrels Per Fly Ball Plus Line Drive Rate Laggards

On Thursday, I listed and discussed some of the leaders in barrels per fly ball plus line drive rate (B/FBLD). Today, let’s check out the other end of the stick — those hitters bringing up the rear of the B/FBLD rankings. Once again, I arbitrarily chose at least 20 FB+LD as the minimum to qualify for the list. We’re going to identify those at 5% and below and discuss the interesting names that might be surprising to find.

Barrels/Fly Ball + Line Drive Laggards
Player FB+LD Barrels Brls/FB+LD
Tucker Barnhart 20 0 0.0%
Mike Tauchman 21 0 0.0%
Jonathan Arauz 23 0 0.0%
Kolten Wong 23 0 0.0%
Shogo Akiyama 26 0 0.0%
Raimel Tapia 27 0 0.0%
Tony Wolters 29 0 0.0%
Mauricio Dubon 31 0 0.0%
Eric Sogard 36 0 0.0%
Kevin Newman 37 0 0.0%
Hanser Alberto 52 1 1.9%
David Fletcher 50 1 2.0%
Michael Brantley 35 1 2.9%
Victor Robles 34 1 2.9%
Tony Kemp 34 1 2.9%
Gleyber Torres 31 1 3.2%
Kurt Suzuki 30 1 3.3%
Yadier Molina 29 1 3.4%
Jorge Polanco 57 2 3.5%
Ender Inciarte 28 1 3.6%
Jose Iglesias 27 1 3.7%
Willie Calhoun 25 1 4.0%
Mike Moustakas 24 1 4.2%
Marwin Gonzalez 47 2 4.3%
Nico Hoerner 23 1 4.3%
Jacob Stallings 23 1 4.3%
Austin Hays 23 1 4.3%
Myles Straw 22 1 4.5%
Matt Joyce 21 1 4.8%

I’m quite surprised to find out that Mike Tauchman has failed to barrel any of his flies and liners so far this season. Though it’s not a surprise if you know he hasn’t homered yet and sports a measly .083 ISO, the surprise is that he hasn’t hit for any power. If he wasn’t sitting pretty with a .419 BABIP, he would be quite the disappointment offensively. Yankees injuries have given him more opportunities, but he’s not going to last in the starting lineup if he continues to just hit singles with the occasional double.

I’m always curious to see how hitters coming over from an Asian professional league end up performing in the Majors. Shogo Akiyama came over from the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan, but was more known for his on-base ability than his power. That said, he wasn’t expected to have zero power, but that’s exactly what he has provided. With a .047 ISO, he simply cannot afford a .246 BABIP, even given his solid plate discipline rates. Though he came from a different foreign league, his skills kind of remind me of Hyun Soo Kim, who was out of the league after just two seasons.

There was some sleeper appeal for Mauricio Dubon as a potential power/speed combo in the middle infield, and so far, the power side of that hasn’t yet materialized. With just one homers, zero barrels, and an .053 ISO, it’s been a slow start. The Giants offense has been better than expected so far, though, so if he picks up his game, his runs scored and runs batted in numbers could also quickly rise.

Michael Brantley missed some time due to a quad injury, so you wonder if that affected him at all before he headed to the IL. The sample size remains tiny, but his strikeout rate sits at its highest mark since 2011, while his SwStk% is at a career high. It’s extremely difficult to accurately call an aging player’s precipitous decline (Nelson Cruz says hello), but these could be early signs that Brantley is on his way. Or, just small sample size noise. We won’t even know the answer when the season ends as the sample size is still going to be too small.

Some defended Victor Robles’ low average EV because that mark includes bunts, which Robles does a lot of, and also grounders, of course, which we don’t really care about when evaluating a hitter’s power potential. But even when just looking at flies and liners, Robles’ power hasn’t yet appeared this year. Remember though, he’s just 23, so there’s all the time in the world for his power to improve. So far this season, that power improvement hasn’t begun. More disappointing is his only one stolen base, but I don’t have any explanation for that. Just another frustration if you’re a Robles owner.

Before hitting the IL due to a strained hamstring, Gleyber Torres was one of the season’s bigger disappointments with just one homer and a .294 wOBA. While his strikeout and walk rates dramatically improved, his power was nonexistent. He’s one of what will end up being many players I’m eager to see how a disappointing 2020 affects his draft day cost next year.

Sheesh, I figured Willie Calhoun would end up being a draft day bargain after he suffered a fractured jaw by a pitch, and the delayed season meant he would miss no time. Instead, he ended up getting BABIP’d to death (the bad way) and hitting for no power. And now, he’s on the IL with a hamstring injury. The slow start and wasted season means he might be fighting for a starting job next year. Since I thought last year’s breakout was real, I’m licking my chops at the possibility of getting him cheap next year.

Mike Moustakas has missed time to injury and so his sample size is relatively small. While his HR/FB rate is in a normal range, he has only barreled one ball, which is unlike him. Aside from the lack of barrels, his strikeout rate has skyrocketed. It’s prob a small sample thing, as his SwStk% hasn’t risen nearly as much to justify the surge.

We hoped you liked reading Barrels Per Fly Ball Plus Line Drive Rate Laggards by Mike Podhorzer!

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Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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