Hitter Statcast xHR Overperformers — May 11, 2021

Yesterday, I identified and discussed the hitters who have most underperformed their Statcast xHR totals. Today, let’s flip to the other end — those hitters who have most overperformed their Statcast xHR marks.

Below is a list of all hitters whose actual HR total is greater than one home run more than their xHR total.

xHR Overperformers
Player Actual HR xHR HR-xHR
Nick Castellanos 9 6.6 2.4
J.D. Martinez 10 7.9 2.1
Fernando Tatis Jr. 9 7.1 1.9
Kris Bryant 9 7.1 1.9
Justin Turner 7 5.3 1.7
Aaron Judge 7 5.4 1.6
Buster Posey 8 6.4 1.6
Maikel Franco 3 1.5 1.5
DJ LeMahieu 3 1.5 1.5
Adolis Garcia 9 7.5 1.5

All Nick Castellanos needed to do was get out of Detroit for his power to blossom. His strikeout rate sits at a career low, despite his SwStk% surging to a career high, so that combination is unlikely to last much longer. While Statcast thinks he’s been bit lucky on the home run front, his FB% has also fallen to a career low, so any sort of rebound there could help offset a decline in HR/FB rate.

After last year’s disappointment and nagging back problems, I wouldn’t worry too much about J.D. Martinez’s outperformance here. Just be happy he’s seemingly healthy and back to normal.

My gosh, is Fernando Tatis Jr. serious? After returning from an injured shoulder, he’s posted a 42.1% HR/FB rate and even swiped seven bases, suggesting he’s not afraid of reaggravating that injury at all! It’s nuts. I’m sure every fantasy owner who traded him away as a knee-jerk reaction to the injury is kicking themselves.

It’s actually pretty amazing that Kris Bryant has never posted a HR/FB rate over 19%, despite posting marks consistently over 20% in the minors. Perhaps, this is the year he finally does it. He’s had a strong head start, though Statcast doesn’t think it’s totally real. His FB% is sitting just below 40% for the first time, so a rebound there would help his home run total even if his HR/FB rate regresses.

It’s not too surprising that Justin Turner, currently sporting the highest HR/FB rate of his career, may have been a bit lucky so far. There are warning signs here too for the 36-year-old, as his strikeout rate has surged to a career worst mark, though his SwStk% is actually below last year’s mark. Just don’t forget his age an injury history, as he has only recorded more than 600 plate appearances once over his entire career.

I’m not sure why Aaron Judge’s FB% has declined to just 32.4%, matching his 2019 mark, as he should be hitting more fly balls given his mammoth power. That said, his walk rate has rebounded off his 2020 low, and he’s stayed healthy! I wouldn’t worry about him.

Buster Posey’s power surge after opting out of 2020 and not posting a double digit HR/FB rate since 2015 has been downright shocking. Of course Statcast thinks he’s been a bit lucky, but even 6.4 homers results in a 33.7% HR/FB rate which is more than triple his career mark. Everything else looks pretty normal, while his strikeout rate has jumped to its highest mark ever, so I’m guessing this is the best power stretch you’ll see from him this season.

I was bullish on Maikel Franco moving back into a home run friendly environment, but not only has his HR/FB rate declined for a third straight season to what would be a career low, but even that mark is apparently lucky according to Statcast! In addition, his FB% is below 30% for the first time, while his K% has spiked it its highest mark since his 2014 debut. Nothing has gone right so far and without any positive defensive value, I’m surprised he hasn’t lost playing time yet.

Don’t fret too much DJ LeMahieu owners, as he ranked third on this list last year and fourth in 2019. Clearly, he has fully taken advantage of his home park, which is something a blanket equation is unable to account for. That said, his strikeout rate has skyrocketed to its highest since 2015, giving him fewer opportunities to hit fly balls and home runs. It’s clear that he’s been a bit of a disappointment so far, but at least the walk rate is at a career high.

Adolis Garcia is the early winner of free agent pickup of the season, right? With both power and speed, Garcia certainly had the skills to be potentially interesting in fantasy leagues, but he is already 28, struck out a ton at Triple-A in 2019, and rarely walks. It’s the type of profile that you would expect to totally flop in the Majors and get demoted back to the minors after a 3-for-40 start with 19 strikeouts. Obviously, the projection systems don’t see this keeping up, as the highest projected wOBA over the rest of the season is just .299. It’ll be fun to see where he ends up and whether he remains in the Majors all season.





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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Mario Mendoza
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Mario Mendoza

All the hitters in these two articles seem to fall within the margin of error. To me the takeaway is you shouldn’t be prorating full season HR totals after April, which, if you’re doing that… you kinda deserve it?

Ryan DC
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Ryan DC

Yeah this is a perfectly fine post but I’m not sure if there’s anything here that’s actionable.

hipsterdoofus
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hipsterdoofus

need the clicks though