Where Has Their Power Gone? by Jeff Zimmerman June 11, 2018 In my chat last night, I got several questions on Joey Votto and his power loss. I decided I investigate the drop along with several other regulars who currently have an isolated power (ISO) less than their projected Steam projections. To get a list of hitters, I took the hitter with a least 150 PA this season and compared their projected and actual ISO’s. Here the top 20. Hitters Under Performing Their Projected ISO Name Age Projected Actual Difference Chris Davis 32 .249 .079 .170 Kole Calhoun 30 .171 .035 .137 Rougned Odor 24 .224 .088 .135 Giancarlo Stanton 28 .367 .244 .123 Jay Bruce 31 .225 .109 .115 Marcell Ozuna 27 .227 .113 .114 Neil Walker 32 .197 .088 .109 Domingo Santana 25 .211 .107 .104 Joey Votto 34 .225 .134 .092 Addison Russell 24 .192 .102 .090 Michael Conforto 25 .231 .144 .087 Yulieski Gurriel 34 .182 .101 .081 Jackie Bradley Jr. 28 .187 .110 .076 Rhys Hoskins 25 .268 .191 .076 Orlando Arcia 23 .143 .067 .076 Adrian Beltre 39 .184 .109 .076 Anthony Rizzo 28 .261 .187 .074 Jose Pirela 28 .151 .078 .073 Kendrys Morales 35 .210 .138 .073 Josh Donaldson 32 .261 .190 .072 When analyzing these players, the first item I look for is an injury (see Josh Donaldson). The next item is to compare their StatCast data, exit velocity, launch angle, and distance to see if the hitter has changed their approach (i.e. launch angle) or are weaker. While I won’t cover all the players listed, here are my thoughts on some: Chris Davis In my opinion, Davis was a buy-low option coming into last season because he played through a hand injury in 2016. Since that injury, he’s been useless as a fantasy option. He’s either aging quickly into uselessness or hiding a major injury. Right now, there is nothing positive to point to. A 0.23 BB/K is his lowest since 2012. His 46% GB% is a career high. Hard hit rate (34%) is the lowest since 2011. There is nothing positive with his batting profile, no power or plate discipline, to make him a fantasy asset. The only thing keeping him on the field right now is the ~$100M he is owed on his contract. Kole Calhoun What a mess. Everything points to him hiding an injury and at least he’s finally on the DL for an oblique. Giancarlo Stanton A power hitter is going to struggle when they put the ball on the ground 46% of the time. Marcell Ozuna The more I dive into his profile, I think his 2018 production is in line with his historical outputs, especially home runs. Here are his HR/FB% since 2014. Season: HR/FB% 2014: 17% 2015: 9% 2016: 14% 2017: 23% 2018: 10% Career: 15% A 10% HR/FB% is not an outlier consider his 15% career value. It’s just a stark contrast to the 23% mark from last season. One issue which does worry me is his 50% GB%. That’s way too high for a power hitter. Domingo Santana While a surplus of Brewer outfielders has cut into his playing time, he’s not helped his cause while playing by hitting only 3 HR in 200 PA. Like with several of the other hitters I wrote about, he has a 50% GB%. He’s hitting hard grounders and with his speed, he has a spiffy .371 BABIP (.357 on career). Otherwise, I can’t find a smoking gun for his power outage. Joey Votto The only part of Votto’s game which is suffering is his power. In previous seasons, his HR/FB% was near 20%. Now, it is hovering around 11%. After examining his StatCast data, the only item which really stood out is his Barrell rate dropping from being consistently over 6% to under 4%. Finding a reason behind Votto’s struggles is easy. His back is giving him issues. The first time his back pain came to light was when he left a game on May 14th. Votto left the game with lower back tightness. — Reds Media Relations (@RedsPR) May 15, 2018 He missed some more time after this game as he tried to heal. I think his back had been a problem up to that point and continues to be. His ISO continues to slide. Month: ISO Apr: .140 May: .130 Jun: .125 It will be interesting to see if and when his power returns.