Could August Fizzlers Be September Sizzlers: Hitter’s BABIP Edition

Let’s take a look at who has struggled with a poor BABIP in August, which could lead to a big finish to the season if the luck turns in their favor:

1. Jason Kubel – Arizona Diamondbacks – .161
2. Adam Dunn – Chicago White Sox – .179
3, Michael Saunders – Seattle Mariners – .192
4t. Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies – .200
4t. Carlos Pena – Tampa Bay Rays – .200
6. Curtis Granderson – New York Yankees – .213
7. Jesus Montero – Seattle Mariners – .214
8t. Kelly Johnson – Toronto Blue Jays – .220
8t. Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians – .220
10. Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals – .227

Others notables who have struggled - Freddie Freeman (.230), Bryce Harper (.239), Albert Pujols (.246), Matt Wieters (.246), Salvador Perez (.247) and Ian Kinsler (.250)

Notes:

  • I know Jason Kipnis has struggled since a hot start, but it is hard to imagine him continuing to struggle this badly.  His line drive rate was down in August (15.0%), but he had been at 23.5% each of the previous three months .  While he’s hitting .171 in August, there is no reason to think that he isn’t going to get things turned around (especially with the expected improvement to his line drive rate).  I would expect a huge rebound in September and he is a player that needs to be ridden down the stretch. He may not hit for as much power as he showed early on (despite his home run already this afternoon), but he should be one of the better second base options bringing power, speed and a solid average both in September and beyond.
  • I want to be able to compare Mike Moustakas to Kipnis, but there isn’t much of a parallel. August is actually his best line drive rate of the season, at 20.3%.  While we would expect an improvement on this months BABIP, unless he can maintain the line drive rate it may not matter. That said, after struggling after his recall in 2011 Moustakas hit .352 in September to give fantasy owners optimism. With a favorable September schedule, it wouldn’t shock me to see him do it again. He has the talent to be a successful Major League player, it is just a matter of him putting it all together. He will get there (possibly in 2013), and September could be the beginning.  Don’t shy away from him now.
  • We all know that players like Adam Dunn and Carlos Pena are all or nothing type players, so their inclusion on this list shouldn’t be very surprising.  You are using them for their home runs, so don’t bat an eye based on this.
  • Speaking of all or nothing hitter’s, Curtis Granderson is doing his best impersonation with a 28.0% strikeout rate and 48.5% fly ball rate in August. Unless he changes his approach, chances are he is going to continue posting a miserable average (.213 in August). His track record indicates that he will, but he also could be putting a lot of pressure on himself due to other Yankee injuries. Monitor him closely, but he is a must use option unless you are really loaded in the outfield. All you can do is hope for him to right the ship.
  • Jesus Montero’s inclusion on this list is solely based on luck, as all indications point to a strong finish. He has been making great contact (10.6% strikeout rate) and has a 25.7% line drive rate (his third straight month over 25% and he has never been below 20% in a month this season). In other words, he is making contact and hitting the ball hard. That is a fantastic recipe for success. He has cut down the strikeouts significantly as the season has progressed and he has fully adapted to the Major League game. He is a very strong buy right now and is living up to all the hype we heard.

What are your thoughts of these hitters?  Who do you think will finish strong?  Who would you avoid?

One comment

  1. Chief Aloique says:

    Hunter Pence (mentioned in the Around the Majors column today).

    I’ve seen this movie before. In his sophomore season (2008) he was hitting so terribly in July and early August that I cut him around Aug. 1. He languished on the waiver wire for weeks until somebody else grabbed him.

    In that season, starting on this date (Aug. 30) he batted .316 thru the end of the season, with 6 HRs, 18 RBIs, 4 SB and an OPS of around .975. That move alone cost me a league title that year and brought a championship to the guy that picked him up.

    I’m not going to make that mistake again. I traded for him a couple of weeks ago.

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