Does it mean a lot if someone has a strong September? Sure, it could e the sign of a breakout, but that is far from a given. Remember, you aren’t necessarily facing the same level of pitcher, whether it be teams resting their aces or the deeper bullpens as rosters expand. Let’s are a look at some of the more surprising Septembers and try to determine who is real and who isn’t.
Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
.330, 7 HR, 14 RBI, 26 R, 4 SB
The power actually started to come put in August (6 HR), so that isn’t a particularly surprising number. What really catches our eye is the runs score, which goes hand-in-hand with his inflated average. Keep in mind, Harper had never hit better than .274 in a month and had been under .250 each of the previous two months prior to the season’s final month. We all know the potential he has, so should we simply assume he has turned the corner?
As you would expect, there was been a lot of luck involved in the average (.372 BABIP). However, one could argue that he was due for this type of stretch. Look at his line drive rate vs. BABIP since May:
May – 22.1% // .301
June – 20.8%. // .338
July – 26.3% // .276
August – 17.5% // .257
September – 24.7% // .372
You have to love seeing that he has been able to consistently hit the ball hard, it was just a matter of balls finding holes. I am not about to suggest that he is going to hit over .300 in 2013, but there is no reason he can’t hit at least .280. With his power developing along with some speed, things are quickly looking up. While 2012 was a very good rookie campaign, bigger things are obviously ahead.
Everth Cabrera – San Diego Padres
.281, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 14 R, 19 SB
The question with Cabrwra has never been his speed, but his ability to consistently get on base. If he could achieve that, he was going to have a fantasy impact as a one category superstar.
That’s what has happened in September, as he has lowered his strikeout rate to 19.6%. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is the first month where he is under 25% in 2012. He always has put the ball on the ground a lot in an attempt to use his speed (63.6% in September), so an improved ability to make contact definitely would go a long way.
He also has been getting on via the walk, with a 9.3% mark (second consecutive month that he has been above 9%). It’s a nice number, but his ability to use his speed will solely be dependent on his ability to keep the strikeout rate down.
I am not 100% sold that he can, but his September at least makes him worth considering in the late rounds next season. With the potential to steal 50+ bases, any shimmer of hope will grant us that.
Wilin Rosario – Colorado Rockies
.311, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 17 R, 1 SB
There is no questioning the power, but this is now the second consecutive month that Rosario has hit over .300. Is he actually a more well rounded player than we initially thought?
The fast, easy answer is no. While he isn’t a .220 hitter, this number is a bit extreme. I know he is hitting the ball hard, but in September he posted a .373 BABIP. Expecting any catcher to do that very often is a mistake.
The power does put less credence to his BABIP, but a drop there is going to lead to a much more accurate average mark. Think .260, but with his power that’s more than enough.