by Ray Kuhn
Did You Know:
Based on advanced power metrics, Mitch Moreland’s two home runs in 167 at bats last season are an outlier that will be reversed in 2015. Here is a look at Moreland’s Power Index compared to his Expected Power Index over the past three seasons:
- 2012: 15 HR/125 PX/128 xPX
- 2013: 23 HR/143 PX/136 xPX
- 2014: 2 HR/86 PX/143 xPX
Granted Moreland did have just 167 at bats last year prior to season ending ankle surgery, but he should have had more than 2 HR. In fact, based on the progression of his xPX, you would have expected his home run total per at bat to increase, not plummet. The fact that he had a 5% HR/FB also was a contributing factor.
After a three year stretch from 2011 through 2013 that saw him average 18 home runs in 418 at bats, you would think that the left-hander would be a late round source of power in 2015. Instead, his lack of home runs from last season will likely leave him undrafted in most leagues this spring. In fact if you look at the current NFBC ADP data, that holds true. Moreland is currently the 37th first baseball off the board with an ADP of 448.9.
Health will continue to an issue for the 29 year old, as will his struggles against left-handed pitching (.374 OPS compared to .692 OPS), but another 20 HR season is certainly not out of the question. He appears to have a regular role in what could be a slightly improved Texas’ lineup,and could be a value pick in deeper leagues. However thanks to a plummeting contact rate (80%, 78%, 75%, 74%) in the last four seasons, I would not expect more than a .250 batting average.
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