by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s long been thought that Evan Longoria was not the player that he once was. It was a conclusion that made sense, though when you look at the numbers (especially in the month of June) you could argue that he’s better in 2016 than he’s ever been:
Season – .278, 18 HR, 43 RBI, 40 R
June – .323, 9 HR, 17 RBI, 13 R
Obviously the key is his power, though it all actually comes together to give us ample concerns. He appears to be selling out for the increased home runs numbers, and long-term that could come at the expense of his other numbers (specifically his average).
On the season he’s posted a 49.5% fly ball rate, which by far would be a career high (42.6% for his career). For a player with little speed, if/when the home runs slow down (18.6% HR/FB), his BABIP (.309) is going to go with it. That alone hurts his outlook in the average department, but it doesn’t stop there.
The other number that is telling in regards to his search for power is the strikeout rate, which is currently at 24.0% (20.4% for his career). His SwStr% is a career high 13.4% and he owns a career high Whiff% on both breaking balls and offspeed pitches:
- Breaking Balls – 17.79%
- Offspeed – 22.64%
Throw in a 32.7% O-Swing% (27.9% for his career) and the overall concerns grow. It’s been a great ride thus far, but you have to wonder when the change in approach is going to turn and the numbers are going to tumble. He’s being buoyed by the power, something that is unlikely to continue at this type of pace.
When the regression comes, it could come quickly. Now is the perfect time to try and see if there is someone in your league who still views him as the elite player that he once was.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
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