by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We recently looked at the 10 luckiest BABIP for pitchers from 2017 (click here to view), but how about the hitters? Who benefited from a lot of luck, and therefore a regression can be expected? Whose elevated BABIP should be overlooked, as the production is obviously for real? Let’s take a look:
1) Avisail Garcia – .392
2) Charlie Blackmon – .371
3) Jose Altuve – .370
4) Tommy Pham – .368
5) Tim Beckham – .365
6) Domingo Santana – .363
7) Chris Taylor – .361
8) Aaron Judge – .357
9) Marcell Ozuna – .355
10) Dee Gordon – .354
- The marks for Charlie Blackmon, Jose Altuve and Aaron Judge aren’t going to raise the red flag. They have proven to be elite players, thanks to multiple skills, and a regression in their BABIP isn’t going to change anything. Dee Gordon isn’t an elite player, but his speed is going to allow him to maintain an elevated mark and therefore does not bring cause for concern.
- Avisail Garcia was clearly the luckiest player in the league, and while he has often been called a player with upside there’s a 0% chance that he replicates last year’s performance. We’ve already taken an in-depth look at his performance and upcoming regression, which you can read by clicking here.
- One of the best stories of ’17 was the breakout of Tommy Pham, who hit .306 with 23 HR and 25 SB over 530 PA. While we may want to question his power (26.1% fly ball rate), that’s a debate for another day. The fact is he hit the ball hard (22.2% line drive rate), showed an impressive approach (7.6% SwStr%, 19.0% O-Swing%) and has enough speed to maintain an elevated BABIP. Definitely a player we will spotlight later on in the offseason, Pham appears to have developed into a must own fantasy option.
- Similarly to Pham, Tim Beckham appeared to have an impressive breakout campaign splitting time between Tampa Bay and Baltimore (.278 with 22 HR and 6 SB). Of course his command of the strike zone is far worse (15.0% SwStr%, 33.8% O-Swing%) and his line drive rate regressed significantly (25.4% to 18.1% in the second half). There are far too many questions to think he could come reasonably close to his ’17 success, making him an overpay in the making.
- Marcell Ozuna is likely going to see his BABIP regress (19.3% line drive rate), but the real key for him is being able to maintain the 37 HR he slugged in ’17. That’s a whole different issue, and one that we’ll dive into later in the offseason.
- Always cast as a part time player, it was a great season for Chris Taylor. Does anyone truly believe he can maintain it?
- We finally got the breakout from Domingo Santana we’ve been waiting for, hitting .278 with 30 HR and 15 SB. The owner of a career .354 BABIP in the Majors, how much of a stretch is his mark? He posted a 27.4% line drive rate, after a 30.1% mark a year ago, and he also doesn’t chase outside the zone too much (26.5% O-Swing%). In other words, while he could take a small step back, there’s reason to believe in the elevated mark.
Source – Fangraphs
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