Will Luis Arraez Return to His 2019 Form?
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY SportsThis short season has not started in a promising way for Luis Arraez. Through 40 plate appearances, Luis is hitting .212/.289/.212 (.501) with a wRC+ of just 49. This is largely due to him having just one hit in his last 22 plate appearances before the Twins traveled to Pittsburgh. He seems to be hitting a “sophomore slump,” but hopefully he can break out of it. Let's take a look at what has changed for him.
He is hitting the ball just a few ticks softer than last season but he was able to hit nearly .340 last year, so why hasn't that carried over? Here are some of the statistics from this season to last.
- Exit velocity: 2019 (87.1), 2020 (87.7)
- Hard hit%: 2019 (22.8), 2020 (21.4)
- xBA: 2019 (.295), 2020 (.271)
- Launch angle: 2019 (11.5), 2020 (14.5)
Here is a visual representation of how he has hit the ball harder in 2019 just to see worse results. He is somehow hitting it too hard. Last season he was able to find the perfect gap between infielders and outfielders.
How long will the Twins continue to put Arraez out there if he isn’t performing? Arraez could definitely be given a series off and Adrianza could fill in, but I don’t think we will be seeing that quite yet. I expect the Twins to continue to ride with Luis until he breaks out. In a short 60 game season I hope he is able to pick it up before it is too late. Luckily the Twins have performed just fine without him producing as they are off to a 9-2 start.
What are your thoughts on Luis Arraez? Did you expect him to struggle a bit this season after having an elite rookie season? I expected him to drop off a little bit but nothing like this. Before you hit me with “It’s only been ten games,” just remember that is nearly 20% of the season. There isn't really such thing as a small sample size in this strange season.