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Joe's numbers are bad this year. There's no sugar coating it. But, as a true believer, I always find ways to believe in Joe. Here's 2017's version.   Joe's hitting more fly balls. This is one of the f

Yeah, golf glove. That's obviously what I meant.

Well, I predicted a huge May, but I missed the mark.   I predicted 340/380/450/830 Actual: 346/442/531/983   My prediction was based on some crazy good peripherals. Have they changed much?   STAT     

The last month has been vintage Joe Mauer. If he can keep hitting this way, it could end up being one of the better seasons of his career.

 

That makes this a scary lineup, potentially. It's not out of the question for Dozier and Buxton to get hot like they did last year. Throw that in a lineup with the current production of Mauer, Sano, and Kepler....toss in a steady .250-.260 with pop from Rosario and Polanco....and that's pretty ridiculous.

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Seems appropriate to note Joe's night. 4-5 with a homer. I'm starting to believe he is a different hitter.

I'm starting to believe that maybe it really was concussion issues and he's finally through to the other side. But I'll revisit at the end of the season. That said, he's really quite the first baseman. His defense has really carried the youngsters over on the left side of the infield.

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Joe had a .403 BABIP in May which is unsustainable. Of course his .243 in April was as well. Without doing the actual math and assuming he continues to strike the ball as he has so far this season he should end up somewhere between .750 and .800 OPS for season.

 

I'd definitely take the over on this. On the year, he has a .775 OPS with a .315 BABIP.

Career his BABIP is .340. That makes sense with his line-drive heavy profile.

 

Currently, he's right on track with his career line drives. But his ground ball% is better: 42.7% v 50.6% career. He's hitting a lot more fly balls.

 

Fly balls have a slightly lower BABIP than ground balls, (.239 v. .207) but they more than make up for it with the power potential (.020 ISO v. .378 ISO). So, with this batted ball profile, we'd expect to see his BABIP a little lower than career, but his slugging% higher than his career.

 

This is particularly true because he's hitting the ball as hard or harder than ever. His hard hit% is at 36.6% v 33.4% for his career. That is pre-concussion Mauer power:

 

Year     Hard hit%     OPS

2007    36.9%          808

2009    37.6%          1031

2010    41.7%          871

2012    37.1%          862 

2013    37.4%         880

 

2017    36.6%           775

 

So I bet he ends up over 800 OPS, absent an injury.

 

 

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Mauer has been playing well since this was originally posted. April stats are often misleading. Turns out he is on pace for his best year since 2013 and not the worst year of his career. Patience is a virtue in baseball.

 

The OPs May prediction for Mauer was actually conservative.

Edited by Doomtints
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I'd definitely take the over on this. On the year, he has a .775 OPS with a .315 BABIP.

Career his BABIP is .340. That makes sense with his line-drive heavy profile.

 

Currently, he's right on track with his career line drives. But his ground ball% is better: 42.7% v 50.6% career. He's hitting a lot more fly balls.

 

Fly balls have a slightly lower BABIP than ground balls, (.239 v. .207) but they more than make up for it with the power potential (.020 ISO v. .378 ISO). So, with this batted ball profile, we'd expect to see his BABIP a little lower than career, but his slugging% higher than his career.

 

This is particularly true because he's hitting the ball as hard or harder than ever. His hard hit% is at 36.6% v 33.4% for his career. That is pre-concussion Mauer power:

 

Year Hard hit% OPS

2007 36.9% 808

2009 37.6% 1031

2010 41.7% 871

2012 37.1% 862

2013 37.4% 880

 

2017 36.6% 775

 

So I bet he ends up over 800 OPS, absent an injury.

Much of Mauer's career babip came before teams figured out how to shift him.

Whatever his babip is since then needs to be his baseline, not his career babip.

Maybe they are the same number, I haven't looked, but I doubt they are.

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Much of Mauer's career babip came before teams figured out how to shift him.
Whatever his babip is since then needs to be his baseline, not his career babip.
Maybe they are the same number, I haven't looked, but I doubt they are.

 

True. Statcast hurt Mauer a lot. People thought he was spraying the ball all over the field, but it turns out he wasn't. His grounders tend to go one way and his fly balls go the other. Before statcast, no one made that connection, they just thought he could hit it anywhere.

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Much of Mauer's career babip came before teams figured out how to shift him.
Whatever his babip is since then needs to be his baseline, not his career babip.
Maybe they are the same number, I haven't looked, but I doubt they are.

 

When would you say they figured out how to shift him? We could check the numbers. But I would guess his BABIP is more correlated with his batted ball profile (line drives) and hard hit% than the shift.

 

Here's his BABIP by year:

 

year       BABIP

2005     322

2006     364

2007     319

2008     342

2009     373

2010     348

2011     319

2012    364

2013      383

2014     342

2015      309

2016      301

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When would you say they figured out how to shift him? We could check the numbers. But I would guess his BABIP is more correlated with his batted ball profile (line drives) and hard hit% than the shift.

 

Here's his BABIP by year:

 

year       BABIP

2005     322

2006     364

2007     319

2008     342

2009     373

2010     348

2011     319

2012    364

2013      383

2014     342

2015      309

2016      301

 

Yeah, I agree. It FEELS like Mauer was hurt by shifting, but I'm not convinced it has had more than a pretty small impact. I would agree that the larger impact in BABIP-regressions was his batted ball profile, as Mike suggests.

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Yeah, I agree. It FEELS like Mauer was hurt by shifting, but I'm not convinced it has had more than a pretty small impact. I would agree that the larger impact in BABIP-regressions was his batted ball profile, as Mike suggests.

 

Aren't those the same thing? If Mauer profiles a certain way, the defense will shift.......

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I'd definitely take the over on this. On the year, he has a .775 OPS with a .315 BABIP.

Career his BABIP is .340. That makes sense with his line-drive heavy profile.

 

Currently, he's right on track with his career line drives. But his ground ball% is better: 42.7% v 50.6% career. He's hitting a lot more fly balls.

 

Fly balls have a slightly lower BABIP than ground balls, (.239 v. .207) but they more than make up for it with the power potential (.020 ISO v. .378 ISO). So, with this batted ball profile, we'd expect to see his BABIP a little lower than career, but his slugging% higher than his career.

 

This is particularly true because he's hitting the ball as hard or harder than ever. His hard hit% is at 36.6% v 33.4% for his career. That is pre-concussion Mauer power:

 

Year     Hard hit%     OPS

2007    36.9%          808

2009    37.6%          1031

2010    41.7%          871

2012    37.1%          862 

2013    37.4%         880

 

2017    36.6%           775

 

So I bet he ends up over 800 OPS, absent an injury.

I'm on a phone and won't elaborate greatly but his statcast numbers of hard hit balls are very similar to last years numbers. That suggests his BABIP will be similar barring luck.
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I'm on a phone and won't elaborate greatly but his statcast numbers of hard hit balls are very similar to last years numbers. That suggests his BABIP will be similar barring luck.

 

 His average exit velocity may be similar to last year, but there are other key differences.

 

He's hitting far fewer ground balls (42.7% v 51.9%)

He's hitting opposite field again. Last year his pull% was 30.8% and his oppo% was 35.2%. This year it's 22.2% and 42.5% respectively.

His average exit velocity might be the same, but that's an average. Last year he hit more soft and more medium contact but less hard contact. I can see how that would about average out, but the results are very different.

 

year       soft%   med%   hard%

2016      13.4%      55.3%    31.3%

2017     11.8%     51.6%    36.6%

 

So he's traded some weak and medium contact for harder contact, and he's hitting opposite field more than he's ever done in his career.

 

 

 

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Yeah, I agree. It FEELS like Mauer was hurt by shifting, but I'm not convinced it has had more than a pretty small impact. I would agree that the larger impact in BABIP-regressions was his batted ball profile, as Mike suggests.

Yep. The more I've dug into Mauer's batting numbers, the more I shake my head in disbelief that anyone refutes his rapid decline was due to anything but the concussion.

 

Sure, the guy lost .030 BABIP.

 

But explain how he lost .050 batting average.

 

Hint: the answer is in his batted ball profile. He stopped hitting the ball hard. It's almost as if his hand-eye coordination lost just a tick of its accuracy for some completely unknown reason. Anyone have any ideas how that could have come about?

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