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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     

That at bat was a shift induced out. If the left fielder isn't swung way over, that's a no play foul ball and Joe is still alive.

 

Mauer has shown some ability to pull the ball in the air. And when he does he usually has success. But as long as he hits predictably, outfielders will be in position to make outs on balls no matter how hard he hits them.

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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.

The statcast data does not back up you're hard hit ball assertions. The data shows that the percentage of balls that he is barreling and the percentage of balls hit >95 mph, not the average but those hard hit balls that actually improve your slugging and bat avg, are almost identical to last seasons numbers.

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The statcast data does not back up you're hard hit ball assertions. The data shows that the percentage of balls that he is barreling and the percentage of balls hit >95 mph, not the average but those hard hit balls that actually improve your slugging and bat avg, are almost identical to last seasons numbers.

I should add that while intuitively it makes sense we don't have a good handle yet on the correlation between barrels, hard hit balls and BABIP. I'm assuming that last seasons .300ish BABIP is an accurate representation given his batted ball profile but it could be an either lucky or un lucky. We just don't really know yet.

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  • 3 months later...

 

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.

 

Well....u/Oxtung guessed an OPS between 750 and 800 and I took the over. 801 OPS for the win!

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