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Can Luis Arraez win the batting title?


As the 2021 season enters its final leg, end of the year leaders have emerged. Members of the Twins won't threaten for much recognition, but I believe there is an outside chance for Luis Arraez to gain the notoriety of being the American League batting champion. Arraez currently is hitting .316 and has 321 plate appearances. In order to qualify to win the batting championship, a player has to average 3.1 plate appearances per game his team has played. This would require that Arraez average just over four plate appearances per game for the rest of the season.

There are a lot of factors to be considered in a season where the team is not in contention. Arraez recently has not been hitting leadoff, even against right handed pitching, costing him about a half plate appearance per game. He hasn't started much against left handed pitching and he has already spent two stints on the Injured List. This year, plate appearances in general have been limited by seven-inning doubleheader games and limited extra-innings due to the "gift runner" rule. If Arraez stays healthy for the final seven weeks, he can get the qualifying plate appearances, but that will depend on his manager continuing to put him in the lineup.

The other consideration is the competition to win the batting championship. Right now, Michael Brantley leads MLB with a .332 average, 16 points ahead of Arraez. Brantley has 403 plate appearances and would need 99 in the final 44 games, so unless he is injured, he will qualify for the batting championship. Assuming Brantley qualifies for the award and continues to get a hit in one-third of his at-bats, Arraez would have to go 58 for 160 for the rest of the season. That is hitting at over a .360 clip. 

There are a few other American League players who are hitting better than .310 who could surge to a batting championship including Cedric Mullins, Yuri Gurriel, Vlad Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez. All of these players are bunched within five points of Arraez' batting average.

The odds are against Arraez overtaking Brantley, getting enough plate appearances and staying ahead of those with similar averages. It would be fun to have something to care about in the last weeks of the season and given Arraez' recent success, I do believe he has a chance. Time will tell.

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1 minute ago, Dodecahedron said:

He is pretty far back.  He would have to go on a HOF-like run to finish the year.

Which he has actually been doing, I mostly question whether he can accumulate the PAs necessary to qualify. Here is Arraez's line since the beginning of July.

Luis Arraez Batting Gamelogs for Career Games 177 to 205

Date Tm G GS Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip aLI WPA acLI cWPA RE24 DFS(DK) DFS(FD)
Jul 1 to Aug 15, 2021 MIN 29 25 15-14 109 98 16 37 8 0 1 9 10 0 10 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 .378 .431 .490 .921 .409 .95 0.865 .05 0.01% 11.29 209.00 262.70
per 162 games 163 140   609 548 90 207 45 0 6 51 56 0 56 0 0 6 0 6 6 0             4.9   0.1% 63.1 1168 146
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13 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Which he has actually been doing, I mostly question whether he can accumulate the PAs necessary to qualify. Here is Arraez's line since the beginning of July.

Luis Arraez Batting Gamelogs for Career Games 177 to 205

Date Tm G GS Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip aLI WPA acLI cWPA RE24 DFS(DK) DFS(FD)
per 162 games 163 140   609 548 90 207 45 0 6 51 56 0 56 0 0 6 0 6 6 0             4.9   0.1% 63.1 1168 146
Jul 1 to Aug 15, 2021 MIN 29 25 15-14 109 98 16 37 8 0 1 9 10 0 10 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 .378 .431 .490 .921 .409 .95 0.865 .05 0.01% 11.29 209.00 262.70

Not surprising numbers for Arraez.

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35 minutes ago, Karbo said:

Not this year, but if he can stay healthy the way the Twins like to give players a rest, with his flexability I could see him winning the title.

I will agree with that.😎

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On 8/16/2021 at 11:13 AM, Brock Beauchamp said:

Which he has actually been doing, I mostly question whether he can accumulate the PAs necessary to qualify. Here is Arraez's line since the beginning of July.

Luis Arraez Batting Gamelogs for Career Games 177 to 205

Date Tm G GS Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip aLI WPA acLI cWPA RE24 DFS(DK) DFS(FD)
per 162 games 163 140   609 548 90 207 45 0 6 51 56 0 56 0 0 6 0 6 6 0             4.9   0.1% 63.1 1168 146
Jul 1 to Aug 15, 2021 MIN 29 25 15-14 109 98 16 37 8 0 1 9 10 0 10 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 .378 .431 .490 .921 .409 .95 0.865 .05 0.01% 11.29 209.00 262.70

What’s perhaps most amazing about Arraez is that he can average 163 games per 162 games.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/17/2021 at 6:53 AM, theBOMisthebomb said:

Yes, he can win the batting title. He takes quality ABs every game, every time. The dude can flat out hit. 

Obviously it will NOT be this year.

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10 hours ago, RpR said:

Obviously it will NOT be this year.

He was in 2nd place for BA until this latest cold streak which started against the Yankees. He is still in 5th place in the BA race (if he had enough PAs to qualify), 16 points behind first place. If Arraez gets hot he could make up 16 points in the next month or so. Or, he could stay cold and hit .275 or lower for the year. Nobody really knows what will happen, that's why we play the games. I think Arraez will heat up again and finish well above .300 as I believe his hit skills are elite. Only time will tell.  

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