BATTERS: BA and power anomalies 2016


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Our expected batting average (xBA) and expected power (xPX) indicators can serve as useful mid-season barometers for the BA and power produced by bats so far in 2016. Extreme outliers from these expected levels can represent good buy-low or sell-high targets at this point in the season.

These batters have the widest BA-xBA variances so far in 2016:

  • Batting Average Outliers, 2016 YTD*
    
    Name                League  Position       BA    xBA   Diff
    ==================  ======  =============  ====  ====  =====
    Crawford, Carl          FA             LF  .185  .275  +.090
    Adames, Cristhian       NL             SS  .192  .269  +.077
    Mesoraco, Devin         NL              C  .140  .214  +.074
    Weeks, Jemile           NL             2B  .140  .210  +.070
    Howard, Ryan            NL             1B  .159  .229  +.070
    Tucker, Preston         AL          LF/DH  .178  .247  +.069
    Tejada, Ruben           NL          SS/3B  .167  .234  +.067
    Coghlan, Chris          NL       LF/2B/3B  .155  .221  +.066
    Moustakas, Mike         AL             3B  .240  .302  +.062
    Schimpf, Ryan           NL             2B  .229  .283  +.054
    Revere, Ben             NL             LF  .216  .270  +.054
    Lobaton, Jose           NL              C  .194  .247  +.053
    Chirinos, Robinson      AL              C  .205  .258  +.053
    Kiermaier, Kevin        AL             CF  .215  .268  +.053
    Goins, Ryan             AL          2B/SS  .176  .228  +.052
    Gomes, Yan              AL              C  .165  .217  +.052
    Hanigan, Ryan           AL              C  .183  .231  +.048
    Asche, Cody             NL          LF/3B  .226  .274  +.048
    Peralta, Jhonny         NL          SS/3B  .221  .266  +.045
    Shuck, J.B.             AL             CF  .234  .279  +.045
    Pacheco, Jordan         NL              C  .157  .201  +.044
    Dickerson, Alex         AL             LF  .227  .271  +.044
    Torreyes, Ronald        AL             3B  .236  .279  +.043
    Frazier, Todd           AL             3B  .212  .255  +.043
    Thole, Josh             AL              C  .151  .193  +.042
    Bautista, Jose          AL          RF/DH  .230  .272  +.042
    Teixeira, Mark          AL             1B  .186  .228  +.042
    Crisp, Coco             AL          LF/DH  .233  .275  +.042
    Vazquez, Christian      AL              C  .226  .266  +.040
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Name                League  Position       BA    xBA   Diff
    ==================  ======  =============  ====  ====  =====
    Sands, Jerry            AL          RF/DH  .236  .108  -.128
    Leon, Sandy             AL              C  .395  .314  -.081
    Orlando, Paulo          AL             RF  .323  .243  -.080
    Fryer, Eric             NL              C  .349  .271  -.078
    Pena, Ramiro            NL          2B/3B  .320  .251  -.069
    Realmuto, Jacob         NL              C  .312  .253  -.059
    Maybin, Cameron         AL             CF  .327  .270  -.057
    Bogaerts, Xander        AL             SS  .329  .273  -.056
    Stubbs, Drew            AL             CF  .245  .190  -.055
    Cuthbert, Cheslor       AL             3B  .302  .250  -.052
    Kim, Hyun-Soo           AL             LF  .329  .278  -.051
    Descalso, Daniel        NL             SS  .326  .275  -.051
    Smolinski, Jacob        AL             LF  .324  .274  -.050
    Pennington, Cliff       AL          2B/SS  .276  .229  -.047
    Swihart, Blake          AL           C/LF  .258  .212  -.046
    Martinez, Michael       AL          2B/RF  .273  .229  -.044
    Escobar, Yunel          AL             3B  .318  .275  -.043
    Herrmann, Chris         NL              C  .290  .247  -.043
    Prado, Martin           NL             3B  .317  .276  -.041
    Altuve, Jose            AL             2B  .357  .317  -.040
    Villar, Jonathan        AL             SS  .295  .255  -.040
    Gillespie, Cole         NL             CF  .240  .200  -.040
    *min 50 AB

The following hitters have shown an extreme variance between their power and expected power:

  • Power Outliers, 2016 YTD*
    
    Name                League  Position       PX   xPX  Diff
    ==================  ======  =============  ===  ===  ====
    De Aza, Alejandro       NL             LF   66  154   +88
    Herrmann, Chris         NL              C  129  199   +70
    Weeks, Jemile           NL             2B   37  104   +67
    O'Brien, Peter          NL             LF  148  213   +65
    Mathis, Jeff            NL              C   53  118   +65
    Wright, David           NL             3B  167  231   +64
    Barnes, Brandon         NL             LF   77  141   +64
    Kratz, Erik             NL             FA   48  111   +63
    Robinson, Shane         AL             LF   36   99   +63
    Campbell, Eric          NL          3B/1B   46  107   +61
    Ruf, Darin              NL          1B/LF   36   97   +61
    Ackley, Dustin          AL          LF/1B    0   59   +59
    Gordon, Alex            AL             LF   97  156   +59
    Nava, Daniel            AL             RF   49  108   +59
    Howard, Ryan            NL             1B  137  195   +58
    Martinez, Victor        AL             DH  103  158   +55
    Gillaspie, Conor        NL             3B   75  128   +53
    Gillespie, Cole         NL             CF   94  147   +53
    Swihart, Blake          AL           C/LF   45   98   +53
    Weeks, Rickie           NL             LF  133  185   +52
    Walker, Neil            NL             2B   94  145   +51
    Joseph, Caleb           AL              C   18   68   +50
    McCann, James           AL              C   68  117   +49
    Van Slyke, Scott        NL          LF/1B   83  131   +48
    Nimmo, Brandon          NL             LF   31   77   +46
    Peraza, Jose            NL             2B    0   46   +46
    Blackmon, Charlie       NL             CF   96  141   +45
    Thole, Josh             AL              C   29   73   +44
    Presley, Alex           AL             RF   54   98   +44
    Ahmed, Nick             NL             SS   51   95   +44
    Martin, Russell         AL              C   78  122   +44
    Ellis, A.J.             NL              C   45   88   +43
    Infante, Omar           NL             2B   61  103   +42
    Gimenez, Chris          AL              C   44   84   +40
    Hill, Aaron             AL          3B/2B   74  114   +40
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Name                League  Position       PX   xPX  Diff
    ==================  ======  =============  ===  ===  ====
    Butera, Drew            AL              C  172   98   -74
    Pham, Tommy             NL             CF  202  136   -66
    Leon, Sandy             AL              C  174  110   -64
    Hazelbaker, Jeremy      NL             LF  153   90   -63
    Williamson, Johnathan   NL             RF  157   95   -62
    Eibner, Brett           AL             LF  158   98   -60
    Reyes, Jose             NL          SS/3B  154  101   -53
    Schoop, Jonathan        AL             2B  131   80   -51
    Buxton, Byron           AL             CF  119   71   -48
    Rua, Ryan               AL          LF/1B  108   62   -46
    Blanco, Andres          NL       3B/2B/1B  105   59   -46
    Lee, Dae-ho             AL             1B  118   73   -45
    Burns, Billy            AL             CF   41   -3   -44
    Santana, Domingo        NL             RF  133   91   -42
    Naquin, Tyler           AL             CF  197  157   -40
    Rizzo, Anthony          NL             1B  172  132   -40
    *min 50 AB
    
    

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Xander Bogaerts (SS, BOS) is on his way to a $35 season thanks to a combination of batting average (.329 BA), power (11 HR), and speed (11 SB). But keep in mind that his .273 xBA suggests that he's not a .300 hitter quite yet, and his subpar 89 PX and even worse 72 xPX put a damper on his power ceiling, at least for now. His production level in July might be what to expect on a monthly basis over the last two months (.788 OPS, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 2 SB).

Alex Gordon (LF, KC) hasn't produced very good stats so far in 2016 (.203 BA, 7 HR, 16 RBI in 222 AB). The culprit has been poor contact (67% ct%). At first glance, his power skills wouldn't seem to offer hope of a power spike (97 PX). But his 156 xPX suggests otherwise, and it's a mark that is the highest of his career. In addition, after posting a 130+ PX against lefties in '13 and '14, it has nosedived to a 32 PX in '16, limiting him to a .509 OPS vs. LH. Closing down the holes in his swing and hitting the ball with more authority against lefties would help Gordon tap into the latent power upside he carries heading into the final two months, assuming he has full strength back in his hand after fracturing it earlier in the season.

Sandy Leon (C, BOS) has been one of the game's elite power sources over the last month (1.023 OPS in 55 AB). While his hot streak has been a huge boost to his owners, his 174 PX for the season hasn't been supported by his 110 xPX. And he has never posted even average power skills in his prior MLB stints. He's another candidate for a big dropoff.

Russell Martin (C, TOR) started the season as a huge drag, putting up a horrible .150 BA and .391 OPS in April. But his production climbed in both May and June, and he has posted a strong 120+ xPX in three of four months. If his knee problem doesn't linger, Martin could be in line for a big second half.

Cameron Maybin (CF, DET) has generated a .300+ BA since taking over as DET's regular CF for underperforming Anthony Gose. But it's a mark that has been generated by a 38% h%. Maybin's prior career-best hit rate was 33% in 2011. Continue to use him for his wheels, as the spikes in his walk and contact rates support his value on the basepaths. But his lack of hard contact (76 HctX) continues to profile him as a .270 hitter.

James McCann (C, DET) is a defensive specialist behind the plate who hasn't produced much on offense (.548 OPS), mostly due to some big holes in his swing (67% ct%). But he's another hitter who carries some latent power potential (117 xPX vs. 68 PX). And his low 26% h% is significantly lower than the 33% h% he posted in '15, so there's hope that his sub-.200 BA will rise too.

Paulo Orlando (RF, KC) carries a nifty .323 BA after 235 AB with KC, leading many of his owners to continue to ride him as their fourth or fifth OF. Problem is, that mark comes with no underlying support (.243 xBA), as his plate control leaves a lot to be desired (0.10 Eye) and he doesn't hit the ball with any authority (53 PX, 55 xPX). And his lack of walks (2% bb%) will help to dry up his SB opportunities, since his current .341 OBP has been entirely driven by an unsustainable 40% h%.

Preston Tucker (LF/DH, HOU) still hasn't stuck as an MLB regular yet, but there remains reasons to invest in him. His .247 xBA is significantly higher than his terrible .178 BA, suggesting that his 23% h% is the reason for his sub-.200 BA. And his high rate of hard contact (122 HctX) has helped to produce a very good 130 xPX. There remains seeds of something good here.
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Charlie Blackmon (CF, COL) is on his way to another multi-category impact season (.300 BA, 12 HR, 44 RBI, 12 SB in 343 AB). And his power (96 PX) has even more upside than you might realize (141 xPX), as his rate of hard contact (120 HctX) is on a three-year upswing. In fact, check out his xPX trend from 2013 to 2016: 67, 94, 120, 140.

Tommy Pham (CF, STL) was one of the game's most productive and skilled bats in September 2015 (1.020 OPS, 100 BPV in 59 AB). While that magic didn't carry over to the start of 2016, his production has spiked since July 1: .891 OPS in 48 AB. And his power has been backed by an elite 175 xPX. He also carries a strong 93 BPV in the second half. He'll need to make much better contact (58% ct% since July 1) to sustain this flash, but if you play in a deep league, Pham has value if you view him as OF depth.

Ryan Schimpf (2B, SD) has been a revelation since getting steady AB recently. Few batters have been better than Schimpf in July: 1.293 OPS, 248 xPX, 211 BPV in 59 AB. He also has shown an ability to recognize balls from strikes (14% bb%), although he doesn't make contact regularly (66% ct%). Still, with an extreme flyball tilt and elite power skills, Schimpf has a lot of intrigue as a 2B or MI.

Scott Van Slyke (LF/1B, LA) began the season with a lot of promise, since he had a big spring and even appeared to make gains against righties. Then he went out early with another injury and has struggled to get steady playing time since. That said, his 185 xPX in the first half confirms that his raw power is still legit, and his eligibility at both OF and 1B gives you a couple of ways to use him in very deep leagues.

Neil Walker (2B, NYM) is on his way to a new career high in HR (16 HR in 318 AB), even though he has struggled so far in July (2 HR, 8 RBI, .512 OPS in 58 AB). It's a jump that has been supported by a 145 xPX, the best mark of his career. And he's a good candidate to experience a rise in his BA if his 26% h% starts to rise to its prior near-30% norm.

Rickie Weeks (LF, ARI) could be a sneaky add in very deep leagues in the second half. He carries an elite 185 xPX after 111 AB, as he's making far more hard contact (140 HctX) than at any point in his career. Just keep in mind that all of his production has come against lefties (1.028 OPS vs. LH), so he's not someone you want to make part of your everyday lineup. But he has value in deep leagues with daily transactions.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.