BATTERS: Batting average and power anomalies, 2018

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 2018. 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 2018:

  • Batting Average Outliers, 2018 YTD*
    
    Name                League  Position       BA    xBA   Diff
    ==================  ======  =============  ====  ====  =====
    Sogard, Eric            NL          2B/SS  .134  .215  -.081
    Guillorme, Luis         NL          2B/3B  .172  .246  -.074
    Maxwell, Bruce          AL              C  .182  .253  -.071
    Perez, Carlos           AL              C  .159  .227  -.068
    Wolters, Tony           NL              C  .160  .227  -.067
    Reyes, Jose             NL       SS/3B/2B  .162  .228  -.066
    Valentin, Jesmuel       NL       2B/3B/OF  .180  .239  -.059
    Sanchez, Gary           AL              C  .190  .249  -.059
    Guyer, Brandon          AL             RF  .162  .220  -.058
    Wilson, Bobby           AL              C  .163  .217  -.054
    Castro, Jason           AL              C  .143  .196  -.053
    Valaika, Pat            NL       SS/1B/2B  .146  .199  -.053
    Dyson, Jarrod           NL             CF  .189  .242  -.053
    Zimmerman, Ryan         NL             1B  .217  .265  -.048
    Thompson, Trayce        AL             RF  .117  .165  -.048
    Refsnyder, Rob          AL          LF/2B  .167  .214  -.047
    Marte, Ketel            NL          2B/SS  .240  .287  -.047
    Machado, Dixon          AL          2B/SS  .206  .252  -.046
    Fowler, Dexter          NL             CF  .169  .215  -.046
    Desmond, Ian            NL          1B/LF  .228  .274  -.046
    Headley, Chase          FA          3B/1B  .115  .160  -.045
    Buxton, Byron           AL             CF  .156  .201  -.045
    Severino, Pedro         NL              C  .171  .216  -.045
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Name                League  Position       BA    xBA   Diff
    ==================  ======  =============  ====  ====  =====
    Lagares, Juan           NL             CF  .339  .257  +.082
    Smith, Kevan            AL              C  .321  .253  +.068
    Chisenhall, Lonnie      AL             RF  .321  .255  +.066
    Eaton, Adam             NL             CF  .320  .260  +.060
    Almora, Albert          NL             CF  .319  .261  +.058
    LaMarre, Ryan           AL             CF  .272  .214  +.058
    Ellis, A.J.             NL              C  .295  .239  +.056
    Hicks, John             AL           1B/C  .278  .225  +.053
    Altuve, Jose            AL             2B  .335  .283  +.052
    Torreyes, Ronald        AL       2B/SS/3B  .323  .273  +.050
    Fletcher, David         AL             3B  .265  .217  +.048
    Gennett, Scooter        NL             2B  .326  .279  +.047
    Jackson, Austin         AL             CF  .242  .195  +.047
    Cave, Jake              AL             CF  .324  .278  +.046
    Happ, Ian               NL          CF/2B  .252  .207  +.045
    Wendle, Joe             AL          2B/LF  .277  .233  +.044
    Hernandez, Cesar        NL             2B  .270  .229  +.041
    Kemp, Matt              NL             RF  .316  .276  +.040
    Munoz, Yairo            NL          SS/3B  .285  .245  +.040
    *min 50 AB

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

  • Power Outliers, 2018 YTD*
    
    Name                League  Position       PX   xPX  Diff
    ==================  ======  =============  ===  ===  ====
    Kieboom, Spencer        NL              C   32  135  -103
    Sogard, Eric            NL          2B/SS   26  101   -75
    Avila, Alex             NL              C  100  171   -71
    Turner, Justin          NL             3B   71  139   -68
    Walker, Neil            AL       2B/1B/3B   53  120   -67
    Flowers, Tyler          NL              C   84  149   -65
    Swihart, Blake          AL     C/1B/DH/LF   42  105   -63
    Dozier, Hunter          AL             1B   89  151   -62
    Asujae, Carlos          NL             2B   55  115   -60
    Wieters, Matt           NL              C   62  119   -57
    Harrison, Josh          NL          2B/3B   53  110   -57
    Lopez, Rafael           NL              C   79  136   -57
    Marrero, Deven          NL             3B   23   78   -55
    Mauer, Joe              AL          1B/DH   59  114   -55
    Hechavarria, Adeiny     AL             SS   49  102   -53
    Lamb, Jacob             NL             3B   86  138   -52
    Perez, Salvador         AL           C/DH   95  145   -50
    Kratz, Erik             NL              C   96  146   -50
    Mathis, Jeff            NL              C   47   97   -50
    Kipnis, Jason           AL             2B   87  136   -49
    Joyce, Matt             AL          RF/DH   97  145   -48
    Galvis, Freddy          NL             SS   61  109   -48
    Ozuna, Marcell          NL             LF   65  110   -45
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Name                League  Position       PX   xPX  Diff
    ==================  ======  =============  ===  ===  ====
    Barreto, Franklin       AL             2B  184  115   +69
    Culberson, Charlie      NL          LF/3B  109   42   +67
    Florimon, Pedro         NL             SS  166  101   +65
    Austin, Tyler           AL             1B  190  125   +65
    Guzman, Ronald          AL             1B  117   55   +62
    Tucker, Preston         NL             LF  115   54   +61
    Judge, Aaron            AL          RF/DH  187  129   +58
    Ohtani, Shohei          AL             DH  158  101   +57
    Fisher, Derek           AL             LF  192  143   +49
    Romine, Austin          AL              C  136   90   +46
    Alfaro, Jorge           NL              C  114   70   +44
    Stanton, Giancarlo      AL          RF/DH  161  117   +44
    Herrera, Odubel         NL             CF  103   59   +44
    Torreyes, Ronald        AL       2B/SS/3B   69   26   +43
    Palka, Daniel           AL          RF/DH  151  110   +41
    Cabrera, Miguel         AL          1B/DH   98   58   +40
    Baez, Javier            NL       2B/SS/3B  161  121   +40
    Donaldson, Josh         AL          3B/DH  137   97   +40
    Marte, Jefry            AL          1B/3B   92   52   +40
    *min 50 AB
    
    

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Hunter Dozier (1B, KC) has not delivered much value at all so far in 2018. He has 4 HR, 12 RBI and a .606 OPS in 167 AB. Some big holes in his swing certainly haven't helped his cause (65% ct%, 0.24 Eye) and likely will continue to make him a batting average liability (.197 xBA). That said, he's making plenty of hard contact (112 HctX), and his expected power (151 xPX) is much higher than his actual power output (89 PX). Those desperate for power in deep leagues might consider taking a flyer on Dozier.

John Hicks (1B/C, DET) still owns a production line that is making him owned in many leagues (.278 BA, 8 HR, 30 RBI). While he does have some pop in his bat (116 xPX), he struggles to make contact (70% ct%), an issue that profiles him more as a BA liability (.225 xBA). That correction in his batting average already has started to occur in July (.243 BA).

Salvador Perez (C/DH, KC) has experienced a sharp dropoff in his production so far in 2018 (.640 OPS). A 24% h% is largely to blame, and it's a mark that was in the 27-28% in each of the prior four seasons. And there's reason for optimism that his power could finish strong, as his current 145 xPX has never been better.

Blake Swihart (DH/C/1B/LF, BOS) has value solely on his multi-position versatility. Problem is, he has done nothing to warrant use in any league so far in 2018 (0 HR, 4 RBI, .207 BA, .513 OPS in 92 AB). His lack of hard contact likely will keep him a BA liability, as confirmed by his .195 xBA. But his total lack of power has been driven in part by a fluky 0% HR/F. His so-so 97 xPX does suggest that hope is not lost. Consider him a speculative second-catcher stash in extremely deep leagues.

Neil Walker (2B/1B/3B, NYY) has been left on the scrap heap in many leagues. He hasn't done anything to warrant a pickup (.548 OPS in 189 AB). But he's another proven performer who has the potential to turn things around in the second half. His current 25% h% is by far the lowest mark he has ever posted. His 120 xPX is in line with his career-norms; a 4% HR/F has held him back. He could be a sneaky second half add in very deep leagues.
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Carlos Asuaje (2B, SD) is another lite producer with some good positive regression potential heading into the second half. His underlying skills suggest he can produce in multiple categories (115 xPX, 112 Spd). His plate skills are solid (11% bb%, 79% ct%, 0.60 Eye) and his rate of hard contact is good (123 HctX). You'll want to keep him on your bench against lefties, but if you play in a deep league and need a MI bat against RHers, Asuaje could be worth a look.

Ian Desmond (1B/LF, COL) is posting the lowest batting average of his career (.231 BA) so far in 2018. But there's good reason to believe he will improve that mark down the stretch. He owns a solid .274 xBA and posted a .270+ BA in each of the prior two seasons. Blame a career-worst 27% h% for his early BA struggles.

Jacob Lamb (3B, ARI) is trying to get on track after spending most of the early part of the season on the disabled list. He was drafted in most leagues due to his power upside, which hasn't come to fruition yet (6 HR in 188 AB). His near-elite 138 xPX suggests that will change as he gets farther away from his injury. His chronic struggles against lefties mean you should use him only against RHers if you can, but he still can turn his season around in the second half.

Ketel Marte (2B/SS, ARI) is another ARI bat that hasn't lived up to his pre-season expectations. His .240 BA has hurt those who drafted him. However, that mark was driven by two bad months. He had a .304 BA and elite 137 BPV in June. While he has managed only a .200 BA so far in July, a 16% h% has been to blame. His overall skills have stayed great (127 BPV), and his plate discipline has been excellent (19% bb%, 80% ct%, 1.14 Eye). Marte has a great shot to finish strong.

Justin Turner (3B, LA) is another high-upside bat who has endured a slow start to the season due to injury. Those who drafted him as their frontline 3B could see him revert back to that level of production in the second half though. His 139 xPX confirms the thump in his bat hasn't gone anywhere. His plate discipline remains elite too (11% bb%, 88% ct%, 1.05 Eye).

Ryan Zimmerman (1B, WAS) should return soon from the oblique injury that has sidelined him since early May. While he wasn't very good prior to that injury (.217 BA, .689 OPS in 115 AB), his underlying foundation was solid (126 HctX, 123 xPX, .265 xBA). He's another proven bat who makes for a good buy-low trade target heading into the final couple months of the season.


Click here to subscribe

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