BATTERS: BPV leaders, August 2017

Let's continue our regular look back at the hitters who posted the best skills during the previous month.

Here were the most skilled bats in August:

75+ BPV, August 2017*

Name                League  Position       bb%  ct%  Eye   PX   HctX  xPX  Spd  BPV
==================  ======  =============  ===  ===  ====  ===  ====  ===  ===  ===
Gallo, Joey             AL       3B/1B/LF  19%  59%  0.57  343  146   267   81  176
Stanton, Giancarlo      NL             RF  11%  72%  0.45  304  131   208   67  174
Hoskins, Rhys           NL             LF  13%  82%  0.86  207  148   196   80  147
Donaldson, Josh         AL             3B  18%  77%  0.95  219  102   144   72  144
Suarez, Eugenio         NL             3B  21%  79%  1.26  190  127   175   93  139
Votto, Joey             NL             1B  27%  82%  2.06  152  133   145   87  133
Machado, Manny          AL          3B/SS   2%  91%  0.27  154  137   138  116  130
Goldschmidt, Paul       NL             1B   9%  75%  0.42  223  142   168   92  129
Blackmon, Charlie       NL             CF  15%  82%  1.00  165  128   137  119  129
Trout, Mike             AL             CF  23%  77%  1.29  160  114   128  139  126
Cruz, Nelson            AL          DH/RF   9%  77%  0.43  221  126   160   66  124
Santana, Carlos         AL          1B/DH  16%  82%  1.06  151  123   147  116  117
Joyce, Matt             AL             RF   9%  73%  0.36  228   96   169   75  116
Polanco, Jorge          AL             SS   6%  84%  0.44  165  103    99  105  116
Bell, Josh              NL             1B  14%  89%  1.50  107  129   110  119  108
Moreland, Mitch         AL             1B   6%  82%  0.36  178  116   139   79  107
Encarnacion, Edwin      AL             1B  19%  79%  1.16  162  122   141   64  106
Bryant, Kris            NL          3B/LF  14%  82%  0.94  134  100   107  128  106
Arenado, Nolan          NL             3B  11%  85%  0.80  140  134   146   96  105
Dozier, Brian           AL             2B  13%  81%  0.82  140  101   121  129  104
Bregman, Alex           AL          3B/SS   7%  87%  0.60  114  127   102  158  102
Herrera, Odubel         NL             CF   9%  88%  0.83  111   56    21  132  101
Granderson, Curtis      NL             RF  16%  64%  0.53  228  105   186   93  101
Bellinger, Cody         NL          1B/LF  10%  75%  0.44  174  136   203  127  100
Panik, Joe              NL             2B  13%  97%  4.50   69  136   114   96   99
Puig, Yasiel            NL             RF  20%  77%  1.05  148  133   128  108   99
Upton, Justin           NL             LF   8%  61%  0.23  268  113   215   73   98
Fowler, Dexter          NL             CF  19%  75%  0.94  149  133   156  129   97
Turner, Justin          NL             3B   8%  92%  1.00  116  139   159   64   97
Delmonico, Nick         AL             DH  17%  81%  1.07  130  107   112  104   96
Rizzo, Anthony          NL             1B  11%  82%  0.65  149  130   140   86   95
Name                League  Position       bb%  ct%  Eye   PX   HctX  xPX  Spd  BPV
==================  ======  =============  ===  ===  ====  ===  ====  ===  ===  ===
Cespedes, Yoenis        NL             LF  13%  71%  0.50  198  133   183   77   94
Rosario, Eddie          AL             LF   6%  82%  0.35  153  113   113   92   93
Cozart, Zack            NL             SS  14%  86%  1.20   99  106   111  120   90
Sanchez, Gary           AL           C/DH   7%  73%  0.28  192  102   162   94   90
Castillo, Welington     NL              C   6%  77%  0.29  178  127   183   71   88
Gurriel, Yulieski       AL          1B/3B   7%  93%  1.00   86  138    93  108   88
Beckham, Tim            AL          SS/2B   2%  80%  0.12  139  111   118  160   87
Benintendi, Andrew      AL             LF  12%  85%  0.93  113  117    89   95   86
Jones, Adam             AL             CF   5%  84%  0.33  133  108   121   99   85
Andrus, Elvis           AL             SS   6%  86%  0.50  110  123    94  123   85
Kiermaier, Kevin        AL             CF   6%  78%  0.27  150  105   115  124   82
Ellsbury, Jacoby        AL             CF  10%  86%  0.78  106  101    74  105   82
Ozuna, Marcell          NL             LF  15%  83%  1.06  113   94    87   85   81
Molina, Yadier          NL              C   6%  86%  0.46  124  128   125   75   80
Simmons, Andrelton      AL             SS   8%  91%  1.00   87   79    53   92   79
Buxton, Byron           AL             CF   5%  74%  0.19  154   83   113  158   79
Lindor, Francisco       AL             SS   6%  81%  0.36  137  126   130   98   79
Cron, C.J.              AL             1B   7%  76%  0.32  167  133   169   84   78
Taylor, Chris           AL          LF/2B   9%  78%  0.48  135  107   135  122   78
Hernandez, Cesar        NL             2B  10%  80%  0.58  109  101    79  161   78
Olson, Matt             AL          1B/RF   6%  71%  0.24  184  123   144  103   77
Pearce, Steve           AL          LF/1B  11%  82%  0.71  119  128    87  102   77
Lowrie, Jed             AL          2B/DH  11%  87%  0.92  100  130    99   86   77
Abreu, Jose             AL          1B/DH   5%  79%  0.26  145  138   107  102   76
Chirinos, Robinson      AL              C  16%  79%  0.92  104  111    96  136   75
Kepler, Max             AL             RF   7%  80%  0.39  145  128   126   79   75
Martinez, J.D.          NL             RF  12%  68%  0.44  189  118   190   86   75
Beltre, Adrian          AL          3B/DH  11%  81%  0.65  139  114   127   58   75
Freeman, Freddie        NL          1B/3B  13%  81%  0.75  119   98   133   97   75
Gregorius, Didi         AL             SS   5%  91%  0.60   85  101    70  100   75
*min 50 AB

Let's take a closer look at a bunch of noteworthy skill performances that happened in August.
 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Byron Buxton (CF, MIN) produced both power (8 HR) and speed (8 SB) in August. His 158 Spd confirms that his legs are legit, and his 113 xPX gives some support to his power. His biggest problem continues to be plate discipline. But it's one that he has made some subtle strides to improve. Check out his contact rate by month: 57%, 65%, 70%, 74%, 74% ct%. And his overall skills in August (79 BPV) were his best of the season. At age 23, Buxton is setting himself up for an impactful 2018.

Robinson Chirinos (C, TEX) quietly put up some top-tier stats for a catcher in August (.349 BA, 1.031 OPS in 63 AB), a month in which he received more AB than any other so far in 2017. And his production was not the result of a hacker approach. His plate skills were very strong: 16% bb%, 79% ct%, 0.92 Eye.

C.J. Cron (1B, LAA) is finishing the season with a flourish after starting it with a dud. He has posted a .958 OPS since July 1 along with a very solid 75 BPV. Both his hard contact (133 HctX) and underlying power metrics (169 xPX) soared in August. He's also hitting lefties better than ever before (.821 OPS vL). Cron is a peak-age bat who has the upside to have a big September.

Nick Delmonico (DH, CHW) looked like a frontline bat in August (.307 BA, 1.002 OPS in 75 AB). It would be easy to assume that he did that by hacking or was the beneficiary of good luck. But that wasn't the case. Delmonico's pitch recognition was very strong: 17% bb%, 81% ct%, 1.07 Eye. His overall skills were near-elite (96 BPV). He especially has been good against RH arms this season (1.056 OPS in 56 AB). It remains to be seen when he will return from his wrist injury, but those already looking ahead to 2018 should consider him an intriguing under-the-radar stash.

Joey Gallo (3B/1B/LF, TEX) was the most skilled batter in MLB during the month of August. He drew a ton of walks (19% bb%), marking the third straight month that he has increased his walk rate. And his power skills were off the charts (343 PX, 267 xPX). And that increase in power came with an increase in contact, although his 59% ct% that month confirms that he still has big holes in his swing. That said, at age 23 and with his steady monthly gains in patience, this has been a growth year for Gallo.

Jorge Polanco (SS, MIN) generated stats in several categories in August (.373 BA, 6 HR, 4 SB in 102 AB). Sure, a 19% HR/F had a lot to do with his HR output and he was also the beneficiary of a 40% h%, neither of which are likely to stick. But if he can retain even some of the line-drive stroke he displayed in August (33/29/38 G/L/F), he's someone who could have another productive month in September and will carry some sneaky breakout potential heading into 2018.

Eddie Rosario (LF, MIN) is another young MIN bat that has shown flashes of promise this season. Rosario hit the ball with a lot of authority in August (.944 OPS in 114 AB), and his underlying skills were good too (93 BPV). In fact, nearly all of his underlying skills have surged since July 1. Rosario will own some age-26 breakout potential heading into 2018 and is a good hold down the stretch.
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Josh Bell (1B, PIT) has taken a big step forward in 2017, and he's showing no signs of slowing down. He had a .323 BA and .954 OPS in August, and few batters had better plate discipline in August than Bell did: 14% bb%, 89% ct%, 1.50 Eye. He also showed decent underlying power (110 xPX) and some speed (119 Spd). His 35% FB% in August was the highest we've seen him from this year. If he can continue to shift his batted balls from groundballs to line drives and flyballs, Bell will enter 2018 as a .300 BA, 30 HR target.

Derek Dietrich (3B/2B, MIA) is someone worth looking at in deep leagues if you need MI help down the stretch. Few MI bats produced at a higher clip in August than Dietrich did (.833 OPS in 93 AB). He drew a lot of walks (13% bb%), and his intriguing underlying power (143 xPX) and speed (139 Spd) returned.

Ian Happ (CF/2B, CHC) had a better August than it may have seemed. He had a .958 OPS in 67 AB, a mark that was validated by extremely strong underlying skills (189 xPX). You'll want to bench him against lefties in order to maximize your production from him (.895 OPS vR, .733 OPS vL), but at age 22, this has been an excellent rookie campaign for Happ.

Odubel Herrera (CF, PHI) is salvaging his season after a horrible beginning. He has posted a top-tier 97 BPV in the second half, showing better power and speed skills and improving his plate discipline significantly. In fact, check out his BPV by month over the last four months: -33, 58, 80, 101 BPV. Herrera could provide some nice value in September once his hamstring issue heals.

Rhys Hoskins (LF, PHI) has taken MLB by storm after his recall from Triple-A. It would be tempting to think that all of his power has come at the expense of bad plate skills, but that hasn't been the case. He had a 13% bb%, 82% ct%, and 0.86 Eye in August. And his power was backed by some elite underlying power skills (196 xPX). His overall skills (147 BPV) in August were bested in the NL only by Giancarlo Stanton. Hoskins will need to adjust to MLB pitchers as they adjust to him, but all signs point to him finishing strong and having 30+ HR breakout potential in 2018.

Marcell Ozuna (LF, MIA) is on his way to a full-fledged breakout season. And he made some subtle improvements in August that give him additional upside. His plate skills went from marginal to elite: 15% bb%, 83% ct%, 1.06 Eye.  If he can sustain that growth and pair it with more of a flyball tilt (46/20/34 G/L/F), Ozuna would be able to sustain his 30-HR output.

Joe Panik (2B, SF) is another batter whose approach at the plate soared in August. He had a crazy 9/2 BB/K in 59 AB that month, good for a 13% bb%, 97% ct%, and 4.50 Eye. He also hit the ball with good authority (114 xPX). He's a good target for those needing a BA boost in September.

Eugenio Suarez (3B, CIN) had one of the better performances of any batter in August. Not only did he produce at an elite level (1.184 OPS), he also paired that with top-flight pitch recognition (21% bb%) and decent contact (79% ct%). And his 8 HR that month were backed by an excellent 175 xPX. With more consistency, Suarez would be able to move into the top-tier of NL 3B.


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