It's all about offense today. No wasted time on hurlers. We'll touch on outfielders, there are some fellas out there that you might have the wrong opinion about – think Coghlan, Inciarte, Puig and Revere. We'll also look into hard hit baseball data. Who is squaring up the ball and putting a hurting on it? We'll find out.
Chris Coghlan – I just don't get the love for him. Sure he hit .376 in July, but so what? He hit .275 in the first half. He's hit .277 over his last 29 games. He's hit a total of six homers on the season. He's stolen five bases. That's over 87 games. He's not good folks. He had a hot run, that's it. Get over it. For his career Coghlan has a .271/.339/.400 slash line. That's barely better than average. He's also hit a mere 27 homers in 480 career games. He's a slap hitter that had a spectacular month. Move on.
Ender Inciarte has an 18 game hitting streak for the Diamondbacks. That is the longest ever for a rookie on the D'backs. Through 81 games, exactly half a season, Ender has hit a mere .266 with two homers and nine steals. Nothing to see really. League average stuff at best across the board, and even that is being kind: .266/.302/.330. Still, he's hot of late hitting .317 over his last 26 games. He's a sneaky add right now if you're dealing with injury in the outfield, and who isn't in this season of carnage?
Yasiel Puig has had a very strong season. At the same time he's also failed to live up to expectations. Yes he's hitting .313 and that .912 OPS is borderline special, but his fantasy game really hasn't stepped up to meet expectations. In fact, he hasn't gotten any better this season compared to last year. Moreover, his production has basically stagnated.
2013: .319-19-42-66-11 with a .925 OPS in 104 games
2014: .313-13-59-67-7 with a .912 in 115 games
Again, this level of production is elite, but it's far below the wild expectations that were placed upon Puig in draft season. (1) He has walked more which is a positive. (2) His power has regressed, substantially, from one homer per 20.1 at-bats to one per 33.5. Huge regression. (3) He is a total disaster on the basepaths. He's seemingly being picked off once a week, but just as bad is the fact that he simply has no idea how to transition his speed into bases as a runner. He's seen his overall steal rate dip substantially from last season and the result is a horrible seven steals with seven caught steal attempts. Truth be told, he's actually hurt the Dodgers ability to score runs more than he's helped in his career with 18 steals and 15 caught stealing. He's incredibly raw and has, predictably, despite what everyone argued against me in the preseason, seen his production fail to go to the next level. Still, credit for an impressive season is do Puig.
Ben Revere is an all run, no hit outfielder, right? Not exactly. While everyone is falling all over themselves about guys like Billy Hamilton, Revere fell through the cracks on draft day. Well, good for you if you took Revere late. Take a look at the numbers.
Hamilton: .271-6-43-65-46 with a .697 OPS
B.Revere: .315-1-13-54-36 with a .703 OPS
Obviously Hamilton has been better than Revere, not the point I'm trying to make. The point is that Revere has been exactly as advertised – a batting average option with speed. In fact, Revere has been hitting so well that he's pushed his average up to .315 on the season. That's good for 8th in the majors. Eighth. That's right, Revere has probably snuck up on you considering he's now batting better than Yasiel Puig (.313), Andrew McCutchen (.311) and Miguel Cabrera (.309). How has he done that? Revere has hit .358 over his last 50 games. Yowzahs. How can a guy play all season and have 13 runs batted in? Disgraceful really.
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HARD HIT BALLS
Mark Simon of ESPN posted a list of the hard hit ball leaders to this point of the 2014 season. He gives the explanation of the date at this link. Some key numbers that the research uncovered.
Troy Tulowitzki leads the way at 24.1 percent. No surprise there. Of course, it matters not cause he simply cannot stay healthy.
It's not until we get to 5th on the list for our first shocker. Stephen Vogt is the name listed there, a relative no-name, but a look at his numbers this season do jump out off the page. Vogt has 199 at-bats and he's hit .322 with eight homers. He's been simply tremendous for the Athletics.
Ryan Zimmerman can't stay healthy, just cannot. Still, when he's been out there he's hit the ball hard – he's 6th according to the hard hit ball data.
Lucas Duda is 12th on the list. He only has a 19.4 percent line drive rate this season, a league average mark, so he must be smoking those homers (he has 22).
Torii Hunter is 21st on the list. He's been productive this season with 15 homers, 64 RBIs and 51 runs scored, but the hard hit balls have only resulted in a .271 batting average.
Billy Butler is 31st on the list. He's finally hot too. Check out the month of August: .358/.386/.522.
Mike Trout and Ryan Braun are in a virtual tie at 32nd and 33rd on the list.
Michael Saunders is 35th on the list. If he could only stay healthy for the Mariners.
Yasiel Puig is all the way down at 45th on the list.
Talk about down on the list. Robinson Cano is at 56th with a 19.1 percent mark, the same as C.J. Cron. Cano has only 11 homer, but everything else he's done has been classic Cano. After all, he's hitting .329 with a .396 OBP and .868 OPS. His career mark is .860.
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