Saturday, June 2, 2012

A.J. Ellis and the New Power

Just some interesting information I stumbled upon while fooling around on Fanrgaphs one day:

Mar/Apr TSL: .291/.443/.400 Which is good for a wRC+ of 131
May TSL: .333/.419/.556 Which is good for a wRC+ of 168

Now here is the interesting part. Ellis' BABIP is still pretty high, but we really don't know yet what it should regress down to. That said, his BABIP was better in April, yet his stats are better in May. He has dropped in OBP, but he has jumped big time in slg%. So what gives?

Pitchers wised up quickly to the fact that Ellis is a patient hitter. In April Ellis was getting 2.5 strikes per plate appearance and 2.2 balls. In May, Ellis is getting 2.9 strikes per plate appearance and just 1.8 balls. Pitchers know now that they cannot afford to throw any balls out of the strike zone to him. But unfortunately for pitchers, it just is not that easy to shut him down. Because he's getting more balls in the strike zone, his LD% has gone up. This signals better contact, which could explain the completely unexpected power production (4 homeruns in the month is much more than anyone ever expected from him).

Over the past 14 days, we have seen much more of a human A.J. Ellis, as his strikeout rate has gone up to 27% of all plate appearances, whereas over this year it is at 19%. His BB% is also down to just 8% of all plate appearances, whereas over the year it is at 16%. How does he deal with a slump? We will wait and see.

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