Predicting Power: Part 2
Last time I looked at the Statcast barrels statistic. That’s fun and all, but this time I want to look at some stats that encompass a little more of player performance. Once again I’m going to look at first and second half splits, but this time I only looked at players with a minimum of 50 plate appearances in each half.
First, let’s check out OPS:
|Player||First Half OPS||Second Half OPS||Difference|
Keon Broxton was also on the barrels list last time. He really had quite the change of pace in the second half, with something seeming to have “clicked.” Broxton finally transferred his minor league production into the big leagues in the second half, and if he can avoid further off-the-field issues, there’s a chance of a breakout 2017.
Adam Rosales is an example of someone who really turned it up, but escaped the barrels statistic. Despite a big June, Rosales had an even bigger September with a 1.162 OPS, which is why he’s on this list. Rosales might not get quite enough at-bats to be a huge fantasy stud (he had just 214 in 2016 while participating in 105 games), but he’s a useful utility for the Padres. Perhaps if he can continue to make the most of his opportunities, he could become more permanent. The substantial improvements in OPS sure seem to say he should be given the chance.
Ryan Howard seemed to decide he needed to give the Phillies one last show. Good for him, but he’s not a factor in fantasy leagues.
Jose Peraza had a big August with a 1.098 OPS. Peraza is an interesting up-and-comer that sure likes to steal bases. It’s interesting that he appears to have started hitting for a bit more power, but hitting home runs is definitely not his game, so don’t expect dingers going forward.
Joey Votto was mentioned last time as well. He just seemed to wake up for the second half…again.
Here is SLG:
|Player||First Half SLG||Second Half SLG||Difference|
It’s the same five names at the top here. Interesting.
Here is wOBA:
|Player||First Half wOBA||Second Half wOBA||Difference|
Chris Coghlan finds his name on the other lists too. He’s not a huge home run source, so maybe it’s just his .410 OBP in the second half thrusting him up further on this list. While power isn’t his calling card, the outfielder could find himself a bit underrated next year.
Finally, here is ISO:
|Player||First Half ISO||Second Half ISO||Difference|
Oh there you are Justin Upton! Upton had a very rough start to the year and then seemed to remember who he was in the second half. Way to totally redeem yourself, Justin. Alas, that’s simply who he is–a streaky hitter who will make you crazy, but eventually end up with a solid overall statline.
Hanley Ramirez was also mentioned last time. Hanley took a negligible hit to his batting average and OBP in the second half, while turning up the power and hitting 22 of his 30 home runs on the year. He just kept getting better as the year went on, and, with health, should continue next season.
Just some more documentation for Brian Dozier’s explosion of a year. Move along.
Tim Beckham didn’t have a ton of at-bats, but he had a 1.084 OPS in July. So there’s that. Same goes for Jeff Mathis. He had a .957 OPS in July from the catcher position.
Yadier Molina showed up big time in the second half. The question is does he have anything left in the tank? Based off this year, the answer is “well yeah, I suppose he does.”
Nori Aoki had a fantastic final month with a .420 OBP and 1.029 OPS.
Evan Gattis is yet another guy that showed up last time. He’s simply a bunch of power from the catcher position that you can’t ignore. It will be interesting to see how much Gattis plays catcher with Brian McCan joining the team in Houston.
A.J. Pierzynski had a pretty terrible first half and then joined in on the Braves second-half party a little bit.
It really is a shame Trevor Story went down this year. After his historic April and minor fall back to earth, he was starting to heat up again. In his 61 plate appearances after the break, Story had a 1.115 OPS – even better than his 1.109 OPS in April over 102 plate appearances.
Chris Gimenez is a madman. He has a fairly small sample size, but check this out. He had a .394 OPS in June, .387 in July, and .343 in September and October. Wait? Did I skip August? Yes. Somehow Gimenez managed an OPS of 1.160 in August. That’s a weird one for sure, but don’t bother with him unless your fantasy team rosters a couple thousand players.
Neil Walker was having a career year before going down for back surgery. After a .962 OPS in April, Walker slowed down a little bit. Then all of a sudden August rolled around and he went for a 1.117 OPS. Fifteen of his 23 home runs on the year were in April and August. Only 8 bombs in the three months between.
Scott Schebler had a solid .818 OPS, .357 OBP, and eight home runs over 213 plate appearances in the second half. If he can get enough at-bats, this is the kind of sleeper-pick find that could turn out after all.
Adrian Beltre simply had a stellar second half. He also was found on the end of the list in Part 1. He’s good at baseball.
Mikie Mahtook had an interesting 2015 with a .970 OPS in 115 plate appearances. Unfortunately Mahtook seems to be only here as a statistical oddity for now as he finished 2016 with a paltry .523 OPS over 196 plate appearances.
Jedd Gyorko was all the way up at second on the list for barrels. Finding him on a list here merely helps confirm that he might not be a fluke. Hitting 23 home runs in the second half is nothing to ignore.
Jean Segura is on everyone’s radar. He was also on the barrels list. Don’t forget about him up in Seattle. It’s not Chase Field, but it’s not a bad lineup either.
Khris Davis had what could be considered a breakout year. Like Gyorko, the greatest Khris Davis in baseball also hit 23 home runs in the second half to the tune of a .914 OPS. He would be near the top of more of these lists if he didn’t have an alright first half as well.
Byron Buxton struggled quite a bit this year. It was discouraging for such a high rated prospect, but perhaps we saw what is to come in September. In the last month of the season Buxton hit nine home runs with a 1.011 OPS. That’s not a bad month for a 22-year-old that has plenty more time to learn and improve.
Jorge Soler is a guy that we know has power, but can he do it on a regular basis? Can he be consistent even if his playing time isn’t? With Soler mentioned in plenty of trade rumors, he will be an interesting guy to track.
Tony Wolters, Alex Avila, Logan Morrison, Russell Martin, Kolten Wong, and Avisail Garcia are all cool for hanging out on these lists, but none of them scream of a power breakout to me.