Quick Hits – 01/16/2017: Jason Heyward’s Offensive Struggles as Viewed Through Expected Metrics
Jason Heyward’s .266 BABIP last season was the lowest of his career and was far below his .301 expected BABIP. Was he unlucky? Perhaps he actually was. Not only was his xBABIP substantially different from his actual BABIP, but even his actual batting average of .230 differed greatly from his .260 expected batting average.
But using expected BABIP or AVG don’t tell the whole story. In addition to being unlucky, Heyward’s expected weighted on base average (xOBA) was a subpar .312 (1.7% below average). He simply didn’t lift the ball in the air enough, which could be because his backside was nailed down. At least, that’s what Sean Casey thinks (good stuff on the new swing here):
.@TheMayorsOffice headed to #Studio42 to talk about the changes Jason Heyward is making to his swing on #MLBTonight. pic.twitter.com/9yWqYiS5FO
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 13, 2017
*All these expected stats are created by Andrew Perpetua of FanGraphs. He uses StatCast and MLB Gameday data to convert spray angle and exit velocity into run values. It’s beautiful and you should check it out.