Originally written February 12, 2013 on Baseball Professor:
Mlb-indians-blue-jays
If I told you that a particular player had a career 15.4% walk rate, 18.0% strikeout rate, and 17.7% line drive rate, you’d think he was a .280 hitter. Nope. That player is Carlos Santana and in 1,459 career plate appearances he’s just a .247 hitter.Honestly, I can’t figure out why. His 17.7% line drive rate is a few points lower than the league average (typically 20-21%), but his walk rate is phenomenal and his strikeout rate isn’t too shabby either. Last year Santana was downright filthy with a 14.9% walk rate, 16.6% strikeout rate, and 19.1% line drive rare and he still batted just .252.Our xBA formula takes into account more than just those three factors, though, and Santana’s xBA took a major hit thanks to a higher-than-average 11.5% infield fly rate and some sub-par foot speed. I still believe that one of these years we’ll see Santana put it all together and post a BABIP north of last year’s .278 mark, and I’m willing to gamble that we see that as soon as 2013.At a GlanceStren...
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