Originally written on Oregon Sports News  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Newyork-yankees-seattle
Justin Smoak has been hitting much better in 2013.  His weighed on-base average (wOBA), which is used to measure total offensive performance, has jumped over the league average mark for the first time in his entire career.  In fact, his wOBA of .341 is higher than the first baseman league average wOBA across the league.  What has caused Smoak’s offense to suddenly become tolerable where it was atrocious before?  The first thing I look for when a good hitter becomes bad, or a bad hitter becomes good, is a spike one way or the other in batting average on balls in play (BABIP).  Sure enough, Smoak has seen a drastic spike in his BABIP.  Here is a graph of his BABIP, average (AVG), on-base percentage (OBP), and slugging (SLG) over his career: Smoak carried a career .256 BABIP into 2013 which is almost incomprehensibly bad.  Smoak’s BABIP was ~.040 points worse than league average from 2010-2012.  There were two guys who hit for a worse BABIP than Smoak over that period: Mark ...
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