JAYWALKER’S POWER STATION for 5/29/17
The Power Report is back for this Memorial Day cookout slate, where we have nine games going early (not looking at the BAL/NYY game, which is only on all day slates) and then five later on in the evening!
First a recap of the metrics we are looking at here:
Expected Power, which is a Baseball HQ/Baseball Info Solutions metric that looks at hard hit percentages, line drive and fly ball rates, and shows what that batters’ rating is on a 100 is average scale.
Actual Power, which is the metric that displays the production that players have actually produced.
GAP: The difference between the two. Positive gaps mean they have underproduced to their metrics, whereas negative indicates regression could soon be coming. It is to show how “real” their production has been and if they are poised for progression or regression.
The purpose of the exercise is to see who is legit, who has been lucky or relatively so, and who has been unlucky and perhaps due for bounce back. Or maybe it is a hitter that has been in a slump, but is showing signs of above average hard contact/power.
The red cells are simply to highlight that they are more volatile due to their low contact rate (Chris/Khris Davis, for examples).
I like to look at last 30 days’ samples to account for adjustments and latest trends.
These help us identify who might be relatively off the radar and can be exploited for our success in tournaments tonight!
EARLY SLATE GEMS:
Coors Field has not delivered this season, generally speaking. Today will be a good litmus test of whether that is changing, as SEA SP Sam Gaviglio and his high contact approach will venture into Coors today. The only two Rockies who have an above average wRC+ against RHP at home this season (super small sample size – 30 AB) are Mark Reynolds, 1B (109 EP, +6 GAP) and Charlie Blackmon, OF (119 EP, -27 GAP). Nolan Arenado, 3B (156 EP, +17 GAP, 81% Contact) has excellent metrics and should be a prime candidate to reverse his fortunes at home. If you want the all or nothing approach, Trevor Story, SS (198 EP, -19 GAP, 58% Contact, 57% Fly Ball rate) is your huckleberry.
On the other side, against COL SP Tyler Chatwood, Nelson Cruz, OF (178 EP, +43 GAP, 80% Contact) can hit anyone and his high contact rate shows that he is not the whiff machine that his power might stereotype him as. Chatwood also trends towards giving up more HR to RHH at home, while being generally more effective overall against RHH, again putting Cruz in a good spot to dinger here.
Speaking of LHH, where Chatwood gives up fewer HRs, but sees his xFIP and other numbers get worse, Robinson Cano, 2B (173 EP, +26 GAP, 84% Contact) is back from injury and the quartet of Cruz, Cano, Ben Gamel, OF (170 EP, +61 GAP) and Kyle Seager, 3B (151 EP, +77 GAP, 83% Contact) are a tremendous stack, especially if the folks who have been fading Coors successfully continue to stay on board that train.
MIL SP Matt Garza has begun to reinvent himself and it has worked, but is still prone to the long ball, with a 1.53 HR/9 IP rate. So while you probably should not stack Mets against him, some of the many power bats are worth a look, like Jay Bruce, OF (221 EP, +61 GAP), Michael Conforto, OF (221 EP, +5 GAP), Travis d’Arnaud, C (172 EP, -44 GAP) and The Grandy Man, Curtis Granderson, OF (165 EP, +14 GAP, 61% Contact).
The Brewers have leveled off after a hot start, but still have some power bats to content with, as the Diamondbacks found out. Eric Thames, 1B (140 EP, +61 GAP) has way overcorrected, so much so that he has actually been pretty unlucky over the last 30 days.
The Cubs today are in a tough park, but against a not-so tough pitcher in Jarred Cosart. Chicago only has one bat in the top list, and that’s Miguel Montero, C (189 EP, +80 GAP) but Kyle Schwarber, OF (138 EP , +19 GAP) and Anthony Rizzo, 1B (115 EP, +15 GAP, 85% Contact) have both been solid and Ben Zobrist, OF (111 EP, -14 GAP) and Kris Bryant, 3B (111 EP, -89 GAP) both are above average in expected power.
Chris Young, BOS, OF (155 EP, -25 GAP, 44% FB rate) has long been a favorite to target against LHP. Today he gets David Holmberg, CWS, and he wants to pitch to soft contact, which makes the one-off approach tasty here, especially if Young bats fifth against LHP, as he has previously.
LATE SLATE GEMS:
Come on, if you haven’t hopped aboard already, you gotta get on board the J.T. Riddle, SS, MIA (188 EP, +75 GAP) party train. Riddle led off Sunday and promptly homered. He has another solid matchup here against Jeremy Hellickson, so let us hope for another leadoff spot and ride ‘em in!
Jason Hammel has been below average, which is a dangerous thing against Detroit. Hammel’s splits this season favor the RHH heavy Tigers, in that Hammel has faced 52 RHH at home and has given up: 21 H/BB, four HR, 13 ER, struck out only five and has a .439 wOBA. Whew! All the usuals are prime here for Detroit, but Miguel Cabrera, 1B (190 EP, +104 GAP) has to start popping soon. Victor Martinez, C/1B (157 EP, +60 GAP, 88% Contact) has come back strong.
The Tigers are hit and miss, largely because their other power sources have low contact rates, which means stacking them likely means you will hit one and miss on the others. So choose one of these to go with Martinez/Miggy. JD Martinez, OF (225 EP, -38 GAP, 67% contact rate), Justin Upton, OF (165 EP, +40 GAP, 77% contact – not bad, actually), Nick Castellanos, 3B (125 EP, +65 GAP, 70% Contact). And Alex Avila, C/1B (250 EP, +78 GAP, 63% contact rate) is the poster boy for this.
On the other side, for the Royals, Sal Perez, C (206 EP, +67 GAP, 81% Contact) has been underrated this season and gets a fantastic matchup against DET SP Daniel Norris.
Finally, the TBR/TEX game should churn out some hitting, the best of which are Shin-Soo Choo, OF (116 EP, +30 GAP, 76% contact), and a ton of all or nothing power plays like Joey Gallo, 3B (138 EP, -53 GAP, 54% contact), Jared Hoying, OF (133 EP, +38 EP, 68% contact), Logon Morrison, 1B (236 EP, -8 GAP), Daniel Robertson, SS/3B (143 EP, +46 GAP, 70% Contact) and Tim Beckham, SS (127 EP, +53 GAP, 61% contact).
There are a lot of guys who could be one-offs – Here is the full table of top expected power hitters and another table for leaders in GAP, a.k.a. Most Owed Power. Feel free to ask about anybody specifically and enjoy!
There is a lot to find in there, so fire away with any questions – find me in the Premium Slack Chat (@jaywalker72). I hope you find all the power today – good luck! – JW