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Thread: What's up with Hardy?
05-01-2012 02:36 PM #1
What's up with Hardy?
As someone who proudly drafted Hardy in my fantasy draft this year, and as someone who became a big fan of our new SS after an impressive 2011 campaign, I can't help but be concerned as we sit here on May 1st and notice that our SS has an OPS of .569 (surprisingly good for 8th in the AL among shortstops, i would've thought that would be lower) after being over .800 last year.
So what's going on here? Is he losing power? Whiffing too much? not getting on base? Well the answer to the last one is clearly yes (.247 OBP) but let's try to dig beneath all of these numbers to see what's really going on.
First of all, is he striking out more than usual?
Answer - No. He has struck out in 13.4% of his PAs this year which is actually below his career average of about 15. And is also lower than the MLB average of 17.6%.
So I guess that's good, the guy is putting the ball in play just as much (or even slightly more often) as he was last year. Interestingly enough his BB% is 7.2% in 2012 which, while it is lower than the MLB average, is right around his career average and is actually better than what it was in 2011.
So now we need to see what's happening on those balls in play.
Ground balls vs. fly balls
His gb/fb ratio is almost identical to what it was last year. So he is hitting fly balls at about the same rate as in 2011.
What is happening with those fly balls?
Here's where start to see some explanations.
His Line Drive % is 13% (slightly down from his career 16%) so that means that he is popping up balls at a slightly higher rate so far in 2012. Also we can note that his HR% and HR/Fly ball numbers have dropped from 2011. So that all means that, at least here in the early going, those fly balls are not leaving the yard at the rate that they were in 2011.
What does everything mean?
Perhaps the best way to sum everything up is that Hardy has an incredibly low .178 batting average on balls in play this year. That's almost microscopic, and I can't imagine that it will continue that way.
The good news is that Hardy is still putting the ball in play as much as ever, and it remains to be seen if the Line Drive % will creep back up a bit as the sample size increases. Hardy has a career BABIP of .277 and has never had a season BABIP of lower than .257.
I think when you look at all of this information together, you can reasonably expect to see a pretty big uptick in Hardy's numbers in the not so distant future.
05-01-2012 02:42 PM #2
Nice analysis - thanks!
Hardy went the other way for a base hit off Mo last night. First time I've seen him go the other way successfully in a long time, so hopefully that's a good sign. To me it looks like he's trying to hit home runs, but that's kind of just his swing style. And it should be noted that the O's told him to go ahead and do that last year and he had a lot of success. Minnesota had been trying to make him hit line drives, etc.
05-01-2012 02:44 PM #3Plus Members Since 9/11 All-Star
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One would think the babip will settle out. Like others, I'd guess part of it is he is forced to swing at more out of zone pitches. Good post.
05-01-2012 03:15 PM #4
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05-09-2012 01:45 PM #7