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Wright's lack of power (good read)

Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 6:04 pm
by Paper Tiger
Just stumbled across this... I think its a fantastic indicator of whether or not Wright's power will reemerge this season.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/sport ... _r=1&fta=y

“We have to hit line drives and balls into the gap because we’re not going to get any cheap home runs here,” Wright said. “I don’t play fantasy baseball, so those who do are probably going to be a little more upset than we are.”

I sounds very obvious to me that the Mets are drastically changing their approach at the plate in no small part due to Metco. A batter's approach makes all the difference on what his outcome will be. If you're up there to be a gap hitter, it significantly decreases the chance that a given player will hit for power. A more cautious approach at the plate will generally yield a better OBP and fewer strikeouts. Wright's K totals are up along with his OBP and his batting average. Here's the scary part for me. Wright's career BABIP is .341 (stellar to be sure). His BABIP for this year is .463. A standard regression to the mean indicates that Wright is seemingly due for a batting average collapse in short order when his slap hitting ways become less effective.

I'm not arguing that Wright isn't an elite player. In fact, at a shallow position, he's probably even more valuable. But if you're holding him in hopes of a power rebound you might be sadly mistaken.

I'm holding him on several teams so I want your opinions. Hold Wright and hope for the best or try to trade him before his elite status slips away?

Re: Wright's lack of power (good read)

Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 6:42 pm
by Grey
Thanks for sharing!

Re: Wright's lack of power (good read)

Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 6:53 pm
by marcheese
That's pretty interesting. Are they all trying to be like Ichiro? I have Wright in a dynasty league, I wonder how that affects him for me...

Re: Wright's lack of power (good read)

Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 7:33 pm
by Paper Tiger
My problem too. I think its more of a problem in a dynasty. If he falls off this year you can always write it off next year. In dynasty you could struggle for several years waiting for a rebound. Since the Mets seem content with the new situation is it unlikely to change anytime soon?

I'd be curious to know what you think Grey. Something to be overly concerned about or just my frustrations coming to light?

Re: Wright's lack of power (good read)

Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 8:50 pm
by cfrancis
I, too, am interested in your take, Grey. If his power does continue its hiatus, does someone like Youk match him (or even pass him) in value?

If this holds, what does this do to 3B rankings? A-Rod, then...

Re: Wright's lack of power (good read)

Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 9:37 pm
by Jerkin
Wright is one of those players that im trying to trade away in all of my leagues. Him, Phillips, C.Lee, Figgins ....
I just think Longoria will/is better, same with Miggy.

By the way, I dont think Wright is due for a BA drop .. 2 of the past 3 years he has batted over .325, and is a career .311 hitter.

Re: Wright's lack of power (good read)

Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 10:10 pm
by Paper Tiger
I'm not inferring that he'll hit .280 but the only hit that has a 0% chance of being caught is a homer. So it makes sense that when power hitters struggle for power their average tends to decrease as a result. Wright is not your prototypical power hitter and his contact rate is still very good but if his BABIP is 120 points higher than his career average, statistically his batting average will decrease when the hits stop finding the holes.

Another concern is this:

K% Career 18.8%, 2009 24.9%

BB% Career 12.8%, 2009 14.8%

These numbers indicate more patience at the plate. However, that patience is translating to more additional strikeouts than walks.

More strikeouts + less homers = lower average

In addition his career average (not including this year) is actually .309 with only one year over .311 so his current .335 will likely come down 20 points or so with all things being equal to previous years (which, of course, they aren't).

God, I should just trade this guy already.

Re: Wright's lack of power (good read)

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:09 am
by marcheese
I actually don't agree with your saying of "when power decreases, so does average". Ichiro for example. Ever watched him in batting practice? The guy bombs the ball consistently. Teammates say he could easily be a 30 HR hitter. However, Ichiro hits the ball to get on base and produce more runs that way. Also, take a look at Ryan Howard this year. April, .288 AVG, 4 HR. May, .250 AVG, 10 HR. To a much lesser extent, more example:
Gonzalez - April, .333 AVG, 9 HR.... May, .250 AVG, 11HR
Ibanez - April, .359 AVG, 7HR... May, .312 AVG, 10HR
Dunn - April, .310 AVG, 6HR... May, .243 AVG, 10HR
Bay - April, .324 AVG, 5 HR... May, .264 AVG, 10HR
Bruce - April, .258 AVG, 5HR... May, .212 AVG, 9HR
You get the idea... So Wright batting .320 to .330 seems like a safe bet for me, if he's hitting for the gap.

Re: Wright's lack of power (good read)

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:12 am
by nmdunkel
Wright's career BABIP is .341 (stellar to be sure). His BABIP for this year is .463. A standard regression to the mean indicates that Wright is seemingly due for a batting average collapse in short order when his slap hitting ways become less effective.
I don't think he'll regress. His BABIP is up for the same reason you've found his HR's are down.....he's gaping it, less flyouts (I believe his groundball rate is the same, but check me on that). If we see his BABIP come down, I bet you see the homers go up.

Really appreciate the article, man. I traded Adam Dunn and Heath Bell for Wright after Week 4. I've no regrets. The guy's a stud. I'd encourage everyone to steal him if at all possible.

Re: Wright's lack of power (good read)

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:47 am
by Paper Tiger
Thanks for the work guys. I guess I just wasn't ready for this from Wright. The next question to me is: If Wright keeps this up all year (increased SB's, increased average, big drop in power) is he effectively Ichiro at third? Obviously that would make him a more valuable Ichiro given the position eligibility but in mixed leagues Ichiro is a third rounder at best. Where does this leave Wrights value in regard to the type of players I could trade for him right now (Can I even get Longoria or Cabrera now)?

Should I be trading Wright for Cabrera or Longoria or a comparible guy with power before poeple realize he's Ichiro?

BTW his ground ball rate is effectively the same as his career this season.