Just an interesting couple of statistics on Lee...one points to a high level of skill, the other to a high level of luck and the combination of the two pointing to what we're seeing D. Lee do out there.
Line Drive Percentage. Baseball Info Solutions tracks the trajectory of each batted ball and categorizes it as a groundball, fly ball or line drive. LD% is the percent of batted balls that are line drives. Line drives are not necessarily the hardest hit balls, but they do fall for a hit around 75% of the time.
At 26.4% this season, Lee is 3rd in the league in this statistic. Hitting a line drive is nothing to do with luck or a fluke. It indicates that the person is seeing and hitting the ball very well. He trails only Brian Roberts and David Wright in this statistic.
Batting Average on Balls in Play. This is a measure of the number of batted balls that safely fall in for a hit (not including home runs). The exact formula we use is (H-HR)/(AB-K-HR) This is similar to DER, but from the batter's perspective.
This is the luck part. While having a very high line drive % would obviously help this number to be higher than the average (thought to be around .300) Lee's number of .430 at this point is flat out ridiculous. He hasn't gotten significantly faster to beat out more IF hits so unless he's gotten SO good at hitting that he's able to choose to hit his fly balls and ground balls in such a way that they can't be played for an out then there's been quite a bit of luck involved here as well.
I think Lee is for real though. Look at his career statistics that aren't team/batting order dependant and compare them to Scott Rolen. Career-wise I think I'd have to give the nod to Lee. And he's spent most of his career in a terrible hitters park. This guy's the real deal...he sprays line drives all over the park, runs well, has some serious power (0.25 HR/Fly ball versus an average of 0.11-0.12) and plays half of his games now in a park that lets those fly balls get out of the yard. He may not be *this* good, but he's hitting one quarter of his fly balls out of the yard (meaning that if EVERY other fly ball he hit was caught (which it's obviously not) he'd STILL be hitting .250 on fly balls, over 1/4 of hit contact is line drives (which we've seen falls on AVERAGE for a hit 75% of the time)...the only knock I can see on him is that he K's 19% of the time. But for a guy making the kind of contact he's making that's liveable.[/quote]