d18Mike wrote:I'm not a big Sabermaterics guy, but in some cases you can't ignore it, especially when the delta between past and current performance is so dramatic. I hope he is a .300 hitter. But odds are he won't even come close. Pulling the info. below from the Baseball HQ (Ron Sandler) site and I have seen very similar seniments expressed elsewhere. His expected BA is .255-.270. No skin off my nose either way, but I'm betting with the math guys.
ANALYSIS: 4/24/2007 - Hit rate fueling Upton's hot start... After batting just .246 in 175 major league at-bats in 2006, B.J. Upton (2B, TB) is hitting much better this time around. After the season's first 3 weeks, he is hitting .340/.400/.560, along with 2 home runs and 2 stolen bases. A look at his BPI's tells us what the difference has been:
Year AB Avg xBA OPS bb% ct% h% Eye PX SX
==== === ==== ==== ==== === === == ==== === ===
2004* 527 .302 .268 .853 12 75 38 0.55 113 125
2005# 536 .275 N/A .773 10 84 31 0.72 96 118
2006* 573 .258 .259 .702 12 79 31 0.63 65 135
2007 50 .340 .255 .960 9 60 54 0.25 185 127
Fifty at-bats is a small sample size, but the BPI's suggest that Upton has opened up his swing this year, as his PX has increased dramatically, but his ct% has dropped to just 60 percent. Despite the low ct%, Upton's ridiculous 54 percent h% has allowed him to hit for a high average so far. However, his xBA of .255 shows where his average is headed if he doesn't make adjustments. Upton has once again displayed above average speed, and can be counted on to be a solid contributor in the stolen base category. Still just 22 years old, Upton certainly appears to have a bright future ahead of him. However, the current PX and batting average will drop considerably as the season goes on.
The thing to remember about this stuff is it doesn't account for speed and power. Power hitters often hitter above there xBA because they more balls out of the park where they can't be caught. If a player has 600 at bats, the difference between a 300 average and a 275 averge is 15 hits (i.e 15 homeruns).
Similarily with speed, if a player can beat out a few infield hits because he's fast he will be able to hit above his xBA. Upton has both decent power and good speed, so he should hit above his xBA. With that said, I'm hoping, but not expecting, for a 280 average.