Earlier in the offseason I analyzed some starting pitchers and their split seasons. Now it’s time to look into the hitters. Here are a few players whose second half bodes well for 2014.
- Injuries limited his AB total, but second half bodes well anyway.
- Big negative is his drop in contact rate in second half. But let’s be honest: it’s always been bad, and his second half level wasn’t out of line with his career. Would’ve been nice to hold onto those first-half gains, but we can live without them.
- The swing in GB% from first half (49%) to second (40%) is good. Only a bit of that went into FB%, but the rest went into LD% and that’s still a positive. It can indicate that Stanton is squaring up on the ball better, after the injury.
- His HR/FB was on the rise, from 21% to 23%. The second half is closer to 2011-12, indicating that he’s getting back to full health.
- The walk rate was up, but that’s more due to Miami having no protection for him in the lineup.
- For 2014: If he’s healthy, there’s no reason you can’t pencil in 35+ HR. He has the ability to be a top-5 HR producer.
- A terrible BABIP repressed his average for the first half, but it got back to near his career level in the second half, and voila — the strong BA returned.
- He slightly improved his BB% and even cut down his K% in the second half. His plate discipline is near elite. What’s more, he also sports a phenomenal contact rate, which improved as well.
- A few more fly balls, plus a small uptick in his HR/FB, resulted in better power in the second half. He won’t break out for 20 HR, but there’s a good chance for 15+ in 2014.
- For 2014: Write off the slow start in 2013, and expect the standard Prado production: good BA, decent HR, maybe a few SB.
- His BABIP got back to MLB average in second half, which made his average respectable.
- Power improved due to increased HR/FB and a bit more FB%, which was more in line with his career. His shoulder woes were likely the cause of that worse HR/FB in the first half.
- His contact rate, walk rate, and strikeout rate are as steady as can be, so though there’s no hope for any late-career breakout, there’s also no worry of a full-season collapse like his first half.
- For 2014: It seems Swish is a safe bet once again, with a better BA than 2013 and a HR total in the mid to high 20s.
The next part will highlight some players whose second-half struggles point to a decline in 2014. Also, we’ll be taking reader requests for hitters to be analyzed in the third part, regardless of season splits.