Hitter Split Performances Analyzed — Part One

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.

Giancarlo Stanton

  • 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.

Martin Prado

  • 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.

Nick Swisher

  • 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.

 

Kevin Jebens

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Fantasy baseball player since 2000; winning leagues ranging from 12-team H2H to 18-team experts 5x5. Has written for various baseball blogs, including the 2013 Bleed Cubbie Blue Annual.

3 thoughts on “Hitter Split Performances Analyzed — Part One”

  1. I get the feeling that at least part of Stanton’s malaise in 2013 had to do with his environment. Line-up protection is one thing, but it would be hard for a hitter of his talent level to be enthusiastic about going to work every day knowing what Loria is capable of. I am not sure Stanton was focused last year, and I can’t say I blame him.

    If he gets traded, I bet his production immediately spikes. Until then, the road might be a little bumpy.

    1. Stanton might have a little fire if Yelich starts the year in the outfield with him. Granted it’s only one small piece, but sometimes that’s all you need.

  2. I like these features, thanks Kevin.
    Some guys I wouldn’t mind seeing if you’re doing more: VMart, C.Davis, P.Alvarez, D.Murphy, J.Lowrie, A.Gordon. I know some had split issues, others less so.
    Thanks a lot.

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