Who's Hot/Who's Not Week 7
Stats are from September 4th to September 11th @ 7pm EST
Mike Trout (OF Los Angeles Angels)
.476 BA BAbip .500
Statcast: Exit Velo 98th percentile, Hard Hit% 98th, xwOBA 98th, xSLG 98th, Barrel% 95th, Sprint Speed 94th
Analysis: Even for Mike Trout, this is a scorching hot run. As I referenced when Trout was "cold", his swing and miss was elevated as well as his strikeouts. Trout walked seven times this past week while only striking out four times in 28 plate appearances. He also hit his two hardest batted balls at 112.9MPH and 111.8MPH. This past weeks run boosted his 2020 slash line back to .296/.392/.664/1.057 with 16 HR's.
Taylor Ward (1B/OF Los Angeles Angels)
.533 BA .667 BAbip
8H in 15 AB
Statcast: Not enough data
Analysis: September 4th was Ward's first start since 8/15, and he made it worth it by splashing every ball he could in play. After sifting through his basic and advanced metrics, this is peak Taylor Ward performance for his career. He's a singles hitter that relies on his speed to get on base. Ward's offense was much needed for an Angels team that has under-performed on the year.
Freddie Freeman (1B Atlanta Braves)
2 Grand Slams, 20 RBI's
Statcast: xwOBA 98th percentile, xSLG 96th, xBA 96th, K% 90th, Hard Hit% 89th, Exit Velo 89th
Analysis: After his bout with COVID-19, people around the Braves organization assumed Freeman wouldn't get his power back in time for the season. This past week was a milestone for Freddie, hitting his first career grand slam, then followed it up with his second the following day. The entire Braves team is on a tear recently, which certainly helps the pitches that Freddie sees.
Trevor Bauer (P Cincinnati Reds)
Statcast: Fastball Spin 100th percentile, xERA 98th, xwOBA 97th, xSLG 92nd
Analysis: Bauer blanked the Cubs in 7.2 IP with 10K's and 3H, lowering his ERA to 1.74 this year. While Bauer doesn't feature a particularly "fast" fastball (94MPH on average), his deception and spin lead him to getting more strikeouts than someone with the same velo. If it wasn't for Yu Darvish, I'd say Bauer would be the Cy Young this year.
Anthony Rizzo (1B Chicago Cubs)
3 H in 26 AB
Statcast: Exit Velo 31st, Hard Hit% 35th, xSLG 48th, Barrel% 55th, xBA 57th
Analysis: This hasn't been a great year for Tony. He's been quietly regressing the past two years, showing signs in all facets of Statcast data. His slash line for the year is .213/.337/.413. While the statistics from this year will be wonky, Cubs fans better hope this trend doesn't continue into next year.
JD Martinez (OF/DH Boston Red Sox)
.087 BA .077 BAbip
2H in 26 PA
Statcast: xBA 28th percentile, Whiff% 35th, K% 45th, xwOBA 49th, Exit Velo 50th
Analysis: While JD is experiencing the best K% and Whiff%, it has come at the cost of everything else. He usually hovers around the 90th-95th percentile on all of the batting metrics, but as you can see that is not the case this year. Martinez has also been battling injuries, so this surely plays a part in his overall season.
Gary Sanchez (C/DH New York Yankees)
1H in 16PA
Statcast: xwOBA 7th percentile, Whiff% 9th, xSLG 24th, Hard HIt% 90th, Exit Velo 91st, Barrel 98th
Analysis: When you see an uneven balance of xwOBA and Hard Hit% like we have here, it's easy to see what the problem is. Gary is swinging at pitches outside of the zone too frequently. Strikeouts are always a part of any power hitters arsenal, but with Gary's low sprint speed (4th percentile) and swinging at bad pitches, he'll never get on base making this power useless. I would keep an eye on him here for Fanduel/Draftkings lineups. Franmil Reyes had a similar track here earlier this year and look at the run he went on.
With the abbreviated season winding down, we're close to MVP/Cy Young/Silver Slugger award previews which may take the place of who's hot/not. Be on the lookout for that and feel free to comment on who you think should be considered!