Lucky Hitters - 2020
Last week, we highlighted the unlucky hitters from last year. This week, we'll focus on the guys who hit dribblers and legged out infield singles, or straight up "hit em where they ain't". How can someone get lucky on a hit? Simply put, if the defense was average all around and played straight up, the jam shots, infield singles, and outfield pop ups become outs instead of hits. Just like last time, these batters had at least 150 balls in play last year.
Raimel Tapia (OF) Colorado Rockies
2020 Statistics: .321 BA / .402 SLG / .335 wOBA
2020 xStatistics: .251 xBA / .331 xSLG / .290 xwOBA
Difference: .070 / .071 / .045
For the first three years of his MLB career, Tapia struggled to capture a starting outfield spot. In 2019, Tapia captured a starting spot. In his first season as a starter, Raimel had an average .724 OPS. Most of this was thanks to his top tier speed. Last year, he had a career high batting average (.321) and slugging (.402). Combined with his speed, Tapia was able to run out a lot of grounders that typically would be outs. The negative to this performance is his paltry Statcast numbers. Although he rarely strikes out (86th percentile), Raimel was in the 25th percentile in BB%, 15th in xwOBA, 12th in Hard Hit %, 9th in xSLG, 6th in Barrel %, and 6th in EV. What this means is that Tapia's speed is bailing him out on these dribblers. Don't rely on this .321 BA from last year, although he should be the starter in the outfield for the year.
Did you know that: Raimel Tapia led the league in sprint speed at 28.6 feet/second for all DH's in 2018?