Unlucky Hitters - 2020


The beauty of expected statistics for nerds like me show how a player should have performed, if not for stellar defensive plays. Between the three hitters on this list, we have one Triple Crown, three MVP's, 14 All Star appearances, nine Silver Sluggers, four batting titles, and one Rookie of the Year. These guys aren't your replacement level players. Using this information, you may be able to snag these guys in your fantasy drafts that are coming up... Thanks to Stathead, I was able to grab some fun facts about the players as well. These were the most unlucky hitters last year:


**Note: Minimum of 150 balls in play**

Cody Bellinger (1B/OF) Los Angeles Dodgers


2020 Statistics: .239 BA / .455 SLG / .320 wOBA

2020 xStatistics: .280 xBA / .487 xSLG / .372 xwOBA

Difference: -.041 / -.032 / -.052


It's not very often a screaming line drive with and exit velocity of 109.9mph gets sniped out of the sky, but that was the sort of season the 2019 MVP Cody Bellinger had. In almost every standard and advanced statistic, Bellinger had a down year. By OPS standards, he was .122 below his average (.789 compared to .911), and was only on pace for 36 homers, compared to 47 the year before. Perhaps the only shining light was that Bellinger would've finished with roughly 18 stolen bases, which would have been a career high (if we averaged out a full season). He was also tops in the league defensively in Outs Above Average for an outfielder. The Dodgers haven't lost any steam, and possibly got better with the acquisitions of more pitching talent. Look for Belly to bounce back to his MVP form this year.


Did you know that: Cody Bellinger's 1.397 OPS in April of 2019 was the best opening month OPS by any player (minimum 125 PA) in the last 100+ years

Miguel Cabrera (DH) Detroit Tigers


2020 Statistics: .250 BA / .417 SLG / .318 wOBA

2020 xStatistics: .285 xBA / .514 xSLG / .375 xwOBA

Difference: -.035 / -.097 / -.057


Although Miggy hasn't been in the conversation of MVP since 2016, he still is crushing the ball. In fact, last year Cabrera ranked 6th in Average Exit Velocity. This isn't shocking as Cabrera had the best line drive percentage of his career on balls in play (35.5% compared to 24.5%). However, Miggy "struggled" last year. His batting average was .02 off the worst for his career (.249 in 2017), and tied the mark for worst slugging percentage (also .417 in 2017). I say "struggled" because his expected statistics showed he performed better than the traditional numbers. Although a .285 BA still isn't peak Miggy, he was still on pace for 30 homers and 150 RBIs. Going into his 19th season, I do expect a better year, given the aggressive improvement in line drive hits.


Did you know that: Miguel Cabrera is aiming to become the 7th player in MLB history with at least 500 Home Runs and 3000 Hits

Carlos Santana (1B) Cleveland Indians


2020 Statistics: .199 BA / .350 SLG / .310 wOBA

2020 xStatistics: .250 xBA / .444 SLG / .368 xwOBA

Difference: -.051 / -.094 / -.058


Carlos Santana led the league in walks last year with 47 in 60 games. What's fun about that is Carlos Santana had more walks than hits last year (41 hits). He's always had a higher than average walk rate amongst his peers, leading the league in 2014 with 113 base on balls. In 2020, he didn't have the greatest advanced statistics, being in the bottom third of EV and bottom half of Hard Hit % and Barrel %. This seems to be a trend in his career, bouncing in between the bottom and top half every year. If this trend is to continue, you should see Santana be the focal point of the KC offense.


Did you know that: Santana did not write the hit song Smooth featuring Rob Thomas


**Glossary**


BA: Batting Average

SLG: Slugging Percentage

wOBA: Weighted on base average

xBA: Expected BA

xSLG: Expected SLG

xwOBA: Expected wOBA

OPS: On Base Plus SLG

EV: Exit Velocity


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