Since I haven’t finished the second post on projecting players yet, but don’t want to have another day with no substantive posts, here’s a stub.
M’s offense, by month:
April: .266/.310/.413, 736 PA, .147 ISO, 5.3% BB, 14.5% K, .283 BABIP, 97 sOPS+
May: .291/.345/.433, 1162 PA, .142 ISO, 6.9% BB, 12.4% K, .309 BABIP, 108 sOPS+
June: .290/.348/.416, 1053 PA, .126 ISO, 7.1% BB, 16.2% K, .323 BABIP, 102 sOPS+
July: .262/.320/.374, 1045 PA, .112 ISO, 7.4% BB, 16.2% K, .294 BABIP, 84 sOPS+
August: .333/.374/.527, 748 PA, .194 ISO, 5.2% BB, 14.6% K, .354 BABIP, 131 sOPS+
For those not familiar with the terms, ISO is Isolated Slugging, or SLG-BA, which basically tells you the power that a player (or team, in this case) is hitting for. For instance, looking at SLG, you’d think the team hit for more power in May than in April, but that’s actually not true – the SLG was just inflated by an increase in singles. BB% and K% should be self explanatory, and help show just how aggressive this team is. BABIP is batting average on balls in play, essentially removing home runs and strikeouts from the equation, and show how often a ball that stays in the field turns into a hit. And sOPS+ is the team’s park adjusted OPS compared to the league for each month. So, in April, the team hit 3% worse than average, then improved to 8% above average in May, 2% above average in June, fell apart to the tune of 16% below average in July, but has owned August, hitting 31% better than the rest of the league.
As you can see, the increase in offense has been driven by two forces – an increase in power (I’m looking at you, Raul) and a huge increase in BABIP (Yep, that’s Vidro). With those two reaching unprecedented levels of production and the rest of the offense not taking a nosedive, the M’s have turned into a veritable run scoring machine.
We’ve talked about the sustainability factor of those performances, but here’s the thing – this hyper aggressive approach comes with significant variance, but that variance comes with a built in upside – over any period of weeks, the M’s can absolutely blister the ball. This is basically the blueprint the White Sox used to score their way to a World Series title – swing the bat a lot, get a lot of hits, have parade.
If the M’s make it to October, their offense is good enough to win the whole thing. On Groz’s show a few months ago, I commented that the big chore would be for this team to just make the playoffs, because if they got in, they’re built very well for October play. And I think that still holds very true.