First off let me apologize for the two week break in the MLB power rankings. I've been digging in with the NBA offseason and MLB went to the backburner. Free agency has slowed down and I'm all back caught up on MLB so we're ready to get going again.
- New York Yankees 58-39: It finally happened, I moved the Texas Rangers from the number one spot, even though I predicted they would stay here the entire season. The Yanks lost Alex Rodriguez to an injury Tuesday night when he suffered a non-displaced fracture in his right hand. A Yankees beat writer (forget who, I apologize) tweeted out that same injury kept Eric Chavez out for five weeks.
- Texas Rangers 57-39: If Josh Hamilton doesn't snap out of his slump they could be moving down even farther.
Don't normally dig this deep here, but I wanted to examine some numbers (thank you Fangraphs)
March/April/May- .368 AVG, 21 home runs and 1.1845 OPS
June/July- .204 AVG, 7 home runs and .6705 OPS
Question is why?
As you would expect in April/May when Hamilton was insanely good his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) was an extremely high .403. In his insanely bad month of July Hamilton's BABIP has been .172.
|2012||Mar/Apr||7.3 %||17.7 %||0.41||.395||.438||.744||1.182||.349||.403||24.4||13.5||.490||211|
|2012||May||10.8 %||19.8 %||0.55||.344||.405||.781||1.187||.438||.323||27.1||14.5||.477||202|
|2012||Jun||11.2 %||32.7 %||0.34||.223||.318||.436||.754||.213||.309||12.3||0.1||.316||92|
|2012||Jul||7.1 %||25.7 %||0.28||.161||.229||.323||.551||.161||.163||3.0||-5.0||.227||31|
Take a look at the second column in. Hamilton's strikeout percentage has gotten to a ridiculously high rate in June and July. For his career his K% is 19%.
|2012||Mar/Apr||1.20||22.5 %||42.3 %||35.2 %||0.0 %||36.0 %||10.0 %||0.0 %||337||122||215|
|2012||May||1.03||18.2 %||41.6 %||40.3 %||3.2 %||38.7 %||9.4 %||0.0 %||364||134||230|
|2012||Jun||1.05||23.7 %||39.0 %||37.3 %||0.0 %||18.2 %||4.3 %||0.0 %||412||148||264|
|2012||Jul||0.61||19.6 %||30.4 %||50.0 %||13.0 %||13.0 %||7.1 %||0.0 %||244||83||161|
The fourth, fifth and sixth rows are what we are concentrating on here. Fly ball percentage in July is at its highest (Row 4). The problem is his infield fly ball percentage is also at its highest (Row 5) and his HR/FB ratio is at its lowest (Row 6). Bad, bad combination.
That's as far as I can go with this. His plate discipline numbers which show what he's swinging at aren't given in monthly splits it's only broken down by year. Looking at these we would be able to see if he is swinging and missing at more pitches in the strike zone, out of the strike zone or not being as aggressive by taking more pitches. Quite possibly could be a combination of all three.
Sorry about the detour. I'm going to keep the rest of the rankings short and sweet.
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 53-45
- Detroit Tigers 52-45
- Washington Nationals 57-39
- Cincinnati Reds 57-40
- San Francisco Giants 55-52
- Oakland A's 52-45
- Pittsburgh Pirates 54-42
- Atlanta Braves 53-44