Anyway, in this article I thought it might be thought provoking to show some tables with general information and then ones detailing the careers of Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Chris Davis, and Matt Wieters. First, I want to show the general outlook on this season and show the 248 players currently with enough of a sample size (>15 hits; not sure why that number is used). The orange bars indicate Oriole players (in order: Davis, Nolan Reimold, Jones, Flaherty, Machado, J.J. Hardy,Wieters, Nate McLouth, and Markakis).
And here is a table with the data summarized since 2007:
|2007||281.85||320.60||Ryan Howard||248.14||Reggie Willits|
|2008||286.86||317.15||Chris Ianetta||249.38||David Eckstein|
|2009||288.09||316.98||Brad Hawpe||265.51||Craig Counsell|
|2010||288.67||323.02||Jim Thome||266.04||Orlando Cabrera|
|2011||279.94||321.57||Giancarlo Stanton||257.99||Brendan Ryan|
|2012||280.51||313.26||Matt Kemp||239.09||Jamey Carroll|
|2013||280.95||319.77||Hunter Pence||236.72||Juan Pierre|
As we look above, the minimum average guys make sense with players who are well known for scraping the fence whenever a ball goes yard. The maximum average also largely makes sense though I would not immediately think of Ianetta and Hawpe in that grouping. However, I have seen several moonshots by Hawpe…that just didn’t seem to happen all that often and that might be why I don’t immediate associate him as a long distance hitter.
So what about Nick Markakis?
To make it a little easier to understand, I included too statistics in here: (1) Distance+ and (2) Percentile. Distance+ is simply the player’s distance divided by league average and then multiplied by 100. So, 100 would be average with anything above being greater than average. The Percentile should be interpreted as being anything higher means a higher placement among the hitters. For instance, a player in the 84th percentile would be hitting them deeper on average than a player in the 33rd percentile.
Now, back to Nick. You can see with his numbers that there is a decent amount of correlation between the distance of his batted fly balls and home runs with his best offensive seasons. It also seems to correlate with his power coming back during last year’s injury plagued season. Beyond that, I am not sure it informs us much more than what we currently already know: Nick is not hitting the ball deep this year.
What we see here is a similarity coming from his 2010 season and this year in terms of power. In other words, more singles and fewer home runs. It is a slight concern that is also expressed in his high BABIP (.374). Those give pause and should make us wonder whether his numbers are outpacing his performance.
Again, not particularly notable other than…yeah…Davis crushes the ball. I’m not sure what to say beyond that. These numbers simply seem descriptive. They are good for looking at what has happened, but metrics like isolated power or slugging percentage combined with other numbers like hit type percentage or batting average of balls in play probably do it better.
Wieters appears to be pretty consistent. He gets about the same distance out of the ball every year. This falls in line with his ISO from 2011-2013 (.188, .186, .185, respectively). I know a lot of people like to get down on Wieters for not being what they wished he would be, but he is a fine defensive catcher who currently is hitting right on par with what you can expect from a catcher with his .306 wOBA. If his BABIP rises from .248 to his career norm of .290, then you see an average catcher becoming an All Star level catcher. In terms of competing this year…it has not gone well, but it certainly has kept down his long term value if the two sides can agree on a long term contract.
I don’t think there is much of a conclusion to have. These numbers tend to fall in line with the general stories associated with other numbers. Just a wobbly hammer to add to the tool box, perhaps.