June 12, 2014

Reynolds leading the charge of a resurgent offense

Dansby Swanson3028.47.391.7682
Bryan Reynolds2877.94.394.4983
Vince Conde2727.53.3391.0384
Zander Wiel2576.6.319.5879
Jason Delay1286.53.364.5674
Chris Harvey725.77.422.2271
Rhett Wiseman2445.46.328.5182
John Norwood2255.22.363.476
Xavier Turner2774.9.313.4587
Karl Ellison773.85.298.8380
Ro Coleman1383.36.237.9485

Explanation of terms

EST PA: Estimated plate appearances; the formula is at-bats + sacrifice flies + sacrifice hits + walks + hit-by-pitches. Times reached on defensive interference also officially count as plate appearances, but Vanderbilt does not make that statistic available.

RC/27: An estimate of how many runs a player creates per 27 outs that he makes. This particular RC/27 estimate was created by Bill James, and includes virtually every measurable offensive statistic available from home runs, to sacrifice hits, to stolen bases.

An average player will create about 5.5 runs per game.

BABIP Batting average on balls in play. This calculates how often a ball put into the field of play falls for a hit; the formula is (hits - home runs) / (at-bats - home runs - strikeouts + sacrifice flies) As a team, VU had a BABIP of .353 in 2011, and .322 in 2012. Hitters who are very fast or have good power usually exceed these marks.

BABIPs tend to normalize over time. A batter with a BABIP under .300 is probably a victim of bad luck (inordinately hitting the ball right at defenders) while a hitter with a BABIP over .380, unless he's hitting a lot of line drives, is probably getting more than his share of good fortune.

BB/K Walks / strikeouts. This is a good measure of plate discipline.

Hitters with a BABIP over 1.0 show excellent plate discipline, while anything under 0.50 is generally poor.

CT%: A stat pioneered by Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster at the MLB level, it measures how often a player avoids a strikeout. The formula is (at-bats - strikeouts) / at-bats..

Anything over 0.85 is good, while anything under 0.75 is poor.


  • Reynolds' hot streak in the postseason has carried him into the No. 2 spot among the team's most productive hitters and there's nothing out of line with his numbers. The .394 BABIP isn't that high given the way Reynolds consistently crushes the ball and you can bet there are more home runs on the horizon in future seasons. The only real gripe with Reynolds is that he doesn't walk a lot, but hey, he's a freshman. He and Swanson have had almost identical seasons; the difference is that Reynolds has rapped into five double plays and Swanson, just one.

  • Conde could be the team's most fundamentally-sound hitter. He lacks the pop of Reynolds and Swanson but his patience is better than either.

  • Part of the reason the team has seen an increase in production is that the bottom of the order has started to produce more. That's particularly true with Wiseman and Norwood. Wiseman could be due for a further bump, as his .328 BABIP is a little low for a player who hits the ball as hard as he does.

  • Turner's season has been a little disappointing. The sophomore created runs at a level of 6.23 per 27 outs last year and one of the reasons was a BB/K of .86 and a CT% of 90. As those numbers have declined to .45 and 87, so has the production.

  • DH continues to be a bit of a hole, and coach Tim Corbin needs to carefully evaluate what he puts in the lineup in Omaha. Though Coleman's production has risen as I figured it would once the BABIP, as it had to, rose over .200. It's not to say that Coleman can't continue to see his numbers rise -- he is one of the team's more patient hitters -- but with three extra-base hits in 108 at-bats, his upside right now as that of the team's ninth-best hitter at best. Rogers doesn't make contact at the rate that Coleman does, but there's more power potential. If Corbin wants to switch things up a bit and find more upside with the spot, then Harvey might be the guy. The junior doesn't walk a lot and his BABIP is artificially high, but he's shown some extra-base potential. Kyle Smith (1.3 RC/27, but a .231 BABIP that should be higher) would also be worth a look.

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