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Fantasy Baseball Edge: 25 Key Hitting Stats

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Moe Koltun, Matt Cott, and Matthew Schwimmer of Roto Analysis

We at RotoAnalysis try to bring you a breakdown into a variety of different things each week and they all start from a stat or theory we look at. This week, rather than digging into specific topics, we have a general list of stats and comments that you can use to up your knowledge about specific players and situations around the league. This week we focused on hitters with 25 key stats, and next week we’ll do the same with pitchers.

1. Everybody’s talking about it, but the numbers speak for themselves. In April Mike Trout hit .261 with 2 homers, and in May he’s batting .308 with 6 homers. He also cut his strikeout rate from 28% to 21%.

2. Colby Rasmus is striking out in 39.1% of his plate appearances, worse than any qualified hitter in the last three seasons.

3. In the majors, Jean Segura has 21 stolen bases to only three caught stealings so far in his career.

4. Throughout his minor league career, Segura had 139 steals to only 38 caught stealings, good for a 78.5% efficiency rate. The guy is a legitimately talented base stealer.

5. Since the beginning of the 2012 season, David Ortiz has played in 116 games and hit 30 homers. That’s a home run on average in about one out of every 3.9 games.

6. That’s better than the career rates of Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista and Ryan Braun.

7. This may come as somewhat of a surprise, but the Rays’ James Loney has the fourth highest average among qualified hitters in major league baseball at .348.

8. That’s largely because James Loney also has the highest line drive rate in major league baseball at 33.1%.

9. That 33.1% would be the highest rate in the past decade.

10. Fantasy owners are worried about Josh Hamilton’s free swinging woes, but Ryan Howard actually has a higher swinging strike rate than him, with a league-worst 17.6%.

11. Josh Willingham is currently striking out 6% more than his career average while hitting 7% less line drives.

12. While Miguel Cabrera’s league leading OPS in May would surprise no one, Eric Chavez is second in the majors this month.

13. Danny Espinosa is currently hitting .163 with only 3 home runs and 1 steal.

14. Nationals top prospect Anthony Rendon, an infielder, is currently hitting .346 with 6 home runs in the minor leagues.

15. Despite stealing 30 of his 33 attempted bases last season, Emilio Bonifacio has only attempted 4 steals this season (he has not been caught).

16. 31 of 71 pitchers with over 10 plate appearances have a better batting average than Ike Davis

17. James Loney has the lowest strikeout rate of any qualified first basemen this month at 9.9%

18. Miguel Cabrera is 2 runs scores away from leading the league in runs, RBIs, and average.

19. The only players to walk more than they strikeout are an interesting 3 — Lance Berkman, Norichika Aoki, and Nick Markakis.

20. The top 10 guys who hit a lot more groundballs than flyballs include a lot of speedsters like Everth Cabrera, Elvis Andrus, and Denard Span.

21. However, 3rd on that list is Eric Hosmer. The guy just doesn’t have much power and seems to have lost his swing.

22. Marco Scutaro has the highest contact percentage in the majors, and has only swung and missed at 1.5% of the strikes against him.

23. The league leader in doubles? Not Miguel Cabrera, not Mike Trout, but Manny Machado.

24. Paul Goldschmidt’s home run to fly ball rate is at double what it was last year – while he’s good, his power should drop a little bit.

25. The rookie of the year races are looking pretty shallow. There is no rookie in either league with more than 4 HRs and a .250 average.

Agree? Disagree? Questions? Tweet @RotoAnalysis and be sure to follow Moe @MoeProblems and Matt @Schwimingly. Check out their work on RotoAnalysis.com, as well as The RotoAnalysis Fantasy Sports Podcast.

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