Surprising Average Distance Leaders

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Validate HR/FB ratios by utilizing Mike Podhorzer’s bad-ass equation and Jeff Zimmerman’s fly ball and homerun average distance leader board. There are some sweet surprises thus far...

Validate HR/FB ratios by utilizing Mike Podhorzer’s (@MikePodhorzer) bad-ass equation and Jeff Zimmerman’s (@JeffwZimmerman) fly ball and homerun average distance leader board.

There are some sweet surprises thus far. If you listened to Fake Team’s podcast two weeks back, you heard me reference the leader board a few times (Chris Davis currently at #7) and Jean Segura at #16). Jean Segura was a huge surprise to me because he had 0 homeruns last year in limited playing time and power is often last to develop. While his FB% is not impressive (<25%) which is fine because of his speed (can beat out ground balls for hits which we know because he has 24 infield hits to date), 17.5% of his fly balls have turned into homeruns which is backed up by his average distance – as of yesterday, he ranked 16th on the leader board at 304.7 ft. He’s been over 300 ft since it was worth looking this year. While I still think he won’t surpass 20 because of his FB%, he can approach it with this distance and associated HR/FB ratio.

Let’s take a look at the top 40 average distances. There are a boatload of surprises (at least in my mind). For reference scroll to the right for their distance and percentages from last year:

Rank

Name

Stance

Year

Hits

Distance

Angle

HR/FB

FB%

Ct%

LY Rank

LY Hits

LY Dist.

Dist.Diff

LY Angle

LY HR/FB

HR/FBDiff.

LY FB%

LY Ct%

1

Carp Mike

L

2013

23

319.39

3.83

25.80%

42.50%

76.10%

14.30%

11.50%

29.40%

77.80%

10

Raburn Ryan

R

2013

26

307.53

-9.89

24.20%

38.80%

71.60%

65

47

290.48

17.05

-0.55

1.50%

22.70%

42.80%

76.00%

13

Gattis Evan

R

2013

31

305.72

-8.08

23.70%

47.20%

77.70%

14

Martin Russell

R

2013

31

305.64

0.63

16.30%

27.60%

80.70%

63

95

290.75

14.89

4.84

19.80%

-3.50%

32.70%

79.60%

16

Segura Jean

R

2013

35

304.7

9.3

17.50%

24.30%

85.80%

0.00%

17.50%

19.20%

84.20%

17

Pence Hunter

R

2013

49

303.81

0.16

15.50%

30.70%

78.40%

181

139

277.4

26.41

3.3

15.80%

-0.30%

31.90%

72.60%

24

Weeks Rickie

R

2013

29

299.71

7.18

11.90%

30.40%

73.80%

72

114

289.74

9.97

13.10%

-1.20%

38.00%

75.20%

25

Fowler Dexter

L

2013

36

298.64

2.27

15.90%

35.00%

76.60%

169

67

278.84

19.8

-2.62

12.30%

3.60%

33.50%

78.10%

26

Helton Todd

L

2013

32

298.62

-6.06

11.10%

44.60%

85.80%

127

54

283.49

15.13

-6.99

10.30%

0.80%

34.20%

87.30%

27

Saltalamacchia Jarrod

L

2013

26

298.5

-2.28

16.30%

41.20%

64.00%

139

97

281.85

16.65

-5.18

20.00%

-3.70%

46.60%

69.90%

28

Young Delmon

R

2013

28

298.42

7.52

14.30%

42.40%

73.50%

164

131

279.02

19.4

6.3

11.10%

3.20%

34.50%

75.90%

29

Posey Buster

R

2013

56

298.01

7.29

10.70%

36.90%

85.50%

36

121

296.24

1.77

8.18

18.80%

-8.10%

28.90%

85.30%

30

Byrd Marlon

R

2013

38

297.62

0.43

21.20%

45.60%

74.70%

3.60%

17.60%

24.80%

80.20%

31

Martinez J.D.

R

2013

34

297.2

5.24

13.30%

36.00%

74.30%

166

65

278.9

18.3

4.65

11.60%

1.70%

31.60%

78.70%

34

Arcia Oswaldo

L

2013

30

296.52

1.14

10.30%

46.40%

74.00%

35

Jennings Desmond

R

2013

56

296.51

0.4

10.70%

38.10%

77.60%

172

106

278.6

17.91

-2.87

9.00%

1.70%

38.00%

80.10%

37

Gonzalez Adrian

L

2013

53

296.16

-5.17

9.90%

39.30%

80.90%

108

135

285.04

11.12

-5.09

9.60%

0.30%

35.60%

83.40%

Mike freken Carp – former Mets prospect and backup corner outfielder/1b for the BoSox! A limited sample size, but his 25+% HR/FB ratio is thus far backed up although we should expect an immediate regression due to his contact rate and .400 BABIP. Still in Boston, we have some solid supplemental value for your team when he’s on the field. He’s a must start vs. RHP (.463 weighted on base average/.333 avg).

Other nice surprises to me:

Buster Posey – most thought there should be a BA (.360+ BABIP) and HR (19% HR/FB) regression, and I agreed due to these inflations and playing in SFO, but this year he actually jumped 2 ft, is 29th on the leader board. Unfortunately SFO is certainly affecting his HR/FB ratio this year (10.70%). He's still the #1 c to have for a while.

Oswaldo Arcia – I am a big fan of Arcia – I actually think he’ll continue to consume playing time in MN and I like his approach. He has some discipline, but similar to a guy like Oscar Taveras (vs. Jurickson Profar and Anthony Rendon), his lack of discipline will mean more balls in play. He hits the ball hard enough and far enough where he should have a .270+ average and 20+ HR as soon as next year. Unfortunately like SFO, Target Field in MN is probably affecting him. I think his contact rate will take a nice jump later this season into next year and the HR/FB could/should also jump to 15+%.

Desmond Jennings – It’s nice to see Jennings make a big jump as well - 18 ft, but he’s jumped only a 1.7% in HR/FB and has an identical FB%. Ideally his Ct% gets back up to 80+% which would allow him to approach .260 instead of .248, and in a league that incorporates SB success rate, I’m not loving the 6 caught stealing but if you have him for his counting stats he should be a 17-20HR guy with 24-26 SB (maybe a bit more if his success rate jumps and remains in the 2-hole).

I’m not going to point out everyone on the list. If you want me to delve into someone specific, send me a request here. The point is to use Pod’s formula and Zimm’s leaderboard to back up a player’s HR/FB ratio/HR potential.

Dan Schwartz is a real mensch. He owns and contributes for Rotobanter.com. Send him requests here, on twitter @Rotobanter or at rotobanter@gmail.com.


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