Raul Ibanez: Reborn Power Hitter

Otto Greule Jr

Raul Ibanez is hitting like he is 31 years old instead of 41 years old. He has hit 22 home runs thus far in 2013. It won't continue.

I was checking out my Twitter timeline this morning, and saw this tweet from J.P. Breen, who writes for Disciples of Uecker and FanGraphs:

I immediately responded with a tweet of my own:

I have to admit, I didn't realize that he had hit that many home runs (22) till a few days ago. But, what hit me as shocking is that he is 41 years old. Crazy right? He has hit 22 home runs in just 254 at bats this season. I am not here to say he is on PEDs. I am here to tell you that he is a very good sell high candidate, or just a sell candidate.

My reasoning is that the Mariners are going to a youth movement, so his playing time may be reduced in the second half. The Mariners have called up a boatload of their top prospects recently, including catcher Mike Zunino, shortstop Brad Miller, second baseman Nick Franklin and pitching prospect Erasmo Ramirez. Ibanez is also a trade candidate now that the Mariners are 10 games out of the American League wild card race. Some team in need of a DH, back up outfielder, or left handed power hitter would be wise to trade for Ibanez.

Another reason is his HR/FB rate is currently sitting at a career high 27.5% right now, and ranks third in all of baseball. His HR/FB rate ranks behind just two hitters in baseball: Chris Davis (of course!) and Pedro Alvarez (who has been on a power streak of his own lately), and is higher than that of Miguel Cabrera, Adam Dunn, and Paul Goldschmidt. His name mentioned with those five power hitters just doesn't sound right. And it won't last. His previous career high HR/FB rate was the 21.1% rate he put up in 2009, when he hit 34 home runs with the Phillies. And his current 27.5% HR/FB rate is more than double his career rate of 13.5%. His .303 ISO is also a career high, and higher than the .214 ISO he put up last season, and the .174 ISO he put up in 2011.

He's 41 years old!!! How does this happen? I have no idea, but what I do know is I would deal him fast. I am not sure what you can get for Ibanez in a deal, but if some owner is buying his power surge, by all means, deal him. He is on pace for 40 home runs this season, and I don't see him hitting more than 30.

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