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Ten Hitters Who Could Underperform Going Forward

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Now that the first month of baseball has come and gone, I'd like to take a look at some hitters who could underperform going forward, due to their extreme BABIPs in April. 

1. Matt Holliday, STL-don't get me wrong Holliday is one of the better hitters in baseball, but his .483 BABIP and BA of .408 will come down to more realistic levels. Can Holliday hit .330? Sure. But not .400.

2. Brett Wallace, HOU-Wallace was on some hit streak before he got hurt, and maybe this is his breakout year, but he is hitting .388-.458-.529 with a .471 BABIP. I can see him hitting .300, but he need to show more power, as in balls over the fence, before I am a believer.

3. David Freese, STL-Freese has had injury issues over the last year, so his hot start is welcomed by fantasy owners, but he won't continue to hit .365-.396-.482 with a .468 BABIP. If I owned Freese, I would be happy with him staying healthy and we can see where he goes from there.

4. Andre Ethier, LAD-Ethier is on a 26 game hitting streak and is proving that either he starts out the season very hot, every year, or, he is due for some regression. The answer could be a little of both. Ethier probably won't hit .380-.446-.556 with a .452 BABIP going forward, but you can project a .290-.300 season from him with 20+ HRs and 90 RBIs. He tends to hit his HRs in spurts, and has hit 2 HRs in a game several times IIRC.

More of this list after the jump:

5. Matt Kemp, LAD-Kemp is a more focused player at the plate and in the field this season, and it is showing in all of his numbers. He is hitting .368-.446-.613 with a .434 BABIP, so that will trend down soon. Interesting though is that he has had previous BABIPs of .411 in 2007, .361 in 2008 and .345 in 2009, so his drop may not be a big drop. Where would the Dodgers be without Kemp and Ethier?

6. Alex Gordon, KC-as I have written several times in the Roundups, I am rooting for Gordon to breakout this season, but he is currently hitting .339-.395-.541 with a .407 BABIP vs a career BABIP of .303. In his minor league career, Gordon took plenty of walks, usually in the 12%-15% walk rate range, but this year he is only walking at a 7% rate. I'd like to see him walk a bit more while maintaining the < 20% K rate.

7. Ike Davis, NYM-I have to admit, I got caught up in the Bryce Harper hype when I traded Ike Davis for the right to draft Harper in the UBA keeper league. Davis is making that trade look horrible, as he is hitting .337-.414-.600 with a .386 BABIP. He's added 5 HRs and 20 RBIs as well, but he won't hit .330 all year. I look for him to hit in the .270 range and he could approach 30 HRs this season if he can maintain the ppwer when the hit rate drops.

8. Dexter Fowler-COL-I am not a fan of Fowler, and his start to the 2011 season is a bit mixed. His BABIP is .387, but his triple slash line is just .253-.368-.368 with no homers, 9 RBIs and just 2 SBs. Yes, he has played half his games in poor playing conditions in Colorado, but I would have expected more SBs from him. Fowler's main issue so far is he is striking out at a 36% clip, way too high for a leadoff hitter. I wonder if he will be starting in CF for the Rockies come July.

9. Peter Bourjos, LAA-funny thing, the other day Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Bourjos would not leadoff, but he slotted him in the leadoff spot the next day. Bourjos is hitting .309-.340-.511 with a .415 BABIP. I can see why Scioscia doesn't want to bat him leadoff. Bourjos has struck out in 30% of his at bats, while walking in only 5%. Seems to me Scisocia needs to hire former Dodger Brett Butler to teach him the intricacies of being a leadoff  hitter and using his speed.

10. Lance Berkman, STL-yes, I did say the other day that I thought Berkman could keep up his hot start to the season, but not THIS hot. Berkman is hitting .393-.455-.753 with a .397 BABIP with 8 HRs and 22 RBIs. If it weren't for Berkman and Holliday, I think we'd be hearing more about Pujols slow start to the 2011 season. That may or may not come down the road when Berkman and Holliday inevitably slow down at the plate.