Unlucky?

With a look at the stats, you will see the Mariner’s disappointing .238 batting average and .275 BABIP. These are pretty discouraging numbers, but don’t mark this offense as a failure yet.

What the batting average doesn’t show is Seattle’s 22.3 line drive percentage which ranks fifth in baseball. In fact, the Mariners hit line drives on a more consistent basis than some of the best offenses in baseball such as the Rangers, Yankees, and Braves. Despite the Mariners’ success in squaring up line drives, they have somehow managed to post the 24th best BABIP in the MLB. When looking at the LD% rankings, you have to go all the way down to the 21st spot to find a team with a lower BABIP than the Mariners. With a discrepancy as large as this, you have to assume that the hitters are just getting a little unlucky.

Take a look at some individual players’ line drive percentages compared to their career and 2011 totals.

 

2012 LD%

2011 LD%

Career LD%

Figgins

24.6

18.3

23.0

Ackley

22.1

22.3

22.2

Ichiro

28.9

19.1

20.3

Smoak

20.0

13.8

18.1

Montero

21.0

27.3

23.6

Seager

25.9

27.7

27.2

Olivo

20.0

14.5

17.5

Saunders

21.3

14.9

16.3

Ryan

18.6

20.2

19.0

Liddi

20.0

17.4

18.8

Jaso

28.6

17.7

17.5

Wells

15.4

13.4

15.3

Kawasaki

11.1

N/A

11.1

 

Ichiro, Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

There are a lot of encouraging numbers on that chart. Notice that eleven of the thirteen batters with substantial plate

appearances have a LD% over 20. There are eight players on this list that enter the 2012 season with more than a season of MLB baseball under their belts. Seven of these eight have posted higher line drive rates than their 2011 marks and career marks. Besides Brendan Ryan, every other player with more than a year of experience has improved this year; that’s exciting to see.

So Mariner fans, take comfort in the fact that, even though the Mariners aren’t getting lots of hits, they are hitting the ball well on a consistent basis. Eventually, those line drives will stop finding gloves and the batting averages will start to rise.

Topics: Alex Liddi, Brendan Ryan, Casper Wells, Chone Figgins, Dustin Ackley, Ichiro, Jesus Montero, John Jaso, Justin Smoak, Kyle Seager, Michael Saunders, Miguel Olivo, Munenori Kawasaki

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  • http://sodomojo.com/ MattyK

    Somebody give that John Jaso guy some playing time ;-)