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  1. Would it be possible in a way for to develop a system similar to Dewan’s +/- system to say something about the batters? For example, a play that would go as a + for a fielder, would signify bad luck for a batter. Of course, this would never tell the whole story, as part of Bruce’s low BABIP is due to the direction he hits the ball. Hit F/X data, please come join us in the mainstream!

    Comment by Wouter — November 23, 2009 @ 10:50 am

  2. This would be quite interesting.

    I think the fact that such a system wouldn’t tell the whole story is actually a plus – it could allow us to isolate more exactly the “luck” component of BABIP and then we could assume the rest is more or less skill, based on the velocity and angle of batted balls. Good food for thought.

    Comment by Daniel — November 23, 2009 @ 11:15 am

  3. If you take his MLE from AAA Louisville (without even adjusting for age), Bruce is a .288/.328/.486 hitter, pretty similar to Ian Kinsler. So right there, that’s a .355 to .360 wOBA.

    So a .373 wOBA is very plausable in my opinion.

    Comment by Joe R — November 23, 2009 @ 11:22 am

  4. Indeed. And that’s without taking into account that he is still VERY young and should, at least theoretically, continue to develop.

    Comment by Jason461 — November 23, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  5. The James projections are always… interesting. But in this case, check out the CHONE line:


    pretty close

    I’d say a lot of it has to do with Bruce’s age, but also keep in mind that the three-slash (for CHONE, anyway) reflects Bruce’s home park and the NL. The park- and league- neutral lwts/150 for Bruce are projected at +10… so I’m guessing (go to Sean for the real schoop) that the projection is affected by him being in the NL and in a hitter’s park.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — November 23, 2009 @ 11:58 am

  6. I think this is a complete non-story. You left out his 2008, in which he had a normal BABIP in many more ABs than last season. While it has been noted that he intentionally tried to hit more fly balls last season, the guy had a fractured wrist. Not only was there not a chance for those extreme rates to normalize over the course of the season, but a wrist injury in particular should cast serious doubt on that extreme outlier, especially since it is such a departure from previous seasons. It’s pretty simple, one of these things ain’t like the others, and it’s the wrist injury. James’ projection could be conservative.

    Comment by Paul — November 23, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

  7. The projection systems are incorporating Bruce’s minor league performance. For young players with only a couple of major league seasons, their minor league record continues to influence their projected stat line.

    Comment by CJ — November 23, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

  8. Bruce’s wrist injury occurred after he put up almost all of his at bats for the season.

    Comment by Jason461 — November 23, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

  9. He did not have a normal BABIP in 2008 – check out the linked story. He hit a ton of line drives and had a below average BABIP on all types of batted balls in 2008 just as he did in 2009. We just see it more in 2009 because his LD% dropped and so his BABIP troubles were more pronounced.

    Comment by Jack Moore — November 23, 2009 @ 12:59 pm

  10. Jay Bruce — just unlucky, or the anti-Ichiro?
    (You know there has to be one, or the universe spins off its axis.)

    Comment by joser — November 23, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

  11. Thanks for the correction, after his return he raked to improve the overall numbers. Which actually brings up an even more striking reason to support a correction: in the months where he had the most ABs last season his BABIPs were .195 and .177. Wild fluctuations and extreme outliers like this in a young player with his pedigree beg to be almost completely dismissed.

    Comment by Paul — November 23, 2009 @ 1:31 pm

  12. In the linked story you open by stating that he had a “near-normal” BABIP. You were right then since it was .298. The numbers are clearly inconclusive and I’m betting on the upside. A young LH hitter with a huge platoon split, trying to take advantage of a bandbox is more likely to show these kinds of outliers before settling into a consistent approach.

    Comment by Paul — November 23, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

  13. Jay Bruce is a curious case. His minor league .382 BABIP suggests that he has hit a massive number of line drives in his past. Then you look at his 2009, where he’s suddenly an extreme flyball hitter (48.5%) with a microscopic LD%( 13% ). So who’s the real Jay Bruce? The 2009 fly ball/low BABIP version of himself? Or the pre-2009 version, that drives the ball more, and posts a better average? Seems hard to tell, with such a young player.

    Still, using my xBABIP calculator, and his 2009 batted ball data, I still peg him at a .280 xBABIP, not great, but a big improvement over his actual 2009 BABIP. So where does the true xBABIP lie? Anywhere between .222(2009) and .382(career minor league) seems within the realm of feasibility. I think between .280(xBABIP 2009) and .332 (his career (major/minor combined) seems more feasible, which would be a big improvement over his 2009 numbers.

    Comment by Bobby Boden — November 23, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

  14. Bruce is going to be 23 this season….meaning he put up a near league average season as a 22 year old with a .223 BABIP. Unless he gets injured or becomes possessed by Alex Gonzalez, the chance of him merely sustaining previous production is so low that I’m not sure it’s even worth considering. Bruce had a .298 BABIP in 2008, and one season of depressed BABIP isn’t nearly enough to suggest that he might be one of those players who perennially puts up low BABIPS.

    Comment by R M — November 23, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

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