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  1. He’s been monstrous. I looked at his stats the other day and, like you, the only thing that jumped out was his HR/FB. The guy is just a stud basically.

    The age thing might be something to consider, but he’s elite so maybe not. Is there much evidence of an older player’s bat speed declining as the season goes on? Maybe chart LD% or something by month for players in different age ranges.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — May 16, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

  2. It would seem Austin Jackson might be the most likely to sustain. His career BABIP is .371, which like Beltran, is close ot his career BABIP. Further, while Beltran appears to be benefiting from the pitches he is being thrown, Jackson has had a significant decrease in his O-Swing%, which suggests his increased production is the result of improved discipline.

    Comment by Cozar — May 16, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

  3. It’s just CarlosbeingCarlos

    Comment by Astromets — May 16, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

  4. A good point, although Jackson’s 2012 xBABIP is .337 as he’s hitting fewer ground balls and more fly balls, although those trends may certainly snap back to career norms as well.

    Comment by Michael Barr — May 16, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

  5. Curse you fangraphs for jinxing him.

    Comment by stan — May 16, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

  6. curiously, I did start writing this the day his knee started to bark. But I think Appelman is the only one with those kids of powers.

    Comment by Michael Barr — May 16, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

  7. While the results are great (hey, I drafted him thinking low-risk/high-reward), I’m scared about his batted ball distribution and K%. His K% (which supposedly stabilizes at 150PA) is a whopping 7% above is career average, now at 22.8%, which is well above any number he’s ever posted. His walk rate is good, though.

    While other batted ball rates take longer to stabilize, I’m concerned about the 13% LD rate, which is out of line with his career. FB% is up, so maybe some liners are just getting classified as fly balls, but something just seems up right now. Sure, the HR/FB% will drop, but the high K% and low LD% give me reason to worry. I’m even tempted to sell high, although he hasn’t given me a results-based reason to yet.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Comment by Chummy Z — May 16, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

  8. I’d sell high; he’s at least a moderate age/health risk, and in that home park I can’t see his slugging surpass .520-.540 the rest of the way.

    What I don’t get is how lukewarm the offseason market was for Beltran. Sure he’s no longer a CF, but he played a lot last year, and was great then — especially so over the season’s final month.

    I mean, outstanding player (and apparently a nice guy by all reports), coming off an excellent season, at a time when first basemen are getting $20-25M per year, and all Beltran gets is $13M a year for two seasons. Best signing of the winter. Well, except for Furcal maybe. Props to the St. Louis front office.

    Comment by Butters — May 16, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  9. When healthy, Beltran is one of the best players in baseball. If he never had knee problems, you’re looking at a guy who could have had an ~80 WAR career.

    Comment by Evan_S — May 16, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

  10. Chummy – from a fantasy baseball perspective, I’d probably agree that if you can get significant pieces back, it’s worth taking offers on him. But your concerns will likely be the same as your adversaries.

    The line drive rate is curious. What’s funny is, two of his home runs had a low enough apex to be considered line drives but would be classified as fly balls by BIS. Making that change alone gets his LD rate up to 14.4% and if you want to say that the 2 balls he hit out with just an apex of 70 feet are also line drives – just really long line drives, it changes his LD rate to about 17%, and suddenly all is well with the world.

    Comment by Michael Barr — May 16, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

  11. The last guy to have a career .370 BABIP was like Ty Cobb. Odds are Jackson’s true BABIP talent is much lower, probably in the .330-.340 range.

    Comment by vivaelpujols — May 16, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

  12. Wa, dih, did I just see David Wright’s name amongst a list of WAR leaders? Wah?!

    Comment by Ignorant Tool — May 16, 2012 @ 11:05 pm

  13. Are you really more surprised about that than seeing Furcal’s or Jackson’s name?

    Comment by BlackOps — May 17, 2012 @ 4:07 am

  14. Wasn’t there an article recently about Furcal finding the fountain of youth in St. Louis? I may just resort to calling it the “Fountain of St. Louis”.

    Comment by jfktolax — May 17, 2012 @ 6:41 am

  15. Has the fielding runs formula used by FG been tinkered with since last season? I am having a tough time taking the current 2012 WAR leaderboards for position players seriously due to some fielding run totals that lack credibility.

    Comment by Robbie G. — May 17, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

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