While looking at whether or not Mark Teixeira and/or Alex Rodriguez should bounce back this next season (look for a post on this later this week), I ran across some interesting stats. Teixeira had his worst season since 2006 and A-Rod his worst since 1995, and I wondered why that was. Fluctuations in their BABiP is the easiest culprit as A-Rod (.274 in 2010; .318 for career) and Tex (.268 in 2010; .303 for career) each saw their BABiPs drop well below their normal rates, but when I looked deeper to find out if this was more fluke than decline, I found something troubling in both players’ O-Swing% (the percentage of times a player swings at a pitch outside of the strike zone)—they increased dramatically. Curious, I took a gander at the other major position players to see if they did the same, and what I found was also troubling—A-Rod and Tex were not the only ones, and their increases were actually smaller than other players’ increases.
(Data from FanGraphs)
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