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Looking at Felipe Lopez

August 17, 2010

I’ve spent the last day and a half digging into Felipe Lopez’s offensive season to date. I’ve been looking for any possible explanations of his recent slump. Unfortunately that search has come up fairly fruitless. He’s swung at a couple more pitches off the plate away and a couple more above the zone, but I there definitely hasn’t been any “light bulb” moments. That being said I did find one interesting piece of information when looking at last season compared to this one. Last year he had a rv100 of ~21 on air balls (LD+FB). This year it is ~11. Some of it could be BABIP luck, some maybe decreased power and some other explanations. I don’t have the answers this time, but I thought you might find the fact as interesting as I did. I’m also open to potential explanations that I may have missed.

As a reference I pulled the following spray charts from Texas Leaguers

One Comment
  1. August 17, 2010 5:03 PM

    Certainly, part of it could be the quality of balls that he is hitting in the air. We should expect his BABIP to be quite a bit lower than 2009 since his LD rate is down nearly 6% and his FB rate is up nearly 9%.

    Flip’s HR/FB rate dropped considerably when he left Cincinnati in 2006. Hasn’t had one above 7.4% since (and he spent half of that season in Cincinnati hitting 9 of his 11 HRs). Cincinnati’s five year regressed park factor is 1.02 (lower than I would have expected); other stadiums that he’s played in since have park factors of 1.05 (Arizona – only 383 PA), 1.01 (Milwaukee), 1.01 (Washington), and .98 (Saint Louis). There’s not much difference between park factors either with the exception of Saint Louis… so that doesn’t provide much insight.

    Nevertheless, it obviously doesn’t bode well for a player with below average power to replace line drives with fly balls. I wonder if he has changed his batting stance at all since working with McGwire? I’ve heard that it’s cool to blame the hitting coach in these situations.

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