Six MLB hitters with a lot to prove in 2019

Six MLB hitters with a lot to prove in 2019

Chin Music Baseball

Six MLB hitters with a lot to prove in 2019

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Sep 20, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun (56) earns a walk against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels

Since posting an above-average 117 wRC+ and 3.4 fWAR for the Angels in 2016, Calhoun’s performance has gone on a steady nosedive, and he essentially bottomed out in 2018.

He made 552 trips to the plate for Los Angeles, which made him a near-every-day player. Despite that, he was worth exactly 0.0 fWAR off the “strength” of a .652 OPS and 79 wRC+. It would’ve been a lot worse if he didn’t pick himself up after a horrific start.

Through May 31st, the outfielder had slashed just .145/.195/.179 through 185 plate appearances, which was good for a 4 wRC+. From the beginning of June to the end of the year, he raised those numbers to .242/.328/.472 and 118, respectively, over his final 367 plate appearances.

Some adjustments at the plate led to a dramatic improvement in his batted-ball profile. Through those first two months, he owned a 55.7% ground-ball rate, 16.8% line-drive rate, 27.5% fly-ball rate, and a 35.1% hard-hit rate. During the final stretch in which he was successful, all those numbers improved: 36.5% ground-ball rate, 24.0% line-drive rate, 39.5% fly-ball rate, and 49.8% hard-hit rate.

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