Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks
wRC+ through April 30th: 154
wRC+ since May 1st: 71
Jake Lamb hitting the injured list gave Walker an opportunity to play, and he took full advantage in April. The 28-year-old mostly wowed with his hard-hit rate, which stood at a ridiculously nice 69.1% at the end of the month. Entering Wednesday’s action, it’s come down to a much more normal 38.1% rate since the start of May.
It seems as if the law of averages has caught up to him in the process, though — his BABIP has gone from a sky-high .393 mark to .271 over these two time periods. You’d also think he’d have better than a 333 wRC+ on line drives with a 76.5% hard-hit rate for this specific batted-ball event.
He’s even swinging less often at balls out of the strike zone (30.4% to 28.0%) as well as chasing after strikes more often (73.3% to 82.6%). Opposing pitchers have thrown fastballs at a 10-percentage-point increase between these two periods, though.
Walker has performed well against that pitch, but not as well as you’d think for someone who initially had ridiculous quality-of-contact numbers (.234/.359/.519 line with a 134 wRC+ against four-seamers). Having a 23.8% infield-fly rate against this pitch also doesn’t help a ton.