July’s Five Worst Hitters
With wRC+ as our measuring stick, these five hitters have separated themselves from the pack in the worst way possible (we’ve included a few other statistics for good measure).
The start of Nicky Lopez‘s big-league career with the Kansas City Royals hasn’t exactly been smooth, as his month of July indicates. His season-long wRC+ is 46, which has been “powered” by a .224/.265/.292 triple slash. The trouble seems to lie in his batted-ball profile, which includes a 62.6% ground-ball rate and 28.5% hard-hit rate.
Elvis Andrus‘ season had gotten off to a great start, but he’s quickly fallen back down to reality. His monthly wRC+ looks like this: 161, 39, 90, 16. He managed to have a 101 wRC+ for the first half, but entering action on Thursday, his second-half mark is just 1. That seems crazy since he owns a 30.5% line-drive rate since the All-Star break, but it’s hard to translate that into success when it’s higher than his hard-hit rate (25.4%).
James McCann is another player who started 2019 strong and even might have been a trade candidate if it weren’t for a terrible July. His overall stats still look pretty good, but the last four weeks did a number on them. Entering July, McCann owned a .319/.376/.514 line with a 137 wRC+ through 229 plate appearances. His most recent 85 trips to the plate decreased his triple slash to .278/.331/.457 and his wRC+ to 109.
Will this be the fifth straight year Khris Davis hits .247? It might, as his current .230 batting average is within earshot. Unless he gets absurdly hot, though, it won’t be his fourth straight year of 40-plus homers and 2.0-plus fWAR — he’s currently at 17 and -0.4, respectively, through 373 plate appearances. Davis has always been a fly-ball heavy kind of hitter, but not so much this year — his current fly-ball rate is 36.0%, which is a big drop off from his career rate (41.5%) and what he did in 2018 (48.8%). His 207 wRC+ for this batted-ball event is on track to be his lowest since 2014 (201 wRC+).
After a solid 3.4-fWAR campaign in 2017 during his first year with the Astros, Josh Reddick has seen his overall value plummet in each of the last two seasons. Could it be a little bit of tough luck, though? He currently owns a .285 BABIP despite near-career-best marks in line-drive rate (24.1%) and hard-hit rate (34.0%). His performance on line drives has also dipped quite a bit from last year — he posted a 346 wRC+ in ’18, but that number is just 239 so far in ’19.
About Matt Musico
Matt Musico currently manages Chin Music Baseball and contributes to The Sports Daily. His past work has been featured at numberFire, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report. He’s also written a book and created an online class about how to get started as a sports blogger. Check those out and more helpful tips on sports blogging at his website.