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Don’t let the low batting average fool you: Jose Bautista is still a monster

Jun 7, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

Jose Bautista Reuters

Jose Bautista‘s batting average has hovered around .200 all season, but don’t let that trick you into thinking he’s turned back into a pumpkin after a pair of MVP-caliber years.

Bautista smacked his 15th homer last night, which puts him on pace for 43 on the season after going deep 43 times last year and 54 times in 2010. He’s also on pace to draw more than 90 walks for the third straight year, has a nearly even strikeout-to-walk ratio at 40-to-32, and ranks fourth among AL hitters in RBIs.

In other words he’s every bit the same homer-hitting, walk-drawing monster he’s been for the past two seasons, except missing 50 points of batting average. And even that’s changing, as Bautista has gone 27-for-93 (.290) in his last 25 games to raise his batting average from .177 to .228 in less than a month.

And that should continue to rise as his luck events out, because Bautista’s batting average on balls in play is currently the lowest in the entire league at .209, which is both unsustainably awful and 65 points below his career norms. I’ll be shocked if he’s not back among the AL’s top 10 in all of homers, RBIs, runs, slugging percentage, and OPS by the All-Star break.

  1. theawesomersfranchise - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    All Facts, his BABIP is always lower than you want but he is still a producer

  2. raindog - Jun 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    There is no hitter in baseball I like watching more that Bautista. So exciting. I don’t even care that he crushes Twins pitchers.

  3. proudlycanadian - Jun 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Bautista can be streaky. Last season, he had 2 bad months and 4 very good ones. This year, he had a terrible April. He had a good May and June looks good so far.

  4. djpostl - Jun 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    All true but that declining BABIP can be because more & more teams are using some sort of shift on him. Teixeira saw same thing. Still walked a lot, still hit 39 HRs and drove in 110+ RBIs but hit under .250 in 2011.

    • Ben - Jun 7, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      Yeah, but Bautista is fine.
      http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/jose-is-okay/

      • djpostl - Jun 7, 2012 at 10:50 PM

        Never said he wasn’t =P, just saying expect power numbers to be there but an average drop off rockets hit into the shift

  5. marshmallowsnake - Jun 7, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Hello Rob Deer!

  6. crispybasil - Jun 7, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    In the last series against the Red Sox, he hit a bomb that left the park in roughly a millisecond.

  7. biasedhomer - Jun 7, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    I was getting worried he may never be the same player.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jun 7, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      The Beavers were worried he would be the same player he was about 4 years ago.

      • cur68 - Jun 7, 2012 at 6:50 PM

        Nah. He’s been unlucky and he’s holding his hands a bit too high, but that’s about it. If he decides to shorten his swing after 2 strikes, then you can watch his BA soar. He sees the ball real well and rarely swings at non-strikes. You ready to hand him over for Anthony Bass yet? The window on that offer’s gonna close soon, eh? Act now or lose your chance. C’mon, I’ll throw in Zito: he’s a stud.

  8. Craptastics9 - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    #1 law of Sabermetrics and Rotisserie…the “Law of Averages”. If a proven .280 hitter hits .190 for a month or two (while still in his prime) he’s due for a super hot month. You can take any short sample and say “This guy is awesome!” or “This guy is dirt” but statistics tend to correct over the long haul. That’s the beauty of a long season. This coming from an idiot that cut Beckett last year because of his horrible spring training. In my defense, I think he’s in the top ten d-bags in baseball history and I would rather lose without him than win with him on my team.

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