Thursday, February 20, 2014
Over/under: Yasiel Puig's batting average
By David Schoenfield
Through his first 27 major league games, Yasiel Puig hit .443, a figure fueled by an unsustainable .513 batting average on balls in play. Once the bloops and tricklers stopped finding holes, his average regressed and he hit .272 the rest of the way.
His final batting line read .319/.391/.534, still impressive for a player with only 40 games in Double-A. Will he hit .300 again in his sophomore season?
I addressed some of Puig's strengths in this piece, pointing out that he showed more patience as his rookie season progressed. Control the strike zone and you get yourself out less often. He finished 2013 with a .383 BABIP -- tied for second-highest in the majors with Joe Mauer, behind Chris Johnson (minimum 300 plate appearances), so you would normally expect regression from a figure so high.
Still, you have to factor in that with his speed Puig is going to get a lot of infield hits -- he had 17 last year. That's helps the old BABIP.
So what do you think? The ZiPS projection system has him hitting .284. Others are at .290 and .292. Let's set the over/under at .290. (I'm taking the over.)