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« Reader Question: Clutch MLB Batters | Main | Park Factors »

Tough Hill to Climb

Aaron Hill hit only .205 for the Toronto Blue Jays last season, .081 points below his career average going into the season.  His line went from .286/.330/.499 in 2009 to .205/.271/.394 in 2010.  While the 100 point drop in slugging percentage was certainly a problem, the drop in OBP was almost entirely due to a lack of hitting - his walk rate actually increased 1.4% in 2010.

Going into the season Hill had a career BABIP of .307;  in 2010 it hit a career low .196.  When we look at his splits we see that Hill had a ton of trouble against left-handed pitching.  His BABIP was a ridiculously low .124, indicating he may have been a bit unlucky.  However, his overall line drive percentage was 8 percentage points below his previous league average last season.  Against lefties, his line drive percentage was only 2.3%, and he had a .118 batting average on ground balls against southpaws.  So while bad luck may have contributed, Hill wasn't getting many solid hits either.

Aaron Hill vs. LHP (click to enlarge)
Basically, Hill wasn't making very good contact on anything lefties threw at him last season.

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