Search Archives
Follow Us

Featured Sponsors

Mailing List
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Twitter Feeds

This site utilizes the MLB analytics platform powered by TruMedia Networks

Entries in Michael Bourn (2)


Selling High

The Houston Astros may have traded Michael Bourn of the Atlanta Braves and Hunter Pence of the Philadelphia Phillies at just the right time.  Bourn ranks third in the majors and Pence seventh in batting average on balls in play (BABIP).  That measures the ability of batters to get hits when they don't strike out or hit the ball out of the park.  In other words, the ability to get a ball past fielders.

Extreme BABIPs tend to settle back to the .300 range.  Look at both these players during the last four seasons:


BABIPMichael BournHunter Pence
2008 .290 .301
2009 .366 .308
2010 .329 .304
2011 .377 .368


Pence's 2011 represents a big outlier.  Bourn reached this rare atmosphere before, in 2009.  A high BABIP helps to lead to a high batting average, and helped make this pair look desirable to other teams.  Don't trust this to last past this season, however.    This season, among batting qualifiers, the spread of BABIP is .200 to .387.  If you look at the last four seasons, however, that spread is down to .253 to .355.  The extremes just don't hold up.  The Astros did a good job of selling their players when they looked their best.


Bourn Again Hitter

Michael Bourn, recently acquired by the Atlanta Braves from the Houston Astros, is posting the best numbers of his career in 2011.  His BA, OBP and slugging percentage all stand as best single season marks for the outfielder.  Bourn's improved strike zone judgement stands as one reason for his progress:

Michael Bourn swing rate, 2008-2010.Michael used to chase pitches inside quite often.  He stopped doing that in 2011.

Michael Bourn swing rate, 2011.He's improved his coverage of the strike zone.  He still chases a lot of pitches, 67% this season, but down from 76% the previous three years.  His better pitch selection is leading to better results when he puts the ball in play, however:

Michael Bourn, in play batting average, 2008-2010.He's hammering the low, inside quadrant of the strike zone this year:

Michael Bourn, in play batting average, 2011.With Michael no longer fishing at pitches off the plate inside, pitchers are forced over the plate more.  That's leading to a hits driven rise in all three of his averages.