BDD: It’s Jimmy Rollins’ Swing!
At Baseball Daily Digest, I deduce that it’s Jimmy’s swing that has prevented him from enjoying success this season.
Blaming his abnormally low BABIP on mere bad luck is too simplistic. It is more likely a combination of bad luck as well as hitting balls more weakly. The batted ball profiles don’t show you the various shades of power with which players make contact. Suffice it to say that there’s a vast difference in the success rate in ground balls depending on the type of contact made. Overall, Rollins has been making weaker contact, but there’s no data to flesh that out.
Lastly, despite still having a good idea of the strike zone, Rollins’ walk rate is down more than 4% from last season and 2% from his career average. This isn’t due to a poor approach at the plate, nor is it due to fewer opportunities: Rollins has had 59 plate appearances in which he has had three balls in the count, approximately 18% of his at-bats. Last season, he had 120 three-ball counts in 625 plate appearances, approximately 19% of his at-bats.
The likely explanation for that is pitchers are less willing to pitch around Rollins because, well, he’s making weak contact. He’s an easy out.