Analyzing Darin Ruf’s Slump

At the request of some readers, I wrote a column on ESPN’s Sweet Spot blog on August 7 investigating Darin Ruf‘s numbers. I concluded that while his production, as of that writing, was impressive, he was destined to regress because he was relying on an unsustainably high BABIP. Since August 8, Ruf has posted a .171/.256/.429 line, including a .167 BABIP. He has hit three home runs in 39 trips to the plate, but that has been almost all of the positive contributions he has made over the last two weeks.

It is worth diving into the stats to see what has changed recently to alter his fortune. Note that we are dealing with small sample sizes — 96 PA and 405 pitches in the “before” sample and 43/183 in the “after” sample — but at the very least we can keep an eye out for some trends.

Continue reading…