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Kole's 2018 was a ton of bad luck


Dochalo

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Maybe he turns things around in 2019.  Maybe he doesn't.  

Since 2015, he's had the following stats:

Season Barrel % Exit Velocity Launch Angle XBA XSLG WOBA XWOBA Hard Hit % K % BB %
2015 6.8 85.9 11.2 0.246 0.421 0.317 0.314 31.8 23.9 6.6
2016 6.2 89.5 14.8 0.274 0.455 0.34 0.353 40.3 17.6 10
2017 5.4 88.2 12.1 0.251 0.411 0.315 0.332 35.1 20.5 10.9
2018 9.3 90.4 11.9 0.252 0.449 0.283 0.334 42.6 24.1 9.6
                     
Season BABIP P/PA K/PA HR/PA BB/K ISO        
2015 0.304 3.73 0.239 0.038 0.274 0.167        
2016 0.309 3.73 0.176 0.027 0.568 0.167        
2017 0.284 3.85 0.205 0.029 0.53 0.148        
2018 0.241 3.89 0.241 0.034 0.398 0.161        

Notice the barrel %, exit velo, wOBA vs. xwOBA, Hard hit%, ISO, BABIP

Don't get me wrong, he looked like a wreck for a huge chunk of the year and in other years he's been inconsistent.  But that 51 point discrepancy between his wOBA vs. xwOBA was 2nd worst in the league (which explains the BABIP) and bodes well for a rebound back to his previous norms.  The other stats are similar to previous years.  

I think we'll see a bit of a platoon but I bet Kole ends up as nearly a 3 WAR player by the end of 2019.  

 

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Hitting to the opposite field is a dying art. The fact that defensive shifts work should trigger an athletic adjustment other than hit the ball over or through it. It's becoming a game of softball being played by athletes using only a fraction of their talents. 

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Meanwhile the Right Field article for the Primer Series is out Saturday......................................................................................................................

 

You touch on some good points though.

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The first three months of the season (and the last month), I can't even count how many times I saw him make solid contact on balls that in the past would have been over, or off, the outfield walls and instead were routine catches well short of the warning track. You could see the frustration in his reactions too. He was not driving the ball like he had in the past.

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So if we all agree the shift had a huge effect on his performance, how is any of that "bad luck"?

It sounds to me like if Kole doean't have the kind of skill set to adapt there is no reason for optimism.

So it is not a case of historical bad luck but rather a revelation that he was lucky for a long time that other teams didn't have him figured out.

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If he had not been shifted on as much, he would have likely had a career year... but then if my grandfather had three legs we would have called him tripod. 
Kole to me is one of many players that should have spent the entire off season working on hitting the other way.  The shift isnt going away, nor should it. 

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2 minutes ago, floplag said:

If he had not been shifted on as much, he would have likely had a career year... but then if my grandfather had three legs we would have called him tripod. 
Kole to me is one of many players that should have spent the entire off season working on hitting the other way.  The shift isnt going away, nor should it. 

He did keep going opposite field in spring training and he was killing the ball. Then the season started and he pulled everything.

The fact that he couldn't figure it out during the season makes me believe he is done as a major leaguer.

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30 minutes ago, JarsOfClay said:

He did keep going opposite field in spring training and he was killing the ball. Then the season started and he pulled everything.

The fact that he couldn't figure it out during the season makes me believe he is done as a major leaguer.

Because you ignored what he did for two months. 

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2 minutes ago, JarsOfClay said:

You're ignoring what he did for 5 months which was literally nothing.

He made an adjustment and got results.   Then he slumped The last month but was still drawing his walks. We have zero idea if he is done as a major leaguer. 

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2 minutes ago, Stradling said:

He made an adjustment and got results.   Then he slumped The last month but was still drawing his walks. We have zero idea if he is done as a major leaguer. 

I am with you in having hope.  But I disagree that we have no idea if he is done.  I do have an idea and it is uncomfortable.

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