Jesse Winker Seattle Mariners

Age: 29 (August 17, 1993) | 6' 3" | 215lbs. | Bats: Left OF-102 LF-2 DH-5
CIN NL 2018 89 281 38 84 49 46 16 0 7 43 0 0 .299 .405 .431 15 14 .336 42/24/34 11 11
CIN NL 2019 113 338 51 91 38 60 17 2 16 38 0 2 .269 .357 .473 10 16 .286 49/26/25 10 10
CIN NL 2020 54 149 27 38 28 46 7 0 12 23 1 0 .255 .388 .544 15 25 .283 48/23/29 19 18
CIN AAA 2021 2 5 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0 40 0.00 n/a
CIN AAA 2021 2 5 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0 40 0.00 n/a
CIN NL 2021 110 423 77 129 53 75 32 1 24 71 1 0 .305 .394 .556 11 15 .324 42/25/33 24 23
SEA AL 2022 133 447 48 98 82 101 15 0 13 50 0 0 .219 .343 .340 15 19 .253 39/20/41 5 6
Career 6yrs 546 1759 262 476 265 352 94 3 79 240 3 3 .271 .374 .462 13 17 .298 n/a
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Definitive analytical video, worth every minute:

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Jun 28


Angels and Mariners throw punches, eight ejected in wild benches-clearing brawl

Alex Patton Alex
Jun 27

Robert Arthur today at BP asks WHY IS BABIP SO LOW?

Offense has taken a dramatic tumble in the 2022 baseball season, driven first and foremost by a less aerodynamic baseball that’s pulled homers back from their 2019 heights. But a secondary trend that’s killing hits has little to do with the ball, even if it’s also decreasing scoring by hundreds of runs. This season, we’re on track for the lowest BABIP in about 30 years, though the forces driving that trend are somewhat mysterious.

At the moment, the league-wide BABIP stands at a paltry .288, which happens to be the lowest it’s been since 1992. BABIP was fairly steady through most of the 2010s, fluctuating within a few points of about .297 until three seasons ago, when it began to tumble. That year–the pandemic-shortened, chaotic 2020 campaign–BABIP fell six points, from .298 to .292. Such a massive decline commands attention, but given the various other complications that season–from a smaller sample size to missed spring training, between the throes of the pandemic and the rollout of new tracking–the precipitous falloff in hits went less noticed.

Yet it continued. The 2021 season featured the same .292 mark before falling to where it is today, which is surely enough combined batted balls to conclude that something is up. The mechanics of BABIP, which measures how often balls in play fall for base hits, dictate that either quality of contact has fallen off or defense has improved. (Weather is a very minor contributor to BABIP, but examining each year’s numbers through June shows the exact same pattern.)

We’re now three seasons into the no-longer-new Hawkeye system, which seems a quantum leap forward in measuring batted ball data. And in this relatively stable era of a highly accurate system, there’s no sign that exit velocity is significantly down or that launch angle has moved one direction or the other. Average exit velocity sits at 88.2, actually the highest number of the three-season Hawkeye stretch, while launch angle, at 12.3 degrees, is comfortably positioned between the 2020 and 2021 numbers.

In aggregate, then, there’s no reason to believe quality of contact has shifted significantly. But the averages don’t tell the whole story. Perhaps quality of contact has dropped off in the particular bands of launch angle and exit velocity that generate the most hits. There is some evidence for this theory: depending on the batted ball classifications you use, line drives are at their lowest level since perhaps 2011. This year, they make up only 20.2 percent of batted balls, down from 21.6 percent a couple of years ago. Considering liners routinely boast a BABIP of .600 or more, losing even one in a hundred batted balls from this category has the potential to drain many, many hits from the league.

That’s good evidence that the spectrum of contact has changed in the league. The trouble is, batted ball classifications are the subjective classification of two objective quantities, namely the launch angle and exit velocity of each batted ball. Stringers watching the game put a label on each hit off the bat, hoping to capture whether it’s a liner, fly ball, or grounder, and normally they do a good job. But in this case, curiously, the Statcast monitoring system doesn’t back the finding of a major decrease in line drives... Regardless of how you define them, the band of contact from about 10-25 degrees launch angle, with or without a velocity filter, doesn’t seem to have decreased to any major degree, the way the stringer’s deficit of line drives would suggest.

That leaves something of a mystery: considering multiple different batted ball classifications agree that there are fewer line drives this year, but the super-advanced camera tracking system doesn’t concur, we’re more or less back to square one.

There’s another possibility, of course, which is that defense has improved. I wrote in 2021 about how defenses have become so much better that they are now cleanly fielding thousands of outs each year that would have fallen for hits just a few years ago. This isn’t just about the infield shift, although the infield shift often gets most of the glory. According to previous analysis, optimizing where outfielders stand is probably at least as important on an aggregate offensive level.

But defense is much harder to study, because although the Hawkeye system does measure where players are standing and moving at all times, that data is not made available to the public...

But there’s no sign of a big change in where fielders stand this year, at least in terms of distance from home plate or the limited fielding alignment charts MLB produces. Which leaves us back at square one: wondering why a statistic that’s normally so stable on a league-wide level would decline so much (four full points) in the space of a single offseason. Was there a quantum leap forward in defense that swept the league all at once? If so, what could it have been? Or, is there some other force like improved pitching creating worse contact, maybe influencing batted ball spin–another metric Statcast collects, but doesn’t provide to the public. At the moment, with the data we have, there’s no clear sign of why the hits have disappeared.

Alex Patton Alex
Jun 21

The projection models all lowered his expectations today, particularly for batting average. 

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Mar 15

Try being a Padres' fan ...

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Mar 14

Is it always this depressing to be a Reds fan?

Mike Landau ML-
Mar 14
Reds using a scythe on NL keepers.
John Thomas Roll2
Mar 14

Statcast xBA: .292

Statcast xSA: .515

The Handbook gives him a .306 xBA.

The Handbook's projection is modest: 22 runs, 25 homers, 76 RBI, 1 SB, .88 batting average in 504 plate appearances.

In the capsule comment, the Handbook, looks at "potent HctX, recent Brl% gains," and so forth, and concludes, "UP: 35 HR, .300 BA."

Alex Patton Alex
Jan 9
2020: EV 92.1 HardHit 49% Barrel 14% HR/FB 40% LA 10.5 Pull 46% Cent 32% Oppo 22%
2021: EV 90.6 HardHit 47% Barrel 11% HR/FB 21% LA 10.8 Pull 39% Cent 36% Oppo 25%
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 16 '21