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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Jason Kipnis And The Dark Side Of An Increased Launch Angle

His average launch angle was in the 11.0 degree area from 2014-16. In 2017-18, it rose to 17.1 and 17.0 degrees, respectively. He raised that launch angle, all right - his liner rate percentile ranks dropped to 41 and 55 in 2017-18. Why is that a huge deal? Well, hitters batted .653 AVG-.861 SLG on liners last season. Oh, and his pop up percentile ranks have leapt to 83 and 63 in 2017-18. And as you might have guessed, hitters don’t fare so well on those, hitting .013 AVG-.018 SLG. Not a very good trade-in.

And if you’re hitting more pop ups and fewer line drives, it stands to reason that you might be hitting more “high” 35-50 degree and fewer “low” 20-35 degree flies. MLB hitters batted .095 AVG-.240 SLG on the former, and .439 AVG-1.185 SLG on the latter.

There’s another problem, too. In pursuit of extra power, starting in 2016 he became more of a pull hitter, especially on the ground. Here came the overshifts; he batted only .173 AVG-.195 SLG on the ground in 2018. As the hole got bigger, he began to uppercut more, and his grounder authority plunged; it has been over one full standard deviation below league average in each of the last two seasons.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2019 at 05:45 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jason kipnis

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   1. bfan Posted: February 18, 2019 at 05:57 PM (#5816240)
This is an incredibly interesting look at a baseball trend. I guess the point is, if you do not hit the ball hard enough to get it over the fences that often, do you really want to be hitting more flyballs? In this case, the answer seems to be "no". I assume that is the next frontier in baseball training and coaching analytics-who should be changing their launch angle and by how much?

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