Monday, April 25, 2011

A-Jax needs to clean it up

Last year, Austin Jackson lived the high life thanks to his .396 BABIP. He batted .293 and scored 103 runs despite whiffing 170 times and walking only 47 times. He finished second in ROY voting.

This season, Jackson is batting .193 with 9 runs in 22 games, primarily from the leadoff spot. He is still fanning at a high rate -- even higher than last year -- and his BABIP is .273. Plus, according to the defensive metrics at Fangraphs and, Jackson is average to below average in CF.

Last season, Jackson's line drive rate was 24.2% and this year it is 15.1%. Last year he hit only 2 infield flyballs all season; he has reached that total already. He also has a more than 8% decrease this year in infield hits, probably due in part to a flyball rate that has increased by 12%.

Jackson needs to be hitting line drives and beating out groundballs. He has shown signs of turning it around. Over his last four games he is batting .353 with a .462 BABIP. With a K rate around 30% he needs to keep that BABIP inflated to be productive.

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