Who Were the Luckiest and Unluckiest MLB Hitters in April?
The MLB regular season is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s why we shouldn’t jump to conclusions when a player gets off to a slow start in the month of April -- after all, it doesn’t mean the next five months will also be terrible.
Just take Anthony Rendon as an example -- before Sunday’s game against the New York Mets, he had struggled to a 59 wRC+. But after his 6-hit, 3-homer and 10-RBI performance, his wRC+ for the season was a healthy 107.
So, one way or the other, things can turn around pretty quickly on the diamond, especially when certain statistics haven’t yet stabilized.
While we should take fast and slow starts with a grain of salt at this point in the season, it’s important to look at certain trends to see how players arrived at those numbers. Did they really earn the stat line that was just produced, or was there more luck involved than usual?
That’s what we’re here to figure out each month -- which players experienced more bad luck than the average, and who ended up on the other end of the spectrum.
When watching a ballgame, the same traditional stats consistently flash on the screen for hitters -- batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, homers and RBI. What that doesn’t tell us, though, is how well they’re actually hitting the ball.
So, we're going to look at not only the BABIP and hard-hit rate from qualified hitters, but also parts of their batted-ball profile (mainly their line-drive rate, ground-ball rate and fly-ball rate) to find out who's experiencing some good fortune and who is having some tough luck compared to the league average in these categories.