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It’s no secret that Brendan Rodgers has struggled so far at the major league level. It would be nice to think that this was maybe due in part to some bad luck, but honestly his numbers – bad as they are – should probably be even worse.
Rodgers’ BABIP is higher than the major league average, while his hard-hit rate, exit velocity, and walk rate are all well below average. According to Statcast, his expected batting average (XBA) is .155 and expected slugging (XSLG) .221 – marks make his actual batting average and slugging percentage (.224 and .250, respectively) look positively buoyant.
As bleak a picture as these numbers paint, I still think that there’s reason for optimism. His promotion didn’t exactly come out of nowhere; Rodgers had been killing the ball in AAA to the tune of a .350/.413/.622 triple slash line. Even in an offense-happy league these numbers were good for a 150 WRC+ and looked to translate to fairly healthy rates in the majors.
The ZIPS projection system estimated a .276/.325/.442 slash line at the big league level. Not incredible but pretty solid for a rookie getting his first taste of big league action.
While projections of this type are no guarantee, and certainly many players rookies have struggled once they hit the highest level of competition, they still seem to indicate that Rodgers is capable of more than we’ve seen from him so far. At least all of Rockies Nation hopes so.