Ian Desmond: Unlucky
Now look, a lot of what Desmond’s done this season has been self-inflicted because of his continual love affair with ground balls. That GB% of 47.6% is still third-highest on the Rockies (100 PA minimum). What you’ll be surprised to hear, though, is he has the Rockies lowest xwOBA vs wOBA gap at -4 points (excluding Yonder Alonso, whose gap includes his time with the White Sox).
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To back this up: Ian Desmond’s Barrel per PA% sits at 6.7%. That ranks second-highest on the Rockies behind only David Dahl. He’s increased his Hard Hit Percentage to 38.4%, which is a career-high for Desmond (still just above the league average of 38.0%).
A good comparison based off Ian’s slash lines (Soft/Med/Hard%, LD/GB/FB%) would be Nick Ahmed of the Diamondbacks. While Ahmed’s barreling less balls than Desmond (4.7% vs Ian’s 6.7%), his wRC+ is 11 points higher even though he’s hitting the ball pretty similarly. Part of that’s going to be because Desmond’s hitting the ball hard but right at defenders, part is going to be how Coors affects wRC+. Regardless, the numbers show that Desmond has been getting at least a little bit unlucky (though if he could stop chopping the ball into the core of the earth in nearly half his ABs, that’d be great).
Side note: Yonder Alonso should also be considered “unlucky”, but given that Baseball Savant does not split up wOBA and xwOBA by team, rather just the season, he’s not included in this breakdown.