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There’s one comparison that should put Rockies fans at ease.
You don’t have to look back all that far to find a stat line similar to how he’s performing now, and it should make you feel a little more confident that he’ll snap out of this funk shortly. His start this season is very reminiscent of his March/April of 2019. Here’s how each compare:
Total Plate Appearances
- 2019 – 129
- 2020 – 112
- 2019 – 91
- 2020 – 66
- 2019 – 6
- 2020 – 7
K% and BB%
- 2019 – 7.0% and 8.5%
- 2020 – 6.3% and 7.1%
- 2019 – .229
- 2020 – .238
His start to 2019 was certainly better than he’s started now, but there are too many similarities otherwise. He followed this up with a May in which he posted a wRC+ of 203. If you’re like, “Oh hey, these advanced stats are stupid and I don’t like them, give me the normal stats,” well then look no further:
That May his batting average was .425 and he hit 9 HRs while getting 29 RBI in 26 games. No matter how you look at it, he was really, really good. And it led to him posting up a season-long stat line that’s very much what we’re accustomed to seeing from Nolan, so there really shouldn’t be a ton of concern that his performance to date is what we should expect from him going forward.
Some of what we’re seeing from Nolan is concerning, most certainly. He needs to get on top of the ball a little more than he is now and turn those soft pop-ups into hard line drives. Maybe he’s in his head a little and will snap out of it once he puts together a string of good games. Maybe part of it is a result of having a subpar batter behind him and a change in lineup order to get a better hitter behind him could be beneficial.
But he’s not the cause for the Rockies’ struggles and should not be blamed for them. He’s in a slump but if past history combined with underlying statistics tell us anything, he’ll break out of this soon. Rest easy…he’ll be fine.
Editor’s Note: All stats in this article are current through Sunday, August 23.