Colorado Rockies: Five individual, advanced offensive stats that must be fixed in 2021

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Sam Hilliard of the Colorado Rockies
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 21: Sam Hilliard #22 of the Colorado Rockies catches a fly ball against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on September 21, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Sam Hilliard strikeout rate (36.8 percent): Bottom 2 percent of the league

If you look at the basic numbers for Sam Hilliard in 2020, most are not pretty as he hit .210 with an on-base percentage of just .272. The slugging percentage was above league average at .439 but considering what he has achieved in the minor leagues, that could still see some improvement too.

But looking at the advanced stats for him, almost all are very good.

  • Barrel percentage of 9.5 percent (6.4 was league average). That led the Rockies.
  • Hard hit percentage of 44.4 percent, which was also best on the Rockies (34.9 was league average)
  • Average exit velocity was 88.3 MPH, when league average was exactly that: 88.3 MPH
  • Chase rate was 6th on the Rockies (among all position players) but it was slightly above league average (28.2 percent) at 29.3 percent

But he had two main problems: he whiffed a lot (whiff percentage) and he struck out a lot. His strikeout rate was 36.8 percent, which was 7th-worst among the 310 players that had at least 100 plate appearances in 2020. If you just consider his at-bats, his strikeout percentage was an even 40 percent. The league-high was its highest ever but it was still only 23 percent.

He also whiffed more than anybody on the Rockies as his whiff percentage was 38.9 percent (league average was 24.5 percent).

So, in other words, if the Rockies likely Opening Day center fielder can cut down on the swings and misses along with the strikeouts, he will be a big, middle-of-the-order bat for the Rockies.