First, let’s start by examining Raimel Tapia’s numbers so far this year for the Colorado Rockies (entering Friday):
Slash Line: .270/.323/.377
Now, let’s compare that to what he posted in 2020 (51 games):
Slash Line: .321/.369/.402
There are a couple of big things to notice here.
First, that K% has dropped from 18.4 percent to 13.9 percent. In general, that’s a really good thing to see that he’s cut down on his Ks. He wasn’t striking out a ton before, but he’s getting the bat on the ball more often. That can be both good and bad.
The next biggest difference that we see is that near 100 point drop in BABIP. If you’re unfamiliar with BABIP, that is simply one’s Batting Average on Balls In Play.
Generally, if you’re a speedy guy, like Tapia, then you’re going to have a higher BABIP because you’ll beat out more infield ground balls than a normal hitter. A league-average BABIP is going to be around .300 or so. Tapia’s got a career BABIP of .342, so the massive drop to make his numbers slightly below league average should be concerning given where he normally is. There’s a large contributor to that stat this season for him, but we’ll get into that later.
The next stat we really need to look at is that drop in wRC+. Last season, Tapia put up a wRC+ of 96, meaning he was a near-league-average hitter. This year it’s down to 79. That near 20 percent drop puts him right in line with his career average wRC+ of 78.
For someone like Tapia who showed more promise in his opportunities last year, why is he down this year?