Big Amoco Sign wrote:
Fat Strat wrote:Posting this is like some sort of personally-induced torture. But, one full calendar year for Matt Carpenter:
2018: .202/.332/.371/.703, 89 wRC+
2019: .212/.315/.364/.680, 82 wRC+
You can do the math to add those together.
Lost in this is how he was even worse at the beginning of 2018 before his crazy surge. Is a breakout looming or was that one last hurrah and his decline in full swing now?
I have been holding out on Carpenter because his LD% has remained high while his BABIP has plummeted. That has now remained consistent through the calendar year. Much higher LD% than his BABIP would indicate. That usually implies some bad luck. But, the last 12 months actually look very similar to his entire 2017 season - lower BABIP with a good LD%, but now he is missing the ridiculous BB rate (17% to ) and has experienced a power drop (.209 ISO to .152).
So, if I told you that a player experienced a noticeable but not extreme drop in BB% and power between his age 31 and age 33 seasons, despite maintaining a consistent (though low) BABIP and LD% what is the logical conclusion we would draw? Age-related decline. Obvious. Just perfectly fits the expected trend.
You have to throw out part of his age 32 season to get there, though, which is why this was a hard case. But it is not unusual at all for an elite player to flash elite production for a month or more even in the midst of progressive decline. So, while it looks to the casual fan like Carpenter has experienced fall-off-the-cliff decline, it’s actually much easier to explain Carpenter’s downturn in a three-year phase starting in 2017 and continuing through now, with 3 hot months in the middle of 18 not-so-hot.
Edit: back to my initial point... High BABIP players, and Marp qualifies, tend to exhibit a decrease in BABIp as they age, despite consistencies in their LD%. Some of this is anecdotal - as in, I have noticed it but don’t have real data to point to off hand, maybe looking at David Freese as an example might shed light in the situation. Freese and Marp are somewhat similar in their high BABIP, line-drive approach. Freese’s decline has been less noticeable, but he has also been less exposed in his roles and is not as subject to shifting. We can’t discount the shift as a significant part of this.