Thursday, 29 May 2008

Coming to Terms with Aaron Hill

Mighy Mouse is streaky as fuck. Always has been, (probably) always will be.

Last year was a breakout season of sorts for the slick fielding second baseman, adding nearly .75 points to his slugging % on the strength of 17 dingers and 47 doubles to finish with a nifty .291/.333/.459 (.792) line. Production like that now would probably make him the star of an anemic offense. Heavy metal bands would be writing love ballads dedicated to him.

But it hasn't been all smiles and sunshine for young Aaron through the early going in 2008. Don't get me wrong, I'm not slagging the guy off or anything. His glove work has been unparalleled as per our expectations and I do reckon his bat will heat up soon. Why, the pattern of history absolutely demands it.

It's been high peaks and low valleys month to month since he began his big league career as an injury replacement for Corey Koskie early on in 2005. Cue some B-R action, OPS by month and change from the previous month:


June: .867 (-.173)
.574 (-.293)
.701 (+.127)
September: .608 (-.093)


May: .827 (+.344)
June: .787 (-.40)
July: .858 (+.71)
August: .515 (-.343)
September: .880 (+.365)


May: .732 (-.186)
June: .690 (-.42)
July: .760 (+70)
August: .636 (-.124)
1.019 (+.383)


May: .617 (-.100)

In 19 months of big league service, Hill has had 10 months where his OPS shifted either up or down by at least .100 points, and that's not even counting Aprils. That, I think, is the definition of streakiness. The other interesting thing is that his monthly OPS almost always zigs after it zags; at no point has he gone three consecutive months with a decreasing OPS.

Based on this pattern I'd bet money Hill is due to get hot, red hot, in the month of June. We might be in store for a period of time where he carries the offense on his back, which would be a pleasant development indeed.

-- Johnny Was

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