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Justin Ruggiano is having one of the league’s most surprising seasons. He entered Sunday with 245 plate appearances, a .324 batting average, and strikeouts in 25.3 percent of his plate appearances. Intuitively, we all know striking out more than a quarter of the time makes it tough to be a productive hitter, and nearly impossible to post a high average. Yet Ruggiano is angling to join an exclusive club of players with more than 250 plate appearances in a season, a strikeout rate above 25 percent, and a batting average of .300 or better:

Player

Season

PA

SO%

BA

Ryan Howard

2006

704

25.7%

.313

Josh Phelps

2002

287

28.6%

.309

Chris Johnson

2010

362

25.1%

.308

Bobby Bonds

1970

745

25.4%

.302

Wily Mo Pena

2006

304

29.6%

.301

B.J. Upton

2007

548

28.1%

.300

 

For fantasy and trivial purposes, the table below shows how those players hit the next year:

Player

Season

BA

Ryan Howard

2007

.268

Josh Phelps

2003

.268

Chris Johnson

2011

.251

Bobby Bonds

1971

.288

Wily Mo Pena

2007

.253

B.J. Upton

2008

.273

 

Were Ruggiano to follow the trend, he would not hit .300 again. He would, however, hit better than his .226 career mark entering this season. 

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harderj
9/03
Thanks for this.

It could be added that for those of us who play Strat-O-Matic, Justin Ruggiano will be one of the best free agents available in (many) drafts for mashing lefties, with a triple slash line of .382/.461/.829 and copious (if not unlimited) at bats. He’s decent against righties, too.

Jhonatan Solano (.444/.500/.889) is better, but has had only 37 plate appearances and is .269/.296/.462 vs. righties.

Wil Nieves is as well (.429/.467/.857/1.324), also with low plate appearances (73) and woeful against righties.

Here are the next 19 among the free agents in my league I found (ranked high to low in OPS), with special mention for two on-base only guys at the end. Lots of catchers.

Wellington Castillo .500/.538/.750/1.288
Franklin Gutierrez .433/.452/.733/1.185
Dioner Navarro .308/.308/.846/1.154
Starling Marte .333/.370/.667/1.037
Yasmani Grandal .324/.333/.765/1.098
Laynce Nix .250/.333/.750/1.083
Jeff Keppinger .418/.444/.571/1.015
Michael McKenry .282/.370/.590/.980
Trevor Plouffe .265/.363/.612/.975
Tyler Flowers .310/.326/.643/.969
Scott Hairston .320/.353/.605/.958
Scott Podsednik .500/.458/.500/.958
Ronny Cedeno .343/.395/.529/.924
Manny Machado .294/.333/.588/.921
Roger Bernadina .417/.462/.458/.920
Jonny Gomes .276/.382/.537/.919
Brandon Snyder .318/.348/.568/.916
Todd Frazier .309/.347/.564/.911
Irving Falu .421/.421/.474/.893
Taylor Green .250/.625/.250/.875*
George Kottaras .167/.423/.167/.590*