Fink: The sneaky impact of bunting for a hit

From Devan Fink at Beyond the Box Score on March 15, 2017:

Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez had a solid season last year. For the first time in his career, he posted a wRC+ over 100 (108), making him an above-average hitter. Adding in reliable defense on the right side of the infield, Hernandez was worth a cool 4.4 fWAR, a real asset to the Phillies’ squad.

Here at Beyond The Box Score, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an article that focuses on batting average, but I’m about to embark into the depths of the stat that is frowned upon by many in the sabermetric community, who are far more in favor of on-base percentage at the very least.

Hernandez’s batting average last season was .294. This is quite good, although it’s not above the completely arbitrary .300 mark that has always signaled a “good” hitter. But, how about this? While Hernandez did bat .294, he would have dropped to .274 if not for 15 bunt hits, good for the most in the major leagues.

While that might sound like a lot, it turns out Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has the most for a single season since 2010, with 20 in 2014. That season, Gordon hit .289. Without those 20 bunts, he would have hit just .265.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 16, 2017. Last Updated: March 16, 2017.