Petti: How batted ball distance ages

From SABR member Bill Petti at The Hardball Times on February 28, 2014:

In 2011, Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox delivered a dynamic season at the plate, posting a 150 wRC+ fueled by a .230 isolated slugging figure and 16.7 percent of his fly balls going for homers. Never before had Ellsbury displayed that kind of power at the big league level, or even in the minor leagues over a significant number of at-bats. The question, of course, was whether this was a massive power breakout for the talented center fielder or if this was simply an outlier performance.

In 2012, Ellsbury was sidelined for more than half the season due to injury, posting pretty paltry numbers at the plate (84 wRC+, .099 ISO). He had a much better all-around year in 2013, but the power Ellsbury displayed was pedestrian compared with his 2011 campaign (.128 ISO, 6.6 percent HR/FB).

We can all think of similar scenarios in which a player, coming into his peak, puts up fantastic power numbers only to see those numbers come back down to earth as he ages. It got me thinking about the extent to which power — and the aging of power — could be studied by looking at batted ball distances, not just outcome statistics.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: February 28, 2014. Last Updated: February 28, 2014.