Carl Crawford & Walking

Entering today's game, Crawford was walking eight times for every 100 plate appearances. The interesting thing is the weird pattern he's doing such in. Carl was walking not at all to begin the season. One walk in the first 10 games or 44 plate appearances, then something happened. Erik wrote a post critiquing Carl's awful O-Swing% and patience and bam. Over the next 10 games Crawford walked four times in 44 plate appearances; then seven in his next 48; then...back to one in 44. Over the last 10 (games 41-50) Crawford walked five times in 48 plate appearances. Graphically, that looks like this (y-axis is BB%):

Ccwalk_medium

It's not just a perception. Carl is either walking at a Burrellian rate or not at all. I don't know what that means for sustainability purposes. He is being more selective at the plate which lends some sense of legitimacy to this improved patience.

The funny thing about his season is that his BB/K is actually just about the same, his ISO is about the same, but his BABIP is 0.087 points higher and his wOBA is .400 instead of .319 thanks in large to the stolen bases. Regarding Carl's BABIP, he has a .318 BABIP on ground balls; .170 on non-homerun fly balls; and .838 on line drives. Each is well above league average, including that absurd .318 figure on grounders. Think about that, 31.8% of the grounders Carl hits turn into hits.  Carl's career ground ball BABIP is .280. Statistical prime or not, that seems unlikely to continue.

Within the next few weeks the Rays are going to have to decide to whether they want to shop (and probably sell high on) Crawford this deadline and hope Billy Beane holds on to Matt Holliday. Much like with Kazmir, this could define this Rays season, off-season (with 10 million coming off the books), and future seasons.  My gut says it won't happen, my heart doesn't want it, but my mind wants them to at least inquire on what people are willing to give up.

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