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The Rays DID Hit Better

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Things are looking up, and Elliot Johnson knows it.
Things are looking up, and Elliot Johnson knows it.

Typically when my prophecies come true, it's a mournful, terrible day. When it comes to baseball, it appears I'm a pessimist. Well, yesterday, I predicted the Rays' hitters would improve as a whole through the end of the season. Well, they did.

In case you were doing something crazy like watching preseason NFL football (srsly: y?), the Rays took CC Sabathia yard a whopping five times in yesterday's 5-1 win. Well, needless to say, that somewhat changes my predictions.

I've updated the data from that last post (see below the jump) and tweaked a few things. The result: I no longer predict the Rays will hit 11% better through the end of the season; I anticipate a 13% improvement.

For context, that's like the Rays lineup going from the Astros (91 wRC+) to Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers (104 wRC+) overnight. Or: The Rays going from 9th best offense to 3rd best offense, trailing only the Yankees and Red Sox.

If that happens: Oh baby.

Notable changes:

  • Elliot Johnson has less than 200 PAs in the majors. As such, his career BABIP and 2011 BABIP are nearly indistinguishable. So, I just used his ZIPS rest-of-season BABIP projection (close to .300, which makes sense given his speed). This significantly improves his outlooks (actually, it gives him outlooks; the previous present suggest present = future, which seems unlikely).
  • Kelly Shoppach, Sean Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, Casey Kotchman, B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria all improved their stock, albeit minimally in some cases. Only Ben Zobrist, who went 1 for 4 endured a devaluation.
  • Below, I've included a picture of how the chart looked last time (when I update a Tableau doc, it updates all renditions):

Rays_shh_8-12-11_medium