2015 NL RoY Kris Bryant makes this list of modern batters who were not shy about taking their cuts. What is the unusual seasonal batting feat that only these players have achieved since 1901?
Our readers zeroed in on BABIP as part of the quiz answer, but didn’t get that only these players had a qualified season since 1901 with a .350 BABIP that was one-third higher than their overall batting average. Those seasons are after the jump.
Here are those uncommon seasons (that have become increasingly more common recently).
The abundance of strikeouts in today’s game enhances the opportunity for a wide spread between a player’s BA and BABIP. And, those strikeouts are happening because players are not cutting down on their swings with two strikes. Thus, if they do make contact, they’re more likely to hit the ball harder than if they were just trying to put the ball in play. The result: fewer outs on balls in play and higher BABIP scores.
Hernandez’s .404 BABIP from a .288 BA is particularly noteworthy. The next lowest BA in a qualified .400 BABIP season is a .351 mark by Manny Ramirez in 2000.