by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Earlier this week we took a look at the Top 5 home run hitters from ’16, in an effort to try and determine who has the potential to replicate their success (click here for the article). Today let’s round out the Top 10 and see who should be in store for another big power season and who could be in store for a regression:
6t. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies – 41
He’s now hit 83 HR over the past two seasons. Is he a product of Coors Field? Perhaps:
Of course that split isn’t as dramatic as it could be, though in 2016 he hit 25 at home. Regardless it’s not like he’s going to be traded, so look for him to continue taking advantage of the friendly confines. He’s going to be a mainstay among the power leaders as long as he can stay healthy.
6t. Chris Carter – Milwaukee Brewers – 41
It shouldn’t be surprising that his first season in Milwaukee led to his best power campaign. He’s going to hit plenty of home runs, as well as strikeout a ton, wherever he plays though the home ballpark helped:
His value will always be capped, and if he has a similar upside or not strictly depends on where he ultimately calls home in 2017 (he is a free agent).
8. Todd Frazier – Chicago White Sox – 40
There was definitely fallout from his first 40 HR campaign, as he easily could’ve been swinging for the fences:
It shouldn’t be a surprise that he was an average drain, especially as he’s never made the most consistent contact throughout his career (12.5% SwStr% in 2016, 12.2% for his career). The power is nice, and if he maintains his current makeup there’s little reason he won’t continue to hit 35+ HR per season as well as steal some bases (13+ for three straight years). Just know the price you are going to pay.
9t. Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs – 39
This is what was expected, and he did it with an elevated line drive rate (23.7%) and a respectable strikeout rate (22.0%). There is room for regression in the latter, given his 13.0% SwStr%, which will be something to watch. That said, when it comes to pure power there aren’t many who compare. Maybe his overall appeal takes a hit (he may not hit .292), but his outlook is bright
9t. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners – 39
Where did this power resurgence come from? He did start hitting the ball in the air more (36.1%), which helps, and he also posted the second highest HR/FB of his career (19.3%). He was also consistent all season, which is promising, but the regression in his line drive rate is concerning:
It’s something to keep in mind, because it’s possible he starts to sell out for the long ball. We’d hope not, given his track record, but if he does the overall impact could be a net negative. We will dive a bit further into it in the coming months.
Source – Fangraphs