Padres’ Wil Myers boasted all-star numbers in 2020 after an abysmal 2019. Myers either put up his career bests, or was on pace to put up his career bests in just about every statistic in this shortened 60 game 2020 season. Using the “Baseballr” package in R, this analysis will dive into the reasons why.
Quality of Contact
These graphs show the relationship between Myers’ batted balls in terms of their launch angle, and their exit velocity, as well as the xwOBA that comes along with it. Balls hit to the right of the vertical dashed line marked “95 mph” are classified as hard hit balls, and balls hit in between the horizontal dashed lines were hit in what’s known as the “sweet spot.”
Obviously there’re less batted balls in the 2020 graph, but Myers set career highs by increasing his hard hit% to 45.8%, up from 41.4% in ’19, sweet spot% to 40.8%, up from 32.7% in ’19, and about 27% of batted balls were 95 mph+ AND in between 8 and 32 degrees, up from 22% in ’19, while also putting up a career high 14.8 barrel%. Myers also had his highest career average launch angle since his 30 HR season in 2017, and set his career high in average exit velocity at 91 mph.
Another interesting note is that he was actually getting a little luckier in 2019 than he did in ’20, with a .344 and a .331 BABIP, both well above his career .317 BABIP. With a higher BABIP, you’d think this would translate into putting up better numbers, however, this was not the case as it also happened to be one of his worst years of his career, most likely due to his strikeouts, which will be visited later.
Splits in 2019 & 2020
Wil Myers, as you’d expect, is slightly worse against right handers on the mound, but doesn’t have very dramatic splits as some hitters tend to possess. This was not the case the past couple seasons.
He put up a .705 & .920 OPS, .302 & .384 wOBA, and a 87 & 143 wRC+, all in 2019 and 2020 vs RHP, repectively, with a combined 30.2 K% and 8.3 BB%.