How Eloy Jimenez Has Been The White Sox Most Effective Hitter in 2020

Although Eloy Jimenez is hitting only .267 for the season so far, he’s been on fire over the last week and has been the most effective hitter on the White Sox in 2020.

He’s increased the Sox chance of winning games more than any other hitter

White Sox Win Probability Added (WPA) leaders

In order to see who has increased the White Sox chance of winning baseball games the most, we can look at Win Probability Added (WPA). This is the cumulative percentage change from the White Sox win expectancy from before a player’s at-bat to after the at-bat. That value represents how much they have increased or decreased their team’s chances. A negative value means the team is less likely to win after a player’s at-bat than they were before he came to bat. WPA is the sum of this value for all of a player’s at-bats.

We can see that Eloy has been crushing it over the last week with a .59 WPA! His .40 season WPA tells us he was in the negatives before that stretch over the last week, but he’s switched that around quickly and now leads the team in season WPA.

He hits the ball harder than anyone

Eloy hits baseballs hard. How hard though? See below.

White Sox Exit Velocity leaders

Harder on average than any other White Sox hitter at 92.8 mph. He has a hard hit % (balls hit 95+ mph/ balls hit) higher than any other player on the Sox.

He barrels the ball up more balls than anyone

Ball hit off the bat with an exit velocity and launch angle in the red zone below are classified as “barrels”.

This image from mlb.com helps to visualize what a barrel is

Below are the Sox leaders in Barrels and Barrels per Plate Appearance

Eloy’s had the best contact of any of the Sox hitters and actually almost better than anyone in the MLB.

MLB Barrels/PA% leaders

Eloy is second in the MLB in barrels per plate appearance percentage behind only Corey Seager. If you’re curious, Mike Trout is 7th on that list.

Eloy is hitting for a much higher average against fastballs this year; he’s hitting .282 vs fastballs and .259 vs breaking pitches. Expected statistics suggest those numbers should be .332 vs fastballs and only .232 against breaking balls. Four of his seven homers have been of breaking stuff, but they have all been pitches that were hung in the zone.

Pitchers are currently throwing him 50% fastballs, but with the difference is his ability to hit fastballs and breaking stuff you’d expect that number to be even lower going forward.

Eloy hasn’t taken a walk over the past week, but the aggressive approach has paid off recently and made Eloy the most productive hitter for the White Sox over the past seven days.

If winning baseball games is the end goal, Eloy’s at-bats in 2020 have increased the White Sox chance of doing that more than anyone else this season, which makes him the most effective hitter on the team right now.

Published by Will McClaughry

Sports fan, data enthusiast and former division 3 college basketball player

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