Now that the All-Star break is in the rearview mirror, it’s a good time to take a look at the San Francisco Giants players most poised for breakouts and slumps in the second half.
The second half of the season is underway and there are some San Francisco Giants poised to either regress or improve, based on one advanced metric.
Weighted on-base average (wOBA) is one of the best measures of a player’s offensive performance. As you would guess from the name, its roots lie in on-base percentage, but the way a player reaches base is weighted differently, with a home run carrying the highest value and down the chain of outcomes.
Once Statcast batted-ball data became available, Baseball Savant developed expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA), which uses exit velocity, launch angle, and sprint speed data to predict the projected outcome for every hitter’s contact.
wOBA is a better metric to understand a player’s productivity, but xwOBA is superior at understanding a player’s true skill. Often times, finding players with large disparities between the two can be enlightening in predicting breakouts and slumps.
Looking at every San Francisco Giants player with at least 100 plate appearances or 15 innings pitched in the first half, I singled out the five who under and over-performed the most for both pitchers and hitters.