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San Francisco Giants: Statcast studs and duds of the first half

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 19: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by Evan Longoria #10 after hitting a solo home run in the second inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 19, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 19: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by Evan Longoria #10 after hitting a solo home run in the second inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 19, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants
CINCINNATI, OH – MAY 03: Evan Longoria #10 of the San Francisco Giants hits a solo home run to break a tie game in the 11th inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 3, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Giants won 12-11 in 11 innings. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Table 1: Hitters with the least to show for their quality of contact

Name                        wOBA           xwOBA          Difference

Evan Longoria          .323               .363                  -.040
Brandon Belt            .341               .374                  -.033
Joe Panik                   .274               .299                  -.019
Tyler Austin              .312               .331                  -.019
Buster Posey           .307               .326                  -.019
League Avg.              .322               .321                    .001

Longoria’s wOBA and xwOBA disparity ranks among the five largest in baseball.

According to Statcast, while he produced at roughly a league-average rate in the first half, his quality of contact suggests he should have ranked among the top 75 hitters in baseball among players with at least 100 plate appearances.

Meanwhile, Belt’s disparity was one of the 20 largest in the league and given his already productive season that says a lot. His expected numbers would rank in the top 50 for wOBA, tied with Matt Chapman and ahead of Max Muncy.

Panik’s numbers are still well below average even after adjusting for quality of contact, while Posey and Austin go from slightly below-average to slightly above-average hitters.

Those changes are not substantial, but they do bode well for both players going forward.

The biggest takeaway here is that Longoria and Belt could both be headed for productive second halves if they continue to make the same quality of contact they did during the first half.

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