Dodgers: Comparing Gavin Lux with Ghosts of Playoffs’ Past

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 29: Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with Gavin Lux #48 after hitting a two-run home run in the top of the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on September 29, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 29: Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with Gavin Lux #48 after hitting a two-run home run in the top of the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on September 29, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 28: Gavin Lux #48 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a double against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the fifth inning at Oracle Park on September 28, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Compare and Contrast: Lux’s Hard Hit Rate-

Here are the Dodgers’ second basemen that qualified for hitting statistics in 2018, courtesy of Fangraphs.

In this particular link, I’ve highlighted what’s commonly referred to as “Batted-Ball Statistics.” It’s an effective way of looking at a player’s skillset rather than the results of his at-bats.

In other words, even if a player’s overall numbers are down, batted-ball stats still show how hard said player’s contact is.

For example, sometimes a bit of “luck” on the fielding-end is necessary to maintain a high batting average.

Batted-ball stats take that ‘luck factor’ out of the equation and focus directly upon the player’s performance, not solely the result.

Throughout Brian Dozier’s 168 plate appearances (PA) for the Dodgers last year, his ‘hard-hit rate’- any ball hit harder than 95 MPH- was higher than the rest of the Dodgers’ second basemen in 2018.

Of all the balls put into play (BIP) by Dozier last year, 43% were ‘hard-hit.’

Gavin Lux has had (now at the end of the season) only 82 plate appearances in the Majors thus far.

However, his 52.3% ‘hard-hit rate’ (almost a full ten points higher than Brian Dozier’s last season) magnifies just how successful his MLB debut has been.

Although Dozier had the highest ‘hard-hit rate’ among Dodger second basemen last year, his actual batting average (BA) sat at an abysmal .184.

The only keystone attendant with a batting average worse than Dozier’s last year was (sorry guys) everyone’s favorite, Chase Utley (at .179 BA).

The highest average in 2018 at second-base belonged to Kiké Hernandez with .235.

Gavin Lux’s average hit (what I believe to be) a temporary lull toward the end of September. Plenty of those games held little-to-no importance.

A career .305 hitter in the minors, Lux’s MLB batting average currently sits at .240. Five points higher than Hernandez’s team-leading.235 AVG (at second) in 2018.

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