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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BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – SEPTEMBER 10: Gavin Lux #48 of the Los Angeles Dodgers fields against the Baltimore Orioles against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 10, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Lux’s Skillset-

Lux has put more balls into play with a 100+ MPH exit velocity than he has at any other speed.

Keep in mind that Statcast defines 95+ MPH as a ‘hard-hit.’ To put the ‘hard-hit’ stat into further perspective, New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge finished 1st in ‘hard-hit percentage’ last season and (most likely) will finish 2nd this season at a 56.8% clip (second only to Miguel Sano’s 57.5%).

It’s not fair to say that “hard-hit balls equal a great hitter” because there’s far more to the equation, however, hitting the ball hard consistently is an excellent sign of things to come.

Lux’s Expected Weighted On Base Average (xwOBA)-

Expected weighted on-base average is arguably the most comprehensively sound stat made to show how well a hitter is driving the ball. See this for a more detailed definition of xwOBA.

Much like a ‘hard-hit rate’ xwOBA shows performance rather than results.

For example, think of a rookie who’s struggled to drive runners in.

Instead of focusing upon the negative (not hitting in runners), it’s far more helpful to show the youngster how well he’s hitting the ball.

Not only rookies benefit from these stats.

GM’s and coaches can decipher whose struggles may only be temporary, and even old-school chiseled vets analyze performance-based stats, sometimes as extra motivation in place of focusing upon negative results.

Concerning Lux, the MLB average xwOBA is .312 (roughly). Lux’s lowest point thus far sits at .320.

Given his proven hitting prowess, we’re probably looking at his floor skill-set, meaning he’ll only get better the more he plays and the more he sees MLB pitches.

Lux’s Clutch Gene-

When Lux made his debut with the Dodgers I mentioned his seemingly natural ‘clutch gene.’ Clutch players- Kirk Gibson, Pablo Sandoval, Aaron Boone, Big Papi, and Mariano Rivera (just to name a few)- simply play better when the brightest lights beam upon them.

After only being with AA-Tulsa for less than half a season just last year, a then-20-year-old Gavin Lux led Tulsa to their first championship in exactly 20 years.

He did so by providing the offensive spark-a .424 AVG throughout the Texas League Playoffs-Tulsa needed.

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