Saturday, January 2, 2010

Aaron Hill 2010

It's hard to know quite what to make of Aaron Hill's monster breakout season last year. He hit 36 home runs, after putting up a previous career high of 17. He did hit 10 less doubles than in his previous full season, so the jump in home runs wasn't quite as drastic as it appeared...but it was still pretty extreme. Hill's other numbers (batting average, walk rate, strikeout rate) all remained fairly close to their previous levels. Interestingly, his groundball rate rose...not what you'd expect in a player who suddenly hit a lot more home runs. Hill is only 27 years old, so that improves the chances that this was a genuine breakout. In addition, he still hit plenty of doubles (37 in 2009), which reduces the risk that the home run total was due to him getting 'lucky'. I'm not expecting him to hit 36 home runs again in 2010, but something in the 25-30 range seems likely. That would still make him very valuable as a 2nd baseman, and a good pick relatively early in drafts.

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