This season we have seen several offensive sides of Jack Hannahan. In April, he was a typical, average hitter. From May through July, he was below average, and in August, his numbers have been astonishing. This article will compare Jack Hannahan’s stats throughout the season and provide some analysis behind the numbers. One of the key stats examined is Batting Average on Balls in Play, or BABIP. Because BABIP is based on balls “hit in play,” strikeouts are factored out of this equation. BABIP typically shows how lucky hitters are on the balls they hit. If BABIP is high, it usually means that balls hit in play found holes in the defense. If BABIP is low, it usually means that balls hit in play were right at a defensive player. Players with extremely high or extremely low BABIP typically tend to regress toward the league average. The league average BABIP is usually around .300. Therefore, if a player has been “lucky” with his hits and has a high BABIP, his hit pace will usually decrease and more balls hit into play will be at defensive players, dropping his BABIP.
Jack Hannahan started the season off strong. He won the starting third base position out of Spring Training when Jason Donald was sent to the disabled list after being hit by a pitch in a pre-season game. In the month of April, Hannahan batted with an average of .273, which included 21 hits, 4 of which were home runs. His On Base Percentage (OBP) was .349 and he had a Slugging Percentage (SLG) of .481. In the month of April, Hannahan’s BABIP was .309. This number was just about the league average.
There was a big drop-off in numbers for Jack Hannahan from May through July. In these three months, Hannahan only batted .187 with an OBP of just .282. His SLG was almost cut in half from his April number, down to a .265. In these three months, Hannahan only hit one home run in 166 at bats, compared to the 4 he hit in April in just 77 at bats. From May though July, Hannahan’s BABIP was .244. Though this number was under the league average, it was not enough to make any difference. Maybe a few more of his outs could have dropped for hits, but that still would not bring his batting average much over .200, which is still low for a three month span.
August is showing a new hope for Jack Hannahan, by far his best month of the year. As of August 28, Jack Hannahan has 15 hits in just 39 at bats, giving him an average of .385. He finds himself on base in nearly half of his plate appearances with a .478 OBP. His SLG is almost the same as April, at .462. Hannahan has yet to hit a home run this month and has not hit one since June 8th. When looking at his .385 average one must think: is this luck or is Hannahan hitting the cover off the ball? When you take strikeouts away, Hannahan has a BABIP of .517 in August. Part of this is due to the fact that Hannahan has struck out 10 times in 39 at bats. This shows that Hannahan is getting extremely lucky with his hits and that his trend of batting nearly .400 will probably not continue through the month of September.