Alex Rios 2009 Keyword: GB Ratio
The Keyword(s) to Alex Rios 2009 success or failure is – Groundball Ratio.
Below is a graph (via fangraphs.com) of Alex Rios batted balls. Take a quick glance at 2006 & 2007 and then focus on the 2008 season.
In 08 we can see that GB % is up considerably vs career norms. 2008 was the first season in Rios’ career where he hit more GB than FB.
When taking a closer look at the 2008 segment of the chart we can see a decrease in Rios’ GB as the year goes on and an increase in his FB.
We witnessed some of the rewards of the reversal in GB rates, as his second half OPS of .879 was close to .150 better than his .737 first half score.
This allowed his LD% in the second half to return to his yearly average of 20%.
Not on this graph but of note should also be Rios HR/FB ratio, which took a hit, dropping from 11% (2006) and 10% (2007) down to 7.4% in 2008. I believe that a decrease in overall GB can help his HR/FB ratio in 2009, due to contact that has been historically more conducive to Rios success.
I’ll be keeping my eye on Rios’ spring training and early season GB ratios. If he can drop the ratio back down to career norm levels then Jays fans should expect a return to the .850+ OPS levels of Rios 2006 & 2007 seasons.