Thursday, February 2, 2012

Leaderboard: HR/FB And Tommy Hanson

2011 HR/FB rates:
(100+ IP)

1. Tommy Hanson - 12.5%
2. Derek Lowe - 10.2
3. Brandon Beachy - 9.8
4. Tim Hudson - 8.7
5. Jair Jurrjens - 8

We're talking small samples in the cases of Hanson, Beachy and Jurrjens because of injuries and innings limits, but it's interesting nonetheless. Hanson's HR/FB in his 202-inning season in 2010 was 5.8%, and a 3.31 ERA compared to a 3.87 xFIP says the number was a bit low. I would tend to agree with that, but it certainly didn't spell out such an increase as we saw in his 130 innings last season.

Hanson is a more balanced pitcher than I anticipated coming into the majors. His fly ball and groundball tendencies have stuck hard to approximately 40% each through 460 innings. So a high home run rate isn't necessarily as much of a given as previously thought. However, an increase from 5.8% to 12.5% is odd regardless, and last season's should be taken with a grain of salt.

More so, injuries likely had some effect on the increase in home runs per fly balls for Hanson, as he pitched through shoulder issues and saw a dip in fastball velocity. I always hate to get into things such as this, though, and try to refrain from speculating on injury effects.

A healthy Hanson should fare much better in the home runs allowed category, and I would peg him somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-8%. It's something the Braves really need this year.