Statistical Fun with Mike Olt's Odd Start to the Season

Social Navigation

Statistical Fun with Mike Olt’s Odd Start to the Season

Chicago Cubs

mike olt!Mike Olt had himself a game on Sunday. Not only did he launch a bomb of a homer (seriously: the thing gets out fast, and yet it’s still *way* up in the left center bleachers – if anything, Olt’s power was really undersold before the season), but also saved two runs in the first with a diving play, and made another really nice catch at the wall later in the game.

It was an appropriate punctuation mark – an ellipsis, perhaps – in a truly odd start to his first full season in the big leagues. Consider some Olt oddities:

  • With 9 homers, Olt is tied for 14th in baseball. Well, that is to say he would be if he had enough at bats to qualify for the various leaderboards around the web. He hits a homer every 11.33 at bats, the second best rate in baseball this year.
  • Olt has 18 hits this year, one of which is a double. That means, yes, he’s got more homers (9) than singles (8).
  • Olt is, however, striking out 31.6% of the time. That’s good for 12th among batters with at least 100 plate appearances. (Junior Lake is still on top, by the way, but he’s come down considerably – 36.9%)
  • Olt’s slash line is generally uninspiring, at .176/.254/.451, yielding a meh .308 wOBA and meh 89 wRC+.
  • His ISO, as you can see, is an hilarious .275, which puts him in the top ten in baseball.
  • That .254 OBP, however, is 12th worst in baseball.
  • Olt’s BABIP is an anemic .155, but, of course, that’s partly depressed because he’s hit so damn many homers. Olt’s line drive rate is just 9%.
  • ESPN points out the extreme oddity – bad luck? – in Olt’s batted ball profile: of his 35 “softly-hit” balls in play, Olt has landed just one hit. Not only is that the third-worst rate in the majors, it’s way, way below what you’d expect for those kinds of balls – the average is about 17% of softly-hit balls wind up as hits. That rate would give Olt six such hits, instead of one, and would raise his batting average from .176 to .225.
  • Assuming those added five hits were all singles, Olt would see his slash line bump up to .225/.303/.500. And suddenly, he looks like a solidly above-average overall third baseman.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.