Another Hot-Hitting Ranger

The Texas Rangers are known this year for a very, very potent offense. With Josh Hamilton, Milton Bradley, and Ian Kinsler all producing top-of-the-league numbers it becomes very easy to overlook other contributing players on the team. Granted, none of these players are in the pitching department, but Marlon Byrd is having a very solid season and, over the last two weeks has arguably been the best player in baseball.

Byrd has had an interesting and underachieving career. He was once considered a super-prospect in the Phillies farm system but never met expectations in red pinstripes and soon found himself sent packing to the Nationals in exchange for Endy Chavez… yes, the Mets legend once played for the Phillies! He then signed with the Rangers as a free agent prior to the 2007 season and remains there today, roaming all three positions in the outfield.

In 82 games this season, Byrd has produced a .298/.381/.477 slash line, good for an OPS+ of 128. He also has an RZR (fielding metric developed at The Hardball Times) of .957. Though he doesn’t technically qualify for inclusion on their leaderboard, the current leader in the outfield is Adam Jones of the Orioles, whose RZR is .948. Take from that what you will.

Though Byrd’s seasonal line is pretty impressive, he has been extremely hot lately. Since July 8, he has hit .383/.463/.636, for a 1.099 OPS, drawing 14 free passes and fanning just seven times in these 29 games. Since the start of August, however, Byrd has been even better. Using the ‘Last 14 Days’ filter here at Fangraphs, Byrd is hitting .480/.559/.740, a 1.299 OPS. His WPA/LI is 0.84 in this span, which ranks atop the American League. Additionally, his BRAA (12.65) and REW (1.22) rank above all other AL players.

Now, The Book showed us that hot streaks, even the most flammable of the bunch, have next to no predictive value with regards to what will happen from that point on. So, it isn’t to say that because Byrd has produced these numbers over the last two weeks that he will continue to stay hot, or has any type of advantage over someone not as hot lately. Still, he has had a good season thus far and I think it’s safe to say very few people have noticed.

Is he living up to the potential that made its way into his corner as a minor leaguer? No, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a quality major league player

Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.

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Steven True
14 years ago

What’s The Book?

Thx, Steven