clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Alright, Let's Talk About Jason Kendall

New, 48 comments

Jason Kendall is off to a good start this season, posting a .352/.386/.407 line. Kendall's hot start hasn't quite generated the attention that Podsednik's has, but in some ways it has been more remarkable.

In the three seasons prior to this one, here are Kendall's batting averages: .242, .246, .241. Kendall was once a high batting average guy who posted great OBPs for a catcher thanks to a good (not great) walk rate and his insane proclivity to take a pitch. Of course, that formula takes a hit when you go from being a .300 hitter to a .240 one, which is what Kendall did for over 1600 PAs from 2007-09.

Basically, every single indicator out there says this is just good luck on Kendall's part. There isn't a single thing I can find that suggests his high batting average is related to any kind of improved offensive profile. (You can look at the numbers yourself if you'd like.) Is he hitting more line drives? No. Is he hitting more ground balls? No. Is he hitting with more power? No.

This will sound reductive, but in this case, it's really all we have: Kendall is hitting .388 on balls in play. So yeah for hitting them where they ain't.

It all depends on what you consider weird. To me, it's a weird oddity that Kendall has had this singles outburst, in spite of a single factor that gives us any explanation for why he might be getting more singles. On the other hand, you might think it would be really weird if a guy in his age 36 season started hitting way more line drives.

Let's all make hay while the sun shines.