Ex-MVPs Jose Altuve, Kris Bryant, Christian Yelich Are MLB’s Big Disappointments

Ex-MVPs Jose Altuve, Kris Bryant, Christian Yelich Are MLB’s Big Disappointments
David J. Phillip/Associated PressBefore the condensed 2020 MLB campaign got underway, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich offered some prescient thoughts.”You’re going to see really good players have really bad years,” he told reporters. “It’s going to happen. … You don’t have that large sample size for everything to even out, so if you get off to a…
Houston Astros' Jose Altuve bats against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Forward of the condensed 2020 MLB campaign obtained underway, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich supplied some prescient thoughts.

“You might well presumably presumably be going to search out essentially staunch gamers absorb essentially deplorable years,” he advised newshounds. “Or no longer it will happen. … You form no longer absorb that trim sample dimension for every part to even out, so even as you get off to a tricky originate or a deplorable originate, you are essentially at the relief of the eight ball.”

Particular enough, Yelich is hovering above the Mendoza line with a .207 moderate coming into play Wednesday. With lower than a month left within the regular season, the 2018 Nationwide League Most Purposeful Player has been a distinguished disappointment.

And he’s no longer essentially alone.

2nd baseman Jose Altuve, who received American League MVP honors with the Houston Astros in 2017, is hitting .225. And third baseman Kris Bryant, the 2016 NL MVP with the Chicago Cubs, hit .177 earlier than landing on the injured list.

That is a trio of presumed superstars who absorb scarcely hit their weight. Is it a puny-sample anomaly or cause for serious trouble for their respective clubs?

Let’s originate with Yelich. He received his MVP trophy in ’18 with a .326 moderate, 1.000 OPS, 36 home runs and 22 stolen bases. In 2019, he bested those totals with a .329 moderate, 1.100 OPS, 44 home runs and 30 stolen bases and finished 2d to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger in MVP balloting.

Yelich’s ’19 season ended that September on a unsuitable-ball-prompted fractured kneecap, however he got right here into 2020 reputedly healthy and amid his top at age 28.

Yet that batting moderate leaps off the stat sheet within the worst that you just will factor in diagram.

Aaron Gash/Associated Press

Here’s the staunch news for Brewers boosters: Yelich’s .229 batting moderate on balls in play is 126 facets lower than his profession BABIP of .355. Within the period in-between, he’s posted a profession-most productive 53.2 percent hard-contact rate in comparison to a profession moderate of 39.7 percent and a median of 47.6 percent in his 2018 MVP season. 

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That skill a heaping helping of deplorable success and the puny-sample vagaries Yelich warned against. 

Yelich has also flexed his vitality with 9 home runs and has markedly improved his stats after going 1-for-27 in July.

Light, Milwaukee is mired underneath .500, in third space within the NL Central and on the fringe of the postseason plug. A stronger originate from Yelich build no longer absorb reversed those fortunes completely, however it certainly would certainly absorb helped.

Staying within the NL Central, the Cubs are main the division and seem ticketed for the playoffs, no thanks to Bryant.

He space profession highs in home runs (39), RBI (102) and OPS (.939) in 2016 and received an MVP trophy as Chicago busted its defective title drought. 

This year, the 28-year-veteran slashed .177/.271/.323 in 17 games earlier than a sprained finger and ailing left wrist attach him on the shelf.

He returned to the lineup on Tuesday and went 2-for-6. Maybe he’ll develop a distinction for the Cubbies down the stretch. Up to now, even though, he’s completed miniature to either boost the North Siders’ potentialities or develop his trade inventory as he heads against free agency following the 2021 season.

“That is the area on this season, to proceed to absorb these guys point of curiosity on the every single day project,” Cubs skipper David Ross advised newshounds after Bryant’s return. “Numbers don’t appear to be going to be the put you like to absorb ’em. They’ll turn spherical essentially mercurial and spike. And they also can also stride the assorted diagram essentially snappy, too.”

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

That brings us to Altuve. A three-time batting champion, he was as soon as named AL MVP in 2017 when he hit .346 with 24 homers and 32 stolen bases and the Astros received the World Assortment.

Now, within the first season for the reason that signal-stealing punishment that tarnished Houston’s popularity, the 30-year-veteran is slashing .225/.287/.326. Cue the buzzer/trash can jokes.

As with Yelich, there would be some sample-dimension oddities at play. Altuve’s .264 BABIP is well below his .335 profession trace, whereas his 38.5 percent hard-contact rate is 10 facets better than his 28.5 percent profession moderate.

And even even as you believe you studied he cheated his approach to about a of his hits within the previous, it lines credulity to declare someone might presumably presumably form what he’s kept away from a ton of innate skill.

“Altuve, he has been hitting all his existence,” Astros supervisor Dusty Baker advised newshounds. “Or no longer it is most productive a subject of time earlier than [he] hits again.”

Houston is trailing the Oakland Athletics within the AL West however is heading within the proper direction to develop the playoffs. As soon as there, Altuve might presumably presumably absorb a possibility to atone for his early shortcomings, apart from the club’s lack of pitching depth, whereas thumbing his nose at the doubters. End tuned.

By diagram of Yelich, Bryant and Altuve, accidents and sample dimension can a minimal of in part point to the monstrous 2020 stats. But results are results, and to this point these three absorb no longer delivered at something else shut to the caliber their clubs were banking on.

Yelich himself acknowledged it be going to happen to some guys this year. And, certain enough, it has occurred to this excessive-profile trio of recent MVPs. 

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All statistics recent as of Wednesday and courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.


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