In this installment of Small Sample Size Fun, I take a look at Brandon Belt. He is struggling in his short stint in the majors and people have begun to start a pool to buy him a bus ticket to Fresno to work things out.
Lets take a look at a couple different players:
Player A: 11 Games, .158/.256/.263
Player B: 11 Games, .311/.391/.390
So who is the guy that you want?
This is a trick question because both players are Brandon Belt. Player A is Belt's unadjusted line, Player B includes an adjustment to account for the rather poor luck that Belt has seen thus far on his balls in play.
Right now, Belt has a .179 batting average on balls in play, but based on his batted ball data, this should be closer to .290. If the balls had bounced his way or the defense isn't exactly where he hits his line drives, this would be a completly different story than the one that you are hearing right now.
Belt has maintained an excellent approach at the plate. He's taking walks, working counts (4.4 pitches per appearence), and looking for good pitches to hit. Give him time for the sample to grow larger and for luck to even out or wait until there is a change to his approach that makes the team nervous. This is not the time to freak out and call for a demotion.
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