Can These 11 MLB Hitters Continue Making the Most of Their Fly Balls in 2017?
You’d be hard-pressed to find a baseball fan who doesn’t dig watching home runs. If you indeed dig them, the 2016 season was one of the best years to track the long ball in recent memory.
There were 111 different players who reached the 20-homer plateau, which is a new record and a substantial increase to 2015, where only 64 players slugged that many baseballs over the fence. The most beautiful part of it all? Not all 20-plus homer hitters are created equally, which we’ve touched upon a couple of times this winter.
While they can also happen on line drives, the home runs usually result from fly balls. Obviously, for someone to accumulate a lot of round-trippers in any given season, a healthy fly-ball rate (FB%) is necessary.
So, it makes sense as to why 100 of the above players produced a fly-ball rate in 2016 north of 30% (including 53 with a fly-ball rate of at least 40%). That also leaves us with an interesting group who didn’t put the ball in the air as frequently, and they probably wouldn’t mind it happening again in 2017.
Here are the 11 hitters who managed to enter the 20-homer club last year without a fly-ball rate above 30%.