Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
For the past two seasons, the Milwaukee Brewers have had the lowest line drive percentage in Major League Baseball. And they have failed to make the playoffs in both.
Is that a coincidence? Probably. But a low line drive percentage is nothing to brag about.
Hitting line drives directly correlates with hits. Take a look at this table if you don’t believe me.
The top four teams in line drive percentage were also among the top four in hitting in 2013. Surprisingly enough, the St. Louis Cardinals led all of baseball in line drive percentage, with the Colorado Rockies right behind. Keep in mind that they play in the National League, in which they don’t have the luxury of a designated hitter.
As I said earlier, the Brewers line drive percentage (19.2%) was in the cellar last season, which was a contributing factor to them being in the bottom half of the league in hits. But there is good news. In 2012, the Brewers LD% was 18.6%, so at least they improved from a season ago.
In 2013, the line drive percentage league average among individual players was 21.2%. Of Brewers players who had at least 200 at-bats, only three were better than league average – Scooter Gennett (24.4%), Jonathan Lucroy (22.8%), Carlos Gomez (21.3%). Jeff Bianchi was fourth on the team, which just shows how pathetic Milwaukee really was. It also didn’t help that Ryan Braun had one of the worst percentages on the team (15.9%), despite having a career 18.1 LD%.
The Brewers have relied on the home run ball for far too long and it clearly hasn’t worked out. If the team wants to maximize its offensive output, hitting more line drives is a necessity.