In tonight’s broadcast, Brian Anderson said that “Corey Hart hits a home run every 12 at bats.” Similarly, in a previous broadcast, one of the members of the team called Randy Wolf a “.380 hitter.”
To me, that statement implies that, in the future, Hart will continue to hit a home run every 12 at bats, and that Randy Wolf will continue to hit .380, as if those numbers are representative of their true talents. With that number solely based on the 62 games played so far this season, and both numbers very different from both projections and their career stats, it is unlikely that those numbers do actually represent what will happen or their true talents. I believe what Anderson means to say is “Corey Hart has hit a home run every 12 at bats,” or “Randy Wolf has a .380 batting average.”
This is especially obvious with the case of Wolf. Randy Wolf is a pitcher. With the occasional exception of guys like Micah Owings and Carlos Zambrano, pitchers are terrible hitters. Even “good” hitters like Yovani Gallardo only have wOBAs in the .250 area, otherwise known as the “Tommy Manzella zone.” Wolf has a career batting average of .187 and a career wOBA of .223. His batting average has already fell to .290 since that quote.
I don’t particularly blame the broadcasters for the quotes; I know it can be hard to come up with things to say when the action is moving. Still, I think it’s important that we remember how to interpret in-season stats. Corey Hart has hit a home run once every twelve at bats this season. That doesn’t mean that he’s that good, nor does it mean that he’ll continue to that this season or for the rest of his career.