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Astros: Corey Julks Is NOT As Bad As You Think

Folks, I am NOT the president of the Corey Julks fan club. When this team is fully healthy, Julks will be back in AAA. However, I am seeing a lot of social media takes related to Julks that are frankly ignoring important data.


Here is the data 99% of this fan base considers:

Julks stats

He has been TERRIBLE since early July right? Yes, but what if I told you this?

Julks BABIP

His BABIP fell off a cliff. His BABIP was unsustainably high early. It is insanely unsustainably low since 7/7.


You may ask - so what? What is BABIP


Per MLB.com, BABIP is:


Definition

BABIP measures a player's batting average exclusively on balls hit into the field of play, removing outcomes not affected by the opposing defense (namely home runs and strikeouts).

For example, a hitter who goes 2-for-5 with a home run and a strikeout would have a .333 BABIP. He's 1-for-3 on the balls he put in play.

The formula

(H - HR)/(AB - K - HR + SF)


Why it's useful

BABIP can be used to provide some context when evaluating both pitchers and hitters. The league average BABIP is typically around .300. Pitchers who have allowed a high percentage of hits on balls in play will typically regress to the mean, and vice versa. In other words, over time, they'll see fewer (or more) balls in play fall for hits, and therefore experience better (or worse) results in terms of run prevention. The same applies for batters who have seen a high or low percentage of their balls in play drop in for hits.


Over four seasons at AA and AAA, Julks had a 0.315 BABIP. If one assumes his MLB BABIP is 90% of that it would project to 0.284. Since 7/7/23 it has been 0.085. That correction in itself would make the late season numbers not look so bad.


You might argue that he has been striking out more.

Strikeout %

to 7/6/23 - 24.1%

from 7/7/23 - 19.4%

Nope, next theory?


You might argue he has had terrible contact.

Julks exit velocity

Nope, that isn't true either. Same exit velocity.


I have been saying pay attention to xwOBA. How does that look?

Julks wOBA xwOBA

The actual wOBA is down a TON. The xwOBA is down a little. This should mean that the contact has been nearly the same. We saw it was.


What does it all mean?

  1. Julks was LUCKY early.

  2. Julks has been TERRIBLY UNLUCKY lately.

  3. His contact and expected results have been basically the same all year.

Who is Julks REALLY? How good is he?


Look at the PROJECTED performance.

7.6% BB%

24.7% K%

0.298 BABIP

0.693 OPS

0.301 wOBA

91 wRC+


That is basically the as what the projections say for Dubon and Meyers. They are all basically the same at the plate. If you are ok starting Meyers or Dubon occasionally- and you should be, you should be OK starting Julks when the xwOBA data suggests he is the best option like today.


Defensively, Julks has been an above average LF.

Julks Fielding

So, there you have it. Corey Julks is NOT as bad as you think he is. Stop hating on my Astros social media! Oh, the irony of those last two sentences.


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