Stubbs in Longest Homerless Streak of Career

Reds centerfielder Drew Stubbs is currently in the midst of the longest homerless streak in his career. The 3rd year player has not homered since May 11 when the Reds lost 4-3 to the Astros in Houston.

Since that date, Stubbs’s strikeouts have increased, and just recently, his batting average has begun to dip a bit. Stubbs averaged peaked at .282 on May 15, but since then Stubbs has been plagued by both inconsistency and some tough luck.

Here is a look at some of Stubbs’s peripheral stats.

Here is an index for the table above:

  1. HR%-home run percentage
  2. SO%-Strike out percentage
  3. BB%-walk percentage
  4. xbh%-extra base hit percentage
  5. SO/BB-strike outs per walk
  6. LD%-line drive percentage
  7. HR/FB-home runs per fly ball

His batting average on balls in play which is generally high because of his speed has dipped which suggests that some of Stubbs’ dip in average can be written off as bad luck.

Also in that stretch, the Reds have played a 19 inning and 12 inning game, and Stubbs has appeared in every game this season for the Reds.

Furthermore in the stretch, Stubbs’ OBP has fallen from a season high of .372 on May 16 to its current position of .326.

There are two reasons that are apparent in Stubbs statistics that suggest a reason for this homerless streak.

Stubbs continues to average 3.22 K per walk which is right in line with his career average, but his swing percentage is elevated above where it has been earlier in his career. This hints at the fact that Stubbs may be going through a stretch of not seeing the ball well out of a pitchers hand.

There are two reasons for why Stubbs would be struggling with seeing the ball.

  • The first reason is that he may be dealing with fatigue. Baseball not only wears players down physically, but players often get tired mentally, and while the Reds just played 20 games in 20 days, fatigue could very well be affecting Drew Stubbs.
  • The second is that Stubbs is guessing at the plate. Guessing often leads to awkward swings by a hitter, and an elevated swing % means that Stubbs may be guessing one pitch and getting another.

The other red flag in Stubbs’ statistics is that Stubbs extra base hit percentage is below his career average. His XBH% stands at 6.9 which suggests that Stubbs is not driving the ball. Stubbs hits, instead, are coming from seeing-eye-singles and ground balls that Stubbs is able to beat down the line.

Nonetheless, Stubbs has still been an effective force at the top of the Reds order and when Drew Stubbs gets on base regularly, the Reds win. It is a fact. It is true. Stubbs success makes victories come much easier for the National League’s best offense. He has been caught stealing just twice compared to 16 bags swiped which means that the Reds leadoff hitter has been wreaking havoc on the base paths all season.

Drew Stubbs will see his power return when he becomes more selective at the plate again. I do not mean just taking pitches, but I mean laying off “pitcher’s strikes” and waiting for his pitch to hit and subsequently, his pitch to drive.

You can follow Alex Apple on Twitter @AlexAppleDFW