"Sep 21, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich (21) can Due for a better year: Christian Yelich. In 2014, he showed the ability to hit for average and take his walks. This year he adds some power."
Christian Yelich is an emerging star for the Marlins, as he shown his first two years with the team. All Yelich did in 2014, his first full season in the majors, was slash .284/.362/.402, win a gold glove award, and post a 4.3 fWAR.
Yelich posted an impressive 10.6 walk percentage, but did have two weaknesses in his repertoire: lack of power and strikeouts.
David believes Yelich will start hitting for power in 2015, and he could very well be correct in that assessment. Over on Fangraphs, Mike Podhorzer did an article on the xHR/FB rate underachievers. One of the guys he had on his list, Christian Yelich.
"Christian Yelich — 17.8% xHR/FB vs 11.5% actual HR/FB There’s no doubt that Marlins Park has wreaked havoc on Yelich’s home run output. It sported an 85 left-handed home run factor, which was second worst in all of baseball. And his performance bears it out — his home HR/FB rate was just 5.1% vs a 17.9% mark away. But his batted ball distance of 289 feet ranked a very solid 67th among all hitters, just above guys like Chris Carter, Adam Jones, Anthony Rizzo and Edwin Encarnacion. He also ranked 18th highest in SDD. If he didn’t hit grounders over 60%, he would be a serious power threat. With his speed, a perfect profile to sustain a high BABIP and power upside, just a bunch more fly balls are all that’s needed to become a 20/25 candidate and a top fantasy outfielder."
As Mike determines, a bit of luck and Marlins Park sapped Yelich of his power last year. If he can repeat his 2014 season, he very well could run into a few homers this season.
Next: Due for a Worse Year?