Defining Average Power

January 31, 2012

Average Power by Position from 2009-2011
Position Avg. Power Hitter Avg. HR HR SD Avg. IsoP IsoP SD
Catcher Kurt Suzuki 15 7 .159 .053
First Base Adam LaRoche 23 11 .200 .056
Second Base Neil Walker 12 10 .135 .053
Third Base Casey Blake 16 10 .163 .056
Shortstop Marco Scutaro 10 7 .122 .046
Center Field Shane Victorino 14 9 .153 .052
Left Field Brennan Boesch 16 9 .168 .055
Right Field Ryan Ludwick 19 9 .181 .051
Designated Hitter Billy Butler 20 7 .187 .044
HR = Home Runs     SD = Standard Deviation      IsoP = Isolated Power


The chart above is a position-by-position analysis of average MLB power production from 2009 to 2011. I also included a player who I believe best exemplifies average power for his position.


The data above are averages from the 2009, 2010, and 2011 seasons. In order to qualify for my study, a player must have amassed at least 400 plate appearances in the subject season.

To find the MLB player who best fit the “average power” tag at each position, I searched for players who put up multiple seasons that were in close proximity to his position's average power, preferably during the prime of his career. I avoided players who have missed time due to injury or who still project to increase their power.


Let's take a closer look at Marlins' outfielder Christian Yelich. He hit 15 home runs with an isolated power of .171 in his first full season. Given his 2011 age, 19, swing mechanics and frame, he projects as an above-average power hitting outfielder. If he ends up outgrowing the outfield and moving to first base, his power may only be average, if that.

Francisco Lindor, a shortstop who was drafted eighth overall by the Indians last year, is thought to be a good bet to stick at the position. He has some power potential, which can be seen here. If he can merely hit 10 home runs a season an IsoP of .122, he could have average shortstop power. Those standards may be well within his reach.

Lastly, Sean Coyle (2B, Red Sox), who did struggle with making contact last season, has intriguing power. His strong, compact frame is small even by second base standards, but his powerful stroke yielded him 14 home runs and an IsoP of .216 in his first season. Even if his power doesn’t increase, it could be above average for his position.

How does the data above influence the way you view minor leaguers?


Follow Matt on Twitter @mattmf86.