Do you mean that Bad Mike Lowell, he of the lousy second half, would return?
He actually never went away. If you normalize Mike's 07 1st half/2nd half splits to a .300 BABIP, you get this:
1st H: .300/.351/.518
2nd H: .276/.341/.409
Another way of saying the same thing is that his isolated power was .218 in the first half and .138 in the 2nd half. His .483 2nd-half SLG is the product of a .350 2nd-half AVG, which in turn stems from a .383 2nd-half BABIP (compare to 1st-half .294).
In short, he had his usual 2nd-half power drop, but it was masked by the fact that everything he hit was dropping in.
Do different kinds of players age at different rates? Lowell has never been fast, so he's not exactly going to lose his "speed." Some of his skills, like a good glove and a strong, reliable throwing arm, should age better than others.
I agree. As I've probably said before, he reminds me a bit of Dwight Evans, and could age well in much the same way Evans did.
And his Fenway prowess is undeniable:
Home .373 .418 .575 .993
Away .276 .339 .428 .767
Well, BABIP has a tale to tell about that too--in fact the home/road BABIP splits are basically identical to the 1st/2nd half ones: .382 home, .293 road. Here are the .300-BABIP-normalized home-road splits:
Last year, his home-road BABIP splits were the reverse of this year (.260/.314), and sure enough this is reflected in his overall averages:
Now it's possible that part of this BABIP reversal at Fenway in '07 is genuine progress, getting to know the park, using the Wall better, etc. But I have to think that a lot of it is luck.
The reason why I say that Lowell's '06 is a more reliable guide than his '07 is that his '06 BABIP is close to his career norm: '06 .287, career .288. And likewise, his overall '06 averages are very close to his career norm--
So I think that's who Lowell really is. In a hot year he looks like Scott Rolen; in a cold year like Scott Cooper. But he's really an .810-.820 OPS guy who adds value to his resume with efficient fielding and intelligently aggressive baserunning.
Edited by Savin Hillbilly, 07 November 2007 - 12:01 PM.