The problem is that you are now taking an already small sample size and cutting it into smaller pieces, and arbitrarily at that, by using May as a unit, rather than a number of PAs. For all that his triple slash line looks ok for the month, what about his .444 BABIP over the last week? Or the fact that over the last 2 weeks he has a 3/11 BB/K ratio? When you decide to use triple slash stats over less than half a month, you have to realize that 2 HRs and 2 line drive hits create a huge swing in those numbers. If he goes 1-4 with an RBI single and 2 Ks (like last night), or 1-5 with a solo HR and 1 walk, it doesn't tell you much.
This is why in finance, specifically currency trading markets, you look at chart showing the daily/hourly/5 minute price movement, but you overlay it with a moving average of a much longer time period, and you use the moving average to determine the trend, and you use the short term data to determine entry/exit points. Now, if Ortiz were going 3/4 with a walk every other day, that would tell us a lot more about his improvement than the fact that he is going 3-11 in a series with 2 HRs and 5 Ks, which inflates OPS/slugging without actually implying that he is trending up. If he had really gotten hot at the plate, then you would see a greater improvement in his 'moving average' i.e. season line, instead of the occasional bomb messing with an extra SSS stat.
The most obvious comparison is JD Drew. In April, Drew had a line of .197/.300/.395, compared to Ortiz at .143/.238/.296. After an actual hot streak, that involved hitting singles, doubles, drawing more walks and cutting down on his strikeouts, Drew is now at .278/.362/.481 for an .844 OPS on the season, which shows a strong trend implying that the improvement is real. Ortiz has hit a few home runs and had an extra ball or two find a spot in the outfield, but he still isn't really walking and continues to strike out, giving him a season line of .185/.264/.407 for a .671 OPS on the season, because despite his OPS of 1.001 in May, it is entirely based on 3 HRs (out of just 7 hits!), and doesn't show the same trend. In fact, his walk rate has actually gone down this month compared to April (7% compared to 11%), and it is just the crazy HR/FB rate created by using 28 PAs in May that make him look this good. An extended hot streak is still certainly possible, but don't confuse this for one. I want to see him have a few multiple-hit games, or ones where he walks twice with no strike outs, etc., rather than just a home run every once in a while.
Since I edited twice, before you replied, and I prefaced it by saying that observationally he looks better, I don't necessarily feel the need to defend myself, but I just wanted to note that you can't have it both ways. You want him to have multi-hit games, ignore homers, yet you want him to perform without an inflated BABIP.
How about let's just look at batted ball types?
April: 5 LDs (3 hits in play, 2 outs), 11 OF Fly Outs (2 hits in play, 1 HR), 3 IF Fly Outs, 7 BBs, 21 Ks, 16 Grounders (3 hits). 56 ABs, 63 PAs.
May: 3 LDs (3 hits in play), 7 OF Flies (1 hit in play, 3 HRs), 2 IF Flies, 1 Sac Fly, 11 Ks, 2 BBs, 4 Grounders (0 hits). 25 ABs, 28 PAs.
SSS aside, I'll say that he's hitting better when he makes contact, but 'overall package hitting' still needs work.
Edited by Rustjive, 11 May 2010 - 03:12 PM.