There's no way to sugar-coat it: Ian Happ has had a terrible start to the 2021 season. He's below the Mendoza line, with a triple-slash of .167/.338/.222 across 69 plate appearances.
Happ isn't at all concerned, however, shifting the blame away from his own play and onto the "baseball gods."
There seems to be something to Happ's argument as well.
He appears to be seeing the ball just fine. He's recorded swinging strikes on 13.0% of the pitches he's faced — down from 14.5% in 2020, which was then a career-low mark. And he's walked on a career-high 18.8% of his plate appearances.
He's also making contact on 77.8% of pitches he faces that are in the strike zone — above his 76.3% career average.
And yet his batting average on balls in play (BABIP; a notoriously luck-heavy stat) sits at a career-low .235. His career average BABIP is .322.
Whether you want to call it luck, variance or the baseball gods, Happ really does seem to be doing everything right. Don't expect this slump to last much longer if he keeps playing this way.
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