As a whole, Craig’s 2014 performance has been disappointing after an All-Star season in 2013. His AVG has fallen substantially, from .315 last year to a paltry .237 this year, and his SLG has seen a similar decline. Additionally, his BABIP has fallen off dramatically from 2013, where it was well above league average at .368. It would be easy to say that this has been a BABIP correction, and Allen Craig will remain a low AVG hitter, but that doesn’t appear to be true.
According to my xBABIP (expected BABIP) formula, Craig has been very unlucky this season. My formula suggests that Craig’s BABIP should have been .334 at the trade deadline, but instead it was only .286. This indicates that Allen Craig should improve as the 2014 season finishes, and will regress in the direction of his xBABIP in the following season.
One issue still remains, however. When looking at his season stats, one can see that Craig’s GB% is at a career high. Ground balls have had a BABIP of .238 this season, which would explain why his BABIP has been so low. Breaking the data into the first and second halves, Craig’s batted ball statistics have actually been reverting back to his career norms as the season has progressed, albeit in a small second half sample. The difference is illustrated in the table below.