Rod Barajas is a powerful man
Isolated power (ISO) is an advanced metric used to calculate how frequently a player hits for extra bases. Unlike its step-father, slugging percentage, isolated power does not take singles into account. Instead, it is calculated by subtracting a player’s batting average from his slugging percentage, thus revealing his true power.
Players such as Ichiro Suzuki, who typically hit for high slugging percentages largely on the basis of bunts, infield hits and slap singles, have low ISOs. Players such as Adam Dunn, who mash balls out of the park with regularity, have a high ISOs.
At the time of this blog post, Mets catcher Rod Barajas is 14th in the Majors with a .295 ISO among players with at least 80 plate appearances.
As you may have read in yesterday’s Mets Beat, 39 percent of Barajas’s 18 hits have gone out of the ballpark, an astonishing ratio. Barajas points to a natural uppercut in his swing, which he has had “as far as I can remember.” Mets manager Jerry Manuel had a different take:
“That’s just a guy that has power,” Manuel said. “That’s about all I can say about that. When you throw it in his area, he hits it hard.”
Harder than just about anyone in the Majors. As you can see from this snapshot of the league’s leaders in isolated power, Barajas now has some rather heady company:
12. Chase Utley, PHI: .310 ISO
13. Mark Reynolds, ARI: .303 ISO
14. Rod Barajas, NYM: .295 ISO
15. Justin Morneau, MIN: .292 ISO
16. David Wright, NYM: .286 ISO
For reference’s sake, Paul Konerko leads the Majors with a .446 ISO. Albert Pujols, generally considered the best hitter alive, ranks 20th among qualified hitters.