Coming into the season, people were down on Raúl Ibañez. The haters simply could not be happy for Raúl’s success. So rather than be happy, they made a point of exposing his flaws. The haters were saying, “Raúl Ibañez is an old bum, he was lucky last year. He is a bust waiting to happen”. Now that Ibañez has gotten off to a slow start, I’m sure all those bustas think they’re smart. They’re not! His .253 AVG and 2 HR does not mean Ibañez is a washed up has-been, it just presents us with a good Buy Low opportunity.
He was Lucky? I never understood the lucky argument. Raúl’s BABIP (.290) was 15 points below his career average (.305). It was the first time since the year 2000 that his BABIP was below .300. Oh OK, his HR/FB% made a significant jump from his career 13.0% mark up to 21.1%. Guess what, that’s what happens when you leave Safeco for Citizens Bank Park. He went from one of the worst hitter’s parks to one of the best. Plus the lineup around him was, let’s just say, a little bit better. A 21% HR/FB% is not that hard to duplicate in a hitting environment like Philly.
This season Raúl is sporting a .282 BABIP and 7.1% HR/FB%. The Line Drive Percentage (20%) is good, the Walk Percentage is up, the Strikeouts are OK, he’s been unlucky so far. Ibañez may be turning 38 this summer, but he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. I’ve turned down offers for him and I recently made a deal for him, shipping out Alfredo Simon for his services. I didn’t really need Ibañez, but I wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity like that. I was going to post this article a few days ago, but I had to wait for the Million Dollar Trade Offer to be accepted before I exposed my hand. Once the weather heats up and Raúl shakes off the cobwebs, the only thing that can slow him down will be the crazed, taser inducing Philly fans. MDS expects a .290 AVG, 31 HR, 110 RBI and a couple SB.