"See that, son? Why can't more guys hit like Luis Arraez?"
It's no secret that baseball fans of a certain age do not generally care for analytics. Give them batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and RBI as the true measures of a hitter. Keep the change. The sabermetric boom of the early 2000s that has continued to flourish is largely met with hostility. Do NOT mention a player's Wins Above Replacement at the dinner table.
I have good news, though. There's now a true throwback to cheer for. A bat-to-ball demigod, an heir to Tony Gwynn's throne, a man legitimately chasing a .400 average. I'm referring to Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez, who is likely your dad's new favorite player.
Luis Arraez, who's currently hitting .397, reminds pops of simpler times. The times of checking the morning newspaper box scores to see that Wade Boggs smacked a pair of doubles for the Red Sox and Goose Gossage locked down a two-inning save for the Yankees. We knew who was good and who wasn't. We're far better at judging performance nowadays, but the go-to metrics were easier to understand back then. That's true even if you're not a middle-aged baseball fan, as some modern statistics look like this:
xwOBA = (xwOBAcon + wBB x (BB-IBB) + wHBP x HBP)/(AB + BB — IBB + SF + HBP)
Luis Arraez, although still an excellent player through the lens of advanced statistics, is killing the OG stat game. He's got the aforementioned .397 average and a .447 on-base percentage, which is 59 and 37 points higher than anyone else in MLB, respectively. He's struck out just 13 times while drawing 19 walks, and although he only has one home run, he's laced 15 doubles in 61 games. It seems like every game he plays is a clinic on how to battle at the plate and hit line drives off any pitch in any location.
Father's Day Coming Up...
The modern hitter obsesses over launch angle and exit velocity (as he should). But sometimes, a player with an extraordinary skillset emerges, a skillset good enough to go completely against the grain. He is able to thrive without hitting the ball extraordinarily hard or high. Just make solid contact as often and possible and "hit 'em where they ain't," as the great Willie Keeler said.
That's Luis Arraez, and that's why his jersey is a sneaky good Father's Day gift for you to consider. Your dad definitely loves him, and you should too.