Can Miami Marlins’ Luis Arraez Really Hit .400 This Season?

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One of baseball’s biggest stories this season is Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez.

Sure, Shohei Ohtani is leading the American League in home runs while also being one of its best pitchers. And sure, Ronald Acuna Jr. is on pace to steal over 60 bases this season.

But nothing compares to what’s happening with Arraez in Miami.

For years, batting averages in Major League Baseball have been trending downwards.

Elite pitching has made hitting arguably the toughest its ever been. Increased velocity, short stint relievers with extreme stuff, and further awareness of pitch shapes and tunneling have all contributed to a decreased offensive environment.

But don’t tell Luis Arraez that.

The league overall is hitting just .248, an improvement over 2022, but far below the .270 mark of 20 years ago.

Luis Arraez, meanwhile, is hitting .402.

That’s not a misprint. Nearly halfway through the season, a little known infielder in Miami is hitting over .400.

Now the real question is, can he do it the rest of the season?

Luis Arraez
MIAMI, FLORIDA – JUNE 19: Luis Arraez #3 of the Miami Marlins singles against the Toronto Blue Jays at loanDepot park on June 19, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jasen Vinlove/Miami Marlins/Getty Images)

Arraez Has A Real Shot To Challenge History

The last time an MLB hitter had an average over .400 this late in the season was Chipper Jones back in 2008.

Jones wound up finishing at .364 that season, an extremely impressive figure in its own right. But Arraez has something going for him that Jones didn’t.

He’s an extremely contact focused hitter.

Jones, even late in his career, was primarily a power hitter who also hit for average. But Arraez has just two home runs this season, and a 5.0% strikeout rate.

If anyone can keep up this pace through the course of an entire season, it’s someone who rarely strikes out and puts the ball in play.

And that’s exactly what he’s done.

That said, Arraez’s expected batting average is “just” .339, meaning he has benefitted from some batted ball luck this year.

The last MLB hitter to hit .400 was Ted Williams in 1941, when he hit .406. Arraez is no Williams, but he may just challenge the legendary Hall of Famer’s record.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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