Will Hanigan be the man again? (at the plate)

Ryan Hanigan's prowess behind the plate is pretty well-proven. He seems to coax better performances out of the Reds' staff, frames pitches effectively and generally makes crouching look easy. Not only that, but he's led the league in Caught Stealing rate two years running, with a majestic 59% CS this season (on 10 of 17 basestealers nailed).

Beside the plate, it's been a different story. Hanigan got off to a slow start, got injured, probably played injured and has continued to slump. He's currently on an 0-15 swoon.

His walk rate is still a strength, despite the drought. That's holding steady at 11.5% - which is where it's been since 2011. His plate discipline in general seems intact. He's swinging at the same rate at pitches in and out of the zone - even a little less out of the zone over his 2012 rate.

And his reputation as a contact hitter (when he does swing) still holds up. He's actually making contact at a slightly higher rate (91.4%) than last season, while striking out at a slightly lower rate. By all accounts, he's seeing the ball, hitting the ball.

Pitchers are going after him a little bit more this season. He's seeing more fastballs and significantly more first pitch strikes (67% of the time). The difference is that he hasn't made them pay very often.

It's always hard to draw the line between bad luck and weak contact. While Hanigan's line drive rate is down, his fly ball rate is way up and his "Isolated Power" is actually up a tick over 2012. The most telling thing is that his BABIP way below ground at .165. It's hard to look at anything else.

With everything holding steady, this screams "bad luck." Hanigan is probably also getting under the ball a little too much and might be suffering some after-effects of the injury. For a sharp-eyed hitter who's still making pretty good contact, I'd expect his numbers to bounce back pretty soon.

Hanigan has been a valuable 2+ WAR catcher in a little over half-time since 2010. Looks like he still is.

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