As a prospect, Howie Kendrick was someone who didn't walk nearly enough, but he didn't have to because he could hit .350 with ease. In 312 AAA plate appearances in 2006, Kendrick hit .369/.408/.631. He didn't have elite power, but he had enough pop and could hit line drives all day.
The problem with Kendrick, as with many minor leaguers riding hype based on batting average, was his BABIP at the minor league level. Kendrick hit .369 in AAA, but he also reached base on over 40 percent of the balls he put in play. Since moving to the Majors, where top-notch defenders are making plays on pristine field conditions, Kendrick hasn't found the same success.
His career BABIP in the Majors is .342—very respectable, but nowhere near .400. His lifetime .297/.331/.433 stat line isn't a terrible disappointment, but he has failed to deliver on the three to four win seasons he once projected.
This year, he's making a little better on his promising talent. A .396 BABIP is slightly inflating his .322 average, but he sustained similar rates over 353 plate appearances in 2007. Given his track record, it's not crazy to think Kendrick could slightly outperform his career success on batted balls.
However, he most likely won't sustain his .208 ISO. Kendrick has six home runs right now, but ZiPS only projects ten more for the remainder of the season. That would still leave him outpacing his career .136 ISO, but at a more reasonable rate. Like Francoeur, Howie is leaving the yard with more than 20 percent of his fly balls. He's only exceeded 10 percent once in his career.
That said, it's not unreasonable to expect Kendrick to maintain his batting average. Just don't expect him to continue to turn one of every five fly balls into a home run. Because of his good contact numbers and the potential to steal 15 bases at a fairly shallow position, Kendrick is worth holding onto unless you can find an owner in your league ready to buy into his power numbers.