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Tuesday
Nov092010

Jose Bautista's 2010

Jose Bautista had a career year in 2010. His season was even more impressive when you compare his numbers from just a year ago.

Jose Bautista Overall
AVG OBP SLG wOBA
2009 .229 .342 .395 .339
2010 .261 .379 .620 .423

Jose Bautista In Play SLG%


Bautista improved significantly against RHP in 2010, and this accounted for much of the jump in his production.

Jose Bautista vs. RHP
AVG OBP SLG wOBA
2009 .201 .325 .335 .314
2010 .271 .390 .646 .437

In 2010, Bautista had a K Rate of 16.3% against righties, down from 25.1% in 2009. His line drive rate jumped from 11.7% to 14.2% against RHP. Bautista also posted the second best wOBA vs. RHP (.430) of all right handed Major League batters in 2010, behind only Miguel Cabrera (.441).

Bautista also became very efficient in hitting offspeed pitches, particularly sliders.

Jose Bautista vs. Sliders
AVG SLG wOBA
2009 .127 .182 .190
2010 .269 .581 .406


Jose Bautista truly took the league by surprise this year. Having never hit more than 16 HRs in any season, he led the league with 54. At age thirty, Bautista will be entering the 2011 season with increased expectations given his remarkable 2010. It wouldn’t be unrealistic to expect pitchers to make significant adjustments in how they pitch the Blue Jay slugger from here on out. As such, it will be interesting to see how Jose himself adjusts, and whether he can come close to duplicating this remarkable breakout season.
Tuesday
Nov092010

What Happened to Elvis Andrus's Power?

Elvis Andrus followed up his rookie season of 2009 with an almost identical batting average and a 13 point improvement in his OBP.  His power fell off a cliff however, from a low .373 slugging percentage to a poor .301. He went from 31 extra-base hits in 2009, including six home runs, to 18 with no home runs in 2010.  His results on fly balls may hold the key to why this happened.

The following graphs show pitch frequency location, movement, and batted ball results on fly balls in 2009:

Elvis Andrus fly balls 2009Note that Andrus hit balls low in the middle of the zone, but balls that dropped less than usual.  He could upper cut these pitches.  Note also the number of balls he pulled down the leftfield line.

Here's the same chart for 2010:

Elvis Andrus fly balls 2010The movement difference is subtle, but the balls are staying up and moving away from Elvis a bit more.  He's also chasing pitches higher in the strike zone, balls tougher to upper cut.  More balls moving away from him, where he's just getting under the pitch results in more flyouts the other way.  He didn't pull anything deep in 2010.

Monday
Nov082010

Death of a Bad Ball Hitter

Garret Anderson's career likely came to a close in 2010 when the Dodgers designated  him for assignment.  His last good season came in 2008.  He hit the ball wherever it was pitched:

Garret Anderson in play average in 2008

Garret could hit balls right down the middle, but his hot zones extended well out of the strike zone in all directions.  In 2009, he lost the middle and could only handle pitches in side or high. 

 

Garret Anderson in play average in 2009


His batting average dropped from .293 to .268.  In 2010 things got worse.

Garret Anderson in play average in 2010Garret totally lost the inside and middle of the plate.  He had to dive well out of the zone to get hits, and his batting average dropped to .181.  The classic bad ball hitter lost his ability to hit pitches in the strike zone, and ended a long career.

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