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« Million Dollar Cutters | Main | Better Judgement »

Bourn on the Edge

Michael Bourn shows an unusual distribution of hot spots in the strike zone for hits.

Michael Bourn, batting average on balls in play, 2008-2010

Unless the ball is thrown right down the middle of the plate, he doesn't hit well on balls in the zone.  Move to the edges, however, and the display lights up.  Part of this, I believe, comes from Bourn's high number of infield hits.  An infield hit is almost never hit well.  If the ball is smacked, it either reaches an infielder quickly or goes through to the outfield.  An infield hit has to be hit slow enough that a fielder can't reach it in time to throw out a speedy runner.  A hit like that is more likey when the batter can't get good wood on the ball, and that can happen on the edges of the strike zone.  If Bourn loses a step, expect that advantage to disappear.

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