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« Ubaldo Jimenez: What Went Wrong? | Main | The King's Change »

Staying Off

Yuniesky Betancourt rates as one of the poorer offensive players in the game today.  Over the last three seasons, Betancourt ranks third lowest in OBP in the majors (1000 PA).  Why does he do so poorly?

We can get an idea from his production ahead in the count with at least two balls.  These are situations where the pitcher pretty much needs to come into the strike zone, and they do against Yuniesky:

Yuniesky Betancourt, ahead in the count, 2008-2010.

Pitchers tend to stay away from him, but they are putting the ball in the zone.  They should be hittable pitches.  Not for Betancourt, however:

Yuniesky Betancourt, in play average ahead in the count, 2008-2010.In the spot to which the pitchers throw the most, Betancourt has an in-play BA in the 100s.  Make a mistake up and in and Yuniesky hits it fine.  Get the pitch middle to outside, and the middle infielder has real problems.

I suspect the most frustrating aspect of this for his teams is that Betancourt doesn't learn.  Good hitters recognize patterns in pitching.  Yuniesky should be looking for good pitches to hit 2-0, 2-1, 3-0 and 3-1.  He gets them, but does nothing with them.

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