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« Matt Kemp's Hot Start | Main | TruMedia Heat Maps During Red Sox Game »

How Not to Pitch Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki hit two home runs Thursday afternoon, bringing his season total to seven.  That number puts him halfway to the April record halfway through the month.  In addition, ten of his sixteen hits went for extra bases.

While Troy slugs well for any position on the field, his start would put him among the great sluggers of all time over a full season.  Why the sudden power surge?

During the pevious three season, Troy tended to show the most power on pitches up in the strike zone:

Troy Tulowitzki, in play slugging, 2008-2010Not surprisingly, pitchers tended to work him down and away:

Troy Tulowitzki, pitch frequency, 2008-2010.On the slugging map, a donut hole exists down and in, a blue spot near the lower corner near Troy's knees.  In fact, that hole is the lowest slugging area within the strike zone.  So far in 2011, pitchers decided that would be a good place to throw the ball:

Troy Tulowitzki, pitch frequency, 2011.The pitchers tried to take advantage of a weak spot, but the strategy didn't work:

Troy Tulowitzki, in play slugging, 2011.Troy hammered the pitch down and in.  Both home runs Thursday were on the inside edge of the plate as well.  It turns out the right strategy for pitching to Troy was the old one, work him away. 

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