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« Wood Gives Away the Plate | Main | HR Recap: Troy Tulowitzki vs. Paul Maholm (4/7/11) »

Gordon Beckham Adjusts

Gordon Beckham started 2011 well, hitting .308 through the first six games of the season, up from .260 during the first two years of his career.  In those first 234 games, Beckham established a pattern of hot hitting in the upper outside corner and the lower inside corner:

Gordon Beckham, In Play Average, 2009-2010.A pitcher looking at this graph should decide to try to pitch Beckham primarily low and away, secondarily up and in, in a diagonal forward slash.  The following heat map shows how pitchers approached Gordon in the first six games of 2011.

Gordon Beckham, pitch frequency seen, first six games of 2011.Pitcher are working low and away, but not up and in.  So why is Gordon hitting better?  He's going after those low, outside pitches.

Gordon Beckham, in play average, first six games of 2011.Batters can scout themselves, too.  Gordon clearly showed a weakness down and outside, and it appears he worked turning that weakness into a strength.  We'll see if it holds up during the season, but great hitters need to make adjustments like this, so take it as a positive sign that Beckham is working in the right areas.

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