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« April's Outside Power Hitters | Main | InDepth Spotlight: Kyle Drabek vs. Alex Rodriguez »
Sunday
May012011

Soriano Catching Up to the Fastball

Alfonso Soriano (CHN) finished April tied for the Major League lead in home runs with ten.  Although his other batting stats are weak, he's slugging like he did prior to the 2009 season.  Soriano is once again able to catch up to the fastball:

 

Alfonso Soriano hitting against fastballs
SeasonAverage SpeedwOBASlugging Pct.
2008 91.0 .441 .650
2009 90.0 .392 .553
2010 91.2 .379 .548
2011 90.8 .488 .781

 

Sorinao's bat speed might have returned, but in 2011 it looks like pitchers are helping him with their fastballs.  In the two down years, the fastballs Alfonso saw tended to be down and away or up and in:

Alfonso Soriano, fastball pitch frequency, 2009-2010.There was a good reason for this pattern, as Soriano's power tended to be up and way and down and in:

Alfonso Soriano, in play slugging percentage on fastballs, 2009-2010.So far this season, Alfonso has seen fastballs up:

Alfonso Soriano, fastball pitch frequency, 2011.

And he's killing the high pitch.

Alfonso Soriano, in play slugging percentage on fastballs, 2011.He's catching up to the high and tight pitch, which says to me he improved his bat speed.  He's even slugging better on the few down and away fastballs he's seen.  The change in pitching pattern hasn't worked, as Soriano proved up to the task of smacking fastballs again.

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    Soriano Catching Up to the Fastball - Baseball Analytics Blog - MLB Baseball Analytics

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