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« Buster Posey vs. Fastballs | Main | Chacin in the Clutch »

Granderson's Home Run Surge

About one quarter of the way through the season Curtis Granderson (NYA) is halfway to his 2010 total of 24 home runs.  Granderson owns decent power, averaging about 25 dingers a season during the previous three years.  He drives the ball in a very compact location in the strike zone:

Curtis Granderson, pitch frequency of home runs, 2008-2010.The interesting thing about this chart comes from the fact that Curtis pulls most of his home runs.  He's able to reach balls on the outer half of the plate, and pull them for homers.  Pitchers tried to go further away on Curtis, often ending up outside the zone:

Curtis Granderson, pitch frequency, 2008-2010.For some reason, they've stopped going outside on Granderson in 2011.

Curtis Granderson, pitch frequency, 2011.They are basically throwing the ball where he likes to hit home runs.

Curtis Granderson, pitch frequency on home runs, 2011.One other thing changed.  In the period from 2008-2010, Curtis hit 57.9% of his home runs on fastballs.  That's not surprising, as 53.9% of the pitches he saw were fastballs.  In 2011, however, he's really locked in on the speed pitch.  Pitchers have cut their fastballs to Granderson to 43.8%, but Curtis hit 10 of his twelve homers on fastballs.  So it looks like a combination of poor pitch location on the part of the hurlers and good fastball recognition by Granderson led to the surge in homers.

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