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Moneyball: Brad Pitt as Billy Beane

The trailer for 'Money Ball' is out - Looking forward to it (comment below)?



Peguero Hitting Backwards

Carlos Peguero of the Seattle Mariners isn't hitting for a high average or getting on base much, but he is smacking the ball.  He slugs .457 with a .223 batting average, indicating that his average hit is better than a double.

Rookie batters are known for their ability to hit the fastball, but they need to learn to hit major league breaking pitches.  Minor league pitchers can throw hard, but what often keeps them in the minors is their inability to fool batters with off-speed pitches.  When young hitters reach the majors, they have not see very many good breaking balls and change ups. 

Peguero exhibits the exact opposite tendency.

Carlos Peguero, in play slugging percentage on fastballs, 2011.That's about as cold a strike zone as you'll see.  In 38 plate appearances ending in a fastball, Peguero owns a .176/.263/.176 slash line, good for a .219 wOBA. Lower the speed, however, and the zone lights up:

Carlos Peguero, in play slugging on change ups, curve balls and sliders, 2011.In 39 PA against these pitches, Carlos posts a .324/.359/.811 slash line with eight of his 12 hits going for extra bases and a .474 wOBA.  Until Carlos catches up to the fastball, there's no reason not to challenge him.


Jose Bautista's June Swoon

The Blue Jays' Jose Bautista has not had too many bad months over the last couple of seasons, but he's scuffling this month. As reported by Mark Rutsey of the Toronto Sun, Jays manager John Farrell was asked if he thinks it’s a sign of frustration over the fact that he often gets pitched around?

“No, I wouldn’t say it’s from frustration,” Farrell said. “The one thing that Jose is very clear on is that when he’s gotten loaded with the proper swing mechanics it allows him to get ready earlier, which enables him to see the ball earlier in the flight to home plate. When he’s a little bit late, he doesn’t have the same clarity and I think that’s why we’re seeing some of the swings that you’re referring to.”

When you take a look at his overall swing rate this month, you can see he's swinging at pitches all over the zone:

Bautista is hitting .214 this monthBut it is against righties that Bautista is really reaching to the outer portion of the plate and not producing well:

Bautista is only hitting .129 versus righties this monthin 24 at bats against righties this month, Bautista only has four singles and no extra-base hits. For the season, Bautista is 53-for-163 against righties for a .325 avaerage and 16 homers.