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This site utilizes the MLB analytics platform powered by TruMedia Networks


Matt Kemp's Hot Start

(Click to enlarge)

L.A. Dodgers' centerfielder Matt Kemp currently holds the highest OBP in the league at .537, and his .444 batting average is tied for first with Miguel Montero and Joey Votto.  Not surprisingly, his very high batting average on balls in play (.500) is also tied for first with Miguel Montero and Wilson Betemit.

Part of the reason his BAbip is so high is that all 9 of his line drives have fallen in for hits, and his ground ball BAbip is .429.  While some of that is luck, Kemp has been destroying fastballs so far this season, batting .619 and slugging .952 on them.  He holds a .338 BAbip on fastballs over the last three seasons, which is about 30 points higher than league average.  So he has demonstrated a noticeable skill in the recent past at hitting fastballs well.  And so far this season, he's doing it better than ever.


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. 


TruMedia Heat Maps During Red Sox Game

Here is a clip showing the use of TruMedia's heat maps during the Red Sox game on NESN:

Jason Varitek Heat Map (NESN) from Baseball Analytics on Vimeo.