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Entries in Arizona Diamondbacks (25)

Wednesday
May042011

Expanded Strike Zones

Most Called Strikes Outside of the Zone

While Daric Barton (OAK) tops the list, Ike Davis (NYM) has endured more strike three calls on pitches located outside of the zone (9) this season as determined by PitchFX. Arizona's Stephen Drew comes in second with 6.

Of course, you must consider volume when reviewing players' ball/strike data. While Daric Barton leads the league in taken called strikes outside of the strike zone, he also ranks twelfth in taken strikes within the strike zone (86), and 2nd overall in all pitches taken (355). So it's not necessarily the case that umpires have been favoring the opposing pitcher over Barton. He simply takes a ton of pitches, increasing the chances of bad calls by umpires. However, other than Barton, only two other players in the top 25 in called strikes out of the strike zone rank in the top 25 in total pitches taken, Carlos Santana (CLE) with 352 and Mark Teixeira (NYY) with 301.

Wednesday
Apr202011

Best Hitters on Inside Pitches

Top MLB Hitters on Inside Pitches
(Click to enlarge)

Interesting notes: Alex Rodriguez (NYY) is actually making less contact on inside pitches compared to his three previous seasons (72.2% to 80.9%.)  However, he's yet to strike out on an inside pitch this season.  In his three previous seasons, 19.3% of his plate appearances decided on an inside pitch were strike outs.
Stephen Drew's (ARZ) 2010 batting average on inside pitches ranked in the bottom half of the league; his .636 currently ranks second this season.
Ten of Matt Kemp's(LAD) thirty-one HRs since the beginning of 2010 have come on inside pitches.
Brandon Inge (DET) is swinging at 13.6% fewer inside pitches compared to last season; his .377 BAbip on inside pitches since 2008 is 7th best in all of baseball.
Of Starlin Castro's (CHC) 29 hits this season, 14 have come on inside pitches, including one HR, one triple, and three doubles.

Tuesday
Apr052011

Willie Bloomquist's Wrigley Field Dinger

Arizona Diamondback Willie Bloomquist rocketed a leadoff home run off of Chicago Cubs starter Randy Wells yesterday afternoon.  It was only the 14th HR in Bloomquist's major league career; in fact, he has more triples in his career (15) than home runs.

Taking a look at Bloomquist's slugging percentage heat map, we see that while he doesn't generate a lot of power, he does hit inside pitches well.

Willie Bloomquist 2008-10
(Click to enlarge)

Randy Wells threw Bloomquist a 2-1 cutter that came up and in, usually a very tough location for a batter to turn on.  However, Bloomquist deposited it into the left field bleacher seats at Wrigley.

Willie Bloomquist vs. Randy Wells (Top 1st, 4/4/11)
(Click to enlarge)

The home run traveled 379 feet.  In 2010, Bloomquist, then a Kansas City Royal, hit a game winning home run off a 92 MPH fastball from Detroit Tigers' Alfredo Figaro, which traveled 385 feet and landed in an almost identical location in the left field seats, albeit in Comerica Park.  Where was that pitch located?

Willie Bloomquist vs. Alfredo Figaro (Top 12th, 8/25/2010)
(Click to enlarge)

Bloomquist isn't a home run threat by any means.  But pitchers should probably avoid that upper inside portion of the zone to keep it that way.