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Entries in Chicago White Sox (34)

Tuesday
May032011

Francisco Liriano's No Hitter

A quick glance at Francisco Liriano's (Minnesota Twins) pitch location heat map from his no-hitter versus the Chicago White Sox. Click here to view the complete no hitter pitch log.

Saturday
Apr162011

Alexei Ramirez Adjustments

The heat maps Baseball Analytics produces give a nice view of how pitchers and batters adjust to each other.  Alexei Ramirez provides a good example of this in 2011.  During his first three years in the majors, pitchers tended to avoid the inside part of the plate against him, but used most of the strike zone:

Alexei Ramirez, pitch frequency, 2008-2010.

His power tended to be down and middle in.

Alexei Ramirez, slugging, 2008-2010.

In 2010, pitchers worked him away much more:

Alexei Ramirez, pitch frequency, 2010 only.As the pitches moved away from Alexi, he moved his power with them:

Alexei Ramirez, slugging, 2010.So far in 2011, pitchers have worked him even further away:

Alexei Ramirez, pitch frequency, 2011.Once again, Alexei moved his power with them:

Alexei Ramirez, slugging, 2011.Of course, this early in the season, those might just be a couple of lucky hits.  So far in his career, however, Ramirez showed he can adjust to changes in the way pitchers work the strike zone, and turn a perceived weakness into a strength.

Friday
Apr082011

Gordon Beckham Adjusts

Gordon Beckham started 2011 well, hitting .308 through the first six games of the season, up from .260 during the first two years of his career.  In those first 234 games, Beckham established a pattern of hot hitting in the upper outside corner and the lower inside corner:

Gordon Beckham, In Play Average, 2009-2010.A pitcher looking at this graph should decide to try to pitch Beckham primarily low and away, secondarily up and in, in a diagonal forward slash.  The following heat map shows how pitchers approached Gordon in the first six games of 2011.

Gordon Beckham, pitch frequency seen, first six games of 2011.Pitcher are working low and away, but not up and in.  So why is Gordon hitting better?  He's going after those low, outside pitches.

Gordon Beckham, in play average, first six games of 2011.Batters can scout themselves, too.  Gordon clearly showed a weakness down and outside, and it appears he worked turning that weakness into a strength.  We'll see if it holds up during the season, but great hitters need to make adjustments like this, so take it as a positive sign that Beckham is working in the right areas.