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Entries in Cincinnati Reds (36)


Throw Frazier a Fastball at Your Own Peril

Todd Frazier scuffled as a utility man in 2011 and began this year in the minors, but the 26-year-old has turned into a key offensive cog for the Reds. Aside from auditioning for a spot on The Avengers by hitting a no-hands homer performing Heimlich heroics, Frazier has a 141 OPS+ that ranks second on the club behind Joey Votto.

Pitchers are quickly learning the perils of throwing Frazier a fastball. Five of his seven home runs have come against heaters, and he has one of the 15 highest slugging percentages in the NL against the pitch:

Highest slugging percentage vs. fastballs among NL batters

BatterSlugging Pct.
Matt Kemp 1.057
Alfonso Soriano .768
Melky Cabrera .710
Andrew McCutchen .696
Joey Votto .693
Tyler Colvin .689
Carlos Beltran .680
Carlos Gonzalez .674
Bryce Harper .661
David Wright .660
Yadier Molina .650
Todd Frazier .645
Norichika Aoki .644
Adam LaRoche .641
Ryan Braun .630
NL Avg. .463


Frazier became the Reds' regular third baseman when Scott Rolen went on the DL with pain in his oft-troublesome left shoulder. Rolen, whose poor hitting since 2011 is due largely to his decline against fastballs (he's slugging .343 versus heat since then), is expected to be activated as soon as today.

But don't fear, Reds fans. Considering his versatility (he has played every infield position in the majors, plus left field), the poor production of Cincy's left fielders (a collective .681 OPS) and Rolen's tenuous health, Frazier should continue to see regular ABs. Even Dusty Baker wouldn't bench a guy who can do this, right?


HR Recap: Joey Votto (5/14/2012)

Joey Votto hit three home runs against the Washington Nationals yesterday afternoon, the last one a walk-off grand slam versus Henry Rodriguez.  All three homers came on pitches in very different parts of the strike zone.

Here's a look at Votto's ISO heat map prior to Sunday's outburst, beginning in 2010:

 (Click to enlarge)

The first home run Votto hit came on an Edwin Jackson fastball that sat right in the middle of the zone:

 May 13th, 1st inning HR

May 13th, 4th inning HRVotto's second HR came on a Jackson changeup a bit outside his normal power zone. It was the sixth HR that Votto has hit off a changeup since the start of the 2010 season.

May 13th, 9th inning HRWith two outs and the bases loaded in the 9th and the Reds trailing by one run, Votto launched this 2-2 fastball from Henry Rodriguez over the center field wall. Unlike the first HR which was right in the middle of the zone, or the second HR which was low in the zone, this pitch was fairly high.  However, it was still an area that Votto has done well in.  On pitches up, Votto has a .272 batting average and .485 slugging percentage, and this ninth inning homer was his 13th on a high pitch since 2010.


Joey Votto Leading with Line Drives

Since the start of the 2011 season, no hitter has a higher line drive percentage than Joey Votto.  His 26.2% LD rate is 7.3% more than league average over that span.

Joey Votto Line Drive Pitch Location since 2011Votto's line drives come primarily on pitches over the heart of the strike zone.  Only four of his line drives have resulted in home runs, however his .735 average on line drives in play is around league average.

By contrast, his fly balls come on pitches up and in and down and away.

Joey Votto Fly Ball Pitch Location since 2011A good portion of the fly balls in play coming off pitches in the up and in location result in outs. Votto is likely getting jammed here, hence a .292 AVG on these pitches and .185 BABIP (league average fly ball BABIP since 2011 is .174).  Not terrible numbers considering fly balls fall in for hits far less than line drives.  On the other hand, the red blob down and away produced fly balls with a .383 AVG and .256 BABIP.  Here, Votto is really able to extend and get solid contact, resulting in deeper fly balls.

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