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Entries in Dan Uggla (7)


Dan Uggla's Hit Streak Ends

Dan Uggla's 33 game hit streak came to an end versus the Cubs today in Atlanta.  One of the interesting things that stood out during the streak was his increased contact on pitches up and away.  Over the last two and a half seasons, you can see in the graphic below that Dan Uggla made most of his contact on inside pitches. However, during his hit streak, Uggla was putting wood on a lot of balls up and away. 

Dan Uggla
(Click image to enlarge)

The zone location breakdown of the 49 hits that Uggla accumulated over the streak was 8 inside, 19 middle, and 22 outside. His added contact on those outside pitches certainly helped keep the streak alive.


The Uggla Truth

Dan Uggla of the Atlanta Braves turned around a horrible season with a 25 game hitting streak.  Since the streak started on July fifth, Uggla's approach at the plate is very different.

The story starts with where pitchers threw the ball.  They worked Dan away:

Dan Uggla, pitch frequency, through 7/4/2011.That was a good approach, because Dan did not swing at those pitches as much:

Dan Uggla, swing rate, through 7/4/2011.He liked going after pitches inside, especially those off the plate.  That was about the only place he made contact.

Dan Uggla, contact rate, through 7/4/2011.Uggla made his best contact with balls outside the strike zone, which in general leads to poor performance.  By not swinging as much a the outside pitches, he also put himself in a hole:

Dan Uggla, taken strikes, through 7/4/2011.He gave the pitchers nearly half the plate.  The combination of all the above led to a poor heat map when he put the ball in play:

Dan Uggla, in play average, through 7/4/2011.As you can see, all that inside contact did him no good.

Since the start of the streak, pitchers still work Uggla away:

Dan Uggla, pitch frequency, since 7/5/2011.But Dan swings more at the strikes thrown:

Dan Uggla, swing rate, since 7/5/2011.He really cut down on swings on inside pitches.  Concentrating more on the middle of the plate, Dan makes better contact.

Dan Uggla, contact rate, since 7/5/2011.He's also taking fewer strikes:

Dan Uggla, taken strikes, since 7/5/2011.All of that leads to a much better in play heat map:

Dan Uggla, in play average, since 7/5/2011.Uggla moved his concentration from the inside to the middle part of the plate, and that's given him much better plate coverage.  He'll need to keep this up for a while to get his season back to his career averages, however.


Dan Uggla's Ugly Season

Dan Uggla's first season as a member of the Atlanta Braves has been terrible. Last year, in his final season with the Marlins, Uglla hit .282 with 33 homers and 105 RBI. His slugging percentage was .508 and his OPS was .877.

You don't need any pictures to show you how awful this season has been for the second baseman. Uggla is hitting .187 with 12 homers and 28 RBI. He's slugging .340 and has an OPS .587.

Let's use our heat maps to see if we can pinpoint the difference for Uggla.

Here is Uggla's 2010 slugging:

Uggla owned everything from the middle of the plate inward

Here is Uggla's 2011 slugging:

The difference is significant. There are now huge holes everywhere except for one quadrant.

Here is Uggla's 2010 against the slider:

Uggla saw 512 sliders last season. Hitting against the slider last season, Uggla was 28-for-113 (.248), with nine doubles and six homers. He slugged .487 with an .810 OPS.

Here is Uggla's 2011 against the slider:

Uggla has seen 233 sliders this season. Hitting against the slider this season, Uggla is 7-for-58 (.121), with two doubles and one homer. He is slugging .207 with an .357 OPS.

That's one pitch, now look at this...

Uggla's 2010 against lefties:

Uggla against lefties last season hit .306, slugged .575, and had an OPS of .983. He hit nine doubles and nine homers. 

This season it's a very different story...

Uggla's 2011 against lefties:

Uggla against lefties this season is hitting .116, slugging .198, and has an OPS of .380. He has four doubles and one homer. 

Uggla has to be wondering when this season long slump will finally come to an end. So do the Braves and their fans.