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Entries in Dustin Pedroia (18)


Patient Pedroia

Here is a quick look at Dustin Pedroia's patience at the plate in comparison to Vladimir Guerrero. Take a look at the two heat map sequences that display "swing rate" based on count. It goes without saying, Vlad is a free swinger.

Vladimir Guerrero
Vladimir Guerrero Swing Rate Based on Count (2009 Reg Season - June 16, 2011)
Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia Swing Rate Based on Count (2009 Reg Season - June 16, 2011)

Dustin Pedroia's Excellent At Bat

In the bottom of the fifth inning Monday night, Dustin Pedroia (BOS) battled Jered Weaver (LAA) for 13 pitches, the batter eventually delivering a two-RBI single that resulted in the Red Sox taking the lead.  The following chart shows the pitches of the at bat overlayed on Dustin's hot zones since the start of the 2008 season:

Dustin Pedroia vs. Jered Weaver, May 2, 2011, bottom of the fifth inning.From the batter's point of view, this sequence shows Dustin's superb strike zone judgement.  He only swung at two pitches out of the strike zone (6 and 12), and they were both probably too close to take with two strikes and Weaver on the mound.  Dustin did not swing and miss in the sequence, nor did he take a strike.  Each swing resulted in a foul ball or ball in play.  In Moneyball terms, Pedroia's process was very good.

From the pitcher's point of view, Weaver mixed his pitches well in every dimension.  He used four different pitches during the sequence, four fastballs, three changeups, three sliders, and three cutters.  Three times he threw the same pitch on consecutive throws, but on almost every toss he changed location, up, down in and out.  Until the last three pitches, there was always something different about the previous pitch.

The last three pitches, however, is what did in Weaver.  Pitches 11 and 12 were classified as cutters and pitch 13 as a fastball, but the three had all about the same speed, spin and movement.  Pedroia basically saw the same pitch three times in a row for the first time during the at bat.  Note, too, that pitch 13 was higher on the corner than the other two, and that's right on the edge of a hot zone for Dustin.  Pedroia had the pitch timed, Weaver put it in a good location, and the single on pitch 13 turned the game around.  It was a classic battle between a fine pitcher and a fine hitter.


Dustin Pedroia and His Wall

Reader Jeff asked us to take a look at Dustin Pedroia.  Here's a quick look at some of his Home/Road splits over the last three seasons.

Dustin Pedroia

You can see that Pedroia's power zones are slightly diminished on the road.  As a righty at Fenway, he's made good use of the left field wall.  It's no secret that the green monster often turns what would normally be a fly ball out in most other parks, into a base hit.  While he's hit fewer HRs at home than on the road in the last three seasons, he's produced far more doubles at Fenway (108 to 61 in his career). 

Fly balls are converted into outs more often than any other type of hit ball (other than pop ups, of course).  Since 2008, Pedroia has hit 43 fly ball doubles at home compared to 13 on the road; the majority of those Fenway doubles have come on balls hit off the wall in left.  He also has a 2.8% lower line drive rate at home than on the road (16.9% to 19.7%).  This is a little less than two sigma, so it's not really a sign of any substantive change.  Still, I wouldn't be surprised if Pedroia has made an effort to put the ball in the air to left more at home knowing that he has a better chance of getting a hit, thus resulting in fewer line drives.

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