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Entries in home runs (14)

Wednesday
May162012

Bryce Harper: A Quick Look

He only has 68 Major League plate appearances under his belt, but it's not too early to take a look at Bryce Harper's slugging percentage heat maps.

Click image to enlargeHarper hit his second HR yesterday on an Anthony Bass 1-0 fastball that was up and out over the plate:

Click image to enlargeHarper is currently 6 for 17 on fastballs with three doubles and a home run. His other HR came on a slider low in the strike zone from Padres' Tim Stauffer a day earlier.

That first HR notwithstanding, pitches down in the zone seem to be the one area that has given Harper some trouble. On low pitches, he's currently hitting .100 (2 for 20, 4 Ks) with a swing and miss rate of 29.8% and a chase% (balls swung at out of the strike zone) of 37.7%.

Again, it's only 16 games worth of data and thus too early to draw any meaningful conclusions.  Nonetheless, tonight's starter for the Pittsburgh Pirates Erik Bedard may want to keep the ball down on Harper as much as possible.

 

Wednesday
May092012

Home Run Recap: Josh Hamilton

By now, we've all heard about Josh Hamilton's historic four homer night in Baltimore.  Here's a look at his slugging percentage heat map prior to last night's game:

Hamilton hits for power mostly on pitches middle-in.  However, all of the pitches that he took deep last night were on the outer half of the plate.

(Click image for HR video)The first pitch Hamilton saw he took over the center field fence for a two-run homer.  You can see from the heat map that the pitch was outside Hamilton's main power zone.

(Click image for HR video)This second HR off Jake Arrieta came on a pitch way outside Hamilton's power zone and on the very border of the strike zone.  It was a 93 MPH sinker that, while not in a terrible location, was left up enough for Hamilton to drive the other way.

(Click image for HR video)This 78 MPH slider from Zach Phillips was left up and right in a spot Hamilton hits particularly well.

(Click image for HR video)The last HR from Hamilton came on a Darren O'Day sinker that caught too much of the middle of the plate.  However, like the three previous HRs, this pitch was also on the outer half of the plate. 

Hamilton's four home run game (something done only 15 times before) is truly amazing. But the fact that he did it on four pitches mostly outside of his normal power zone makes it all the more interesting.

And just for kicks, here's a look at the pitch location for his double in the 5th inning:

May 8th, 2012 vs. Jake Arrieta (5th inning)Yep, another outside pitch.  It appears Hamilton's power stroke may be expanding. Good news for the Texas Rangers - bad news for the rest of the league.

Wednesday
May022012

Guess the Player

Click image to enlarge

  • This player's 2012 slugging percentage is 214 points higher than his 2011 slugging percentage.
  • On May 2nd of 2011, this player had no HRs. He currently sits in the top ten in total home runs for the 2012 season.
  • This player already has half as many stolen bases as he had all of last season.

Can you name the player?