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Entries in Jose Bautista (17)


Bautista Dangerous On Outer Third, Too

Jose Bautista has continued his transformation from Rule V wanderer and bench bat to baseball's pre-eminent slugger in 2011, posting a .329/.467/.679 line that looks like something out of Ted Williams' prime. "Joey Bats" remains a prodigious pull hitter who makes opponents pay when they bust him inside. But he has bested his 2010 production by adjusting to pitchers' tendency to throw him stuff on the outside corner of the plate.

Last year, Bautista blasted pitches located inside and down the middle of the plate. He was mortal, though still well above-average, on pitches thrown on the outside corner:

Bautista in 2010

Inside pitches: .667 slugging percentage (.414 league average)

Middle pitches: .772 SLG% (.475 league average)

Outside pitches: .451 SLG% (.331 league average)

In 2011, opponents have seemingly tried to hit that outside corner more often. Slightly over fifty-four percent of the pitches that Bautista has seen this season have been thrown outside, compared to 51 percent in 2010 and the 48 percent league average.

Bautista is still creaming pitches thrown inside (.685 SLG%, .399 league average) and down the middle (.790 SLG%, .465 league average). But he's also doing far more damage when pitchers throw him something on the outside third:

 Bautista's in-play slugging percentage on pitches thrown on outer third in 2010

 Bautista's in-play slugging percentage on pitches thrown on outer third in 2011

Bautista is slugging .603 on outside pitches in 2011, while the big league average is just .327. Jason Giambi and Laynce Nix are the only batters who have outslugged Bautista on outside offerings.

Inside, middle, outside -- it hasn't mattered this season. Pitchers are getting whacked when Joey Bats pulls the trigger.


Jose Bautista's June Swoon

The Blue Jays' Jose Bautista has not had too many bad months over the last couple of seasons, but he's scuffling this month. As reported by Mark Rutsey of the Toronto Sun, Jays manager John Farrell was asked if he thinks it’s a sign of frustration over the fact that he often gets pitched around?

“No, I wouldn’t say it’s from frustration,” Farrell said. “The one thing that Jose is very clear on is that when he’s gotten loaded with the proper swing mechanics it allows him to get ready earlier, which enables him to see the ball earlier in the flight to home plate. When he’s a little bit late, he doesn’t have the same clarity and I think that’s why we’re seeing some of the swings that you’re referring to.”

When you take a look at his overall swing rate this month, you can see he's swinging at pitches all over the zone:

Bautista is hitting .214 this monthBut it is against righties that Bautista is really reaching to the outer portion of the plate and not producing well:

Bautista is only hitting .129 versus righties this monthin 24 at bats against righties this month, Bautista only has four singles and no extra-base hits. For the season, Bautista is 53-for-163 against righties for a .325 avaerage and 16 homers.



Jose Bautista: Selective Endpoints

(Click image to enlarge)

Jose Bautista's power numbers have come down a bunch over the last couple weeks.  Through May 22nd, he had an .816 slugging percentage; since then, .491.  It was unreasonable to expect him to maintain such a high SLG, so the recent regression isn't much of a surprise.  However, through his first 176 plate appearances, Bautista had a wOBA of .534, and it still sits at .509 today.  In fact, over his last 73 plate appearances, he's hit only 2 doubles and 2 home runs, yet still produced a .450 wOBA.  This is partially due to the fact that he's consistently maintained an OBP over .500 for the majority of the season. 

While opposing pitchers haven't changed their location against Bautista, he has seen more off-speed stuff recently.  Since May 23, pitchers have thrown him 7.4% fewer fastballs and 12.1% more sliders.  Lastly, his line drive rate is up from 18.6% through May 22 to 23.9% since, while his fly ball rate dropped from 39.8% to 17.4%.