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Entries in Josh Hamilton (21)

Tuesday
Apr052011

Texas Rangers Offense through April 5th

The Texas Rangers' have started the 2011 season with some very hot hitting, and are 4-0 as a result.

Batters In Play SLG% through April 5th
(Click to enlarge)

Nelson Cruz, who became the third player in MLB history to homer in each of his team's first four games of the season, is sporting a 28.6% home run rate, while Ian Kinsler has already gone deep 3 times.  Considering that Josh Hamilton has yet to leave the yard, the Rangers' in play SLG% heat map is even more impressive. 

The only haven for opposing pitchers so far has been down in the zone where Rangers' batters have averaged only .153 and slugged .340.

Sunday
Mar202011

How to strike out Josh Hamilton

How do you strike out last year's AL MVP, Josh Hamilton?  Well, over the last three seasons, 38.0% of all his strikeouts have been on fastballs, but only 59.7% of those were swinging.  However, of the 38.6% of his strikeouts recorded on curveballs or sliders, 91.7% were swinging.  And in his 458 total plate appearances decided on a slider or curveball, 26.4 percent have been strikeouts.

Josh Hamilton vs. Sliders/Curveballs 2008-10

(Click to enlarge)

So Hamilton manages fine against the junk overall, and he's been pretty successful when pitchers come in with it.  You can see that pitchers try to keep the curveballs and sliders away from him, and they do manage to keep his power down when they stay out of his wheelhouse.  However, Josh has been able to produce a .322 overall wOBA on all curves and sliders since 2008.

If pitchers are skilled enough to hit the outside edge of the zone with a slider or curve, they fair pretty well against Hamilton.

Josh Hamilton vs. Sliders/Curves within 4" of outside corner

(Click to enlarge)

In that 4 inch region, pitchers throwing a slider or curve have held Josh to a .313 slugging percentage with a 31.6% k-rate, and 1.7% home run rate. Josh gets a little more swing happy as well, as his swing rate jumps 6.0%. Against lefties in particular, he's only made contact on 47.3% of sliders/curves hitting that zone, resulting in a 40.0% k-rate and .155 SLG%.  So if you keep it sloppy, and keep it away, you have a better chance of keeping Josh Hamilton off the bases.

Wednesday
Nov032010

Hamstringing Hamilton

The Giants used a two pronged approach to shut down Josh Hamilton in the World Series.  Looking at where in the strike zone Hamilton collected hits during the 2010 season (throught the ALCS), his great plate coverage becomes clear:

Josh Hamilton, batting average heat chart and movement, 2010 season through the ALCS.The low outside corner is the only place you might really get Josh.  Note also that Hamilton likes the ball moving towards him.  The Giants not only hit the low outside corner, their pitches didn't move in on Hamilton as much.

Josh Hamilton, pitch frequency and movement, 2010 World SeriesThe Giants weren't perfect, as they did put some pitches on the inside part of the plate, right where Josh usually owns a high in-play average.    Without the movement toward him, however, Josh got fooled a litte more often.

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