There is no shortage of good hitters in the top 10 of this list. Some notables that didn't make the cut: Chris Iannetta of the Colorado Rockies (.322) has the the highest walk rate (21.5%) of all major leaguers with two strikes....Yankees' Curtis Granderson (.316) has 5.1% HR rate, 4th behind Cabrera, Tulowitzki, and Berkman....Victor Martinez (.328) of the Detroit Tigers has a .310 batting average in two strike counts, best in the majors.
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Entries in Prince Fielder (25)
Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers hit his fifth home run of the season against the Houston Astros Sunday afternoon. He came into the game 19 for 43 against the Astros with ten extra base hits. What are the Astros doing wrong against the first baseman?
Most teams work Fielder away.
They also tend to work him up and in, which is good for limiting his power:
The Astros follow a similar pattern:
Again, they work him up and in, which should be good, and away, which should be good. They do put too many pitches down in the middle of the strike zone.
It looks like the Astros pitchers are leaving too many pitches up and in the middle of the plate. When pitchers go after Prince up and in, they really need as much in as up.
The other problem comes from the slider. Overall in 2011, Prince's worst production comes against the slider, with a .267/.360/.480 slash line. (You get an idea of how well Fielder hits when that is his worst slash line against a pitch.) Against Astros sliders, however, Fielder is 4 for 5 and the one non-hit resulted in an error. Most teams work sliders away from Prince, but Houston used it up and in. That was a mistake, as Prince pounded the pitch.
New York Yankee Robinson Cano put on quite a show last night as he outdueled Adrian Gonzalez (BOS) in the final round of the HR Derby, winning it with 32 total HRs. His 12 homers in the final round set a record for the derby.
Playing for the Yankees, a team that has big sluggers like Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, Cano's power sometimes gets short shrift. But after last night, it will be hard for anyone to ignore his long ball proclivity.
Cano seemed more than comfortable having his father, Jose Cano, throw to him last night. While BP pitchers usually soft toss fastballs one after another, one wonders if Cano could have produced even more HRs last night if he was facing sliders.
Since 2009, Robinson Cano has hit more HRs off sliders than any AL batter with 21, and second behind fellow HR Derby contestant and former derby winner Prince Fielder (MIL), who has 23. Those 21 homers tie the number he has hit off fastballs in that same span of time. His 8.0 HR% on sliders (highest among any pitches he has seen since 2009) ranks 5th in baseball behind Jason Giambi (9.1%), Russell Branyan (9.0%), Prince Fielder (8.3%), and Hideki Matsui (8.3%).
Since the 2010 All-Star Break, Cano has hit 11 HRs off sliders, best in the league. He has a 27.5% HR/FB rate on sliders, ranking him in the top 4% of the league. And his 11.0 HR% on sliders in that time is best among all major league hitters, even Jose Bautista (10.4 HR%).
If Cano is looking to top last night's performance in next year's home run derby, perhaps Jose will break out the slider in Kansas City.