FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Paul, have you looked into these players any more deeply? I’m curious if there’s any specific zone that they hit best in (outside the strike zone). I’m curious to see if it’s the two of them actually have a ton of range, or something like just liking one specific type of pitch (like, say, the Lefty Cano liking low inside fastballs)

    Comment by Synovia — April 19, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

  2. Vladimir Guerrero?

    Comment by Mike Green — April 19, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

  3. Is there even any evidence backing up the lefties-love-it-low-and-in theory? I can’t imagine there is a difference between a LHB’s ability to hit a certain pitch from a RHP and a RHB’s ability to hit that pitch from a LHP. It’s not like there are inherent differences in what they are doing, it’s a mirror image.

    Comment by Tom — April 19, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

  4. To explain, I don’t follow how Guerrero didn’t make the chart.

    As for this line, “Generally speaking, a hitter can do one of two things — he can try to hit for power or he can try to hit for contact.”, that isn’t exactly accurate. Many power hitters in baseball history have hit for contact- Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Don Mattingly, Joe DiMaggio… what is unusual is chasing a lot of pitches outside the strike zone, not striking out a ton and hitting for power. Examples would include Guerrero and Berra.

    Comment by Mike Green — April 19, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

  5. I haven’t. Perhaps that’s something to look at for a follow-up post. Thanks for the comment!

    Comment by Paul Swydan — April 19, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

  6. Oswing%/swing%/Contact%

    He didn’t make the contact qualifier

    Comment by adohaj — April 19, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

  7. Only have data since 2007 so most of those guys don’t count for this exersize. vlads prime was pretty much pre 2007 also. sad would have loved to see his numbers in the expo years.

    Comment by aj — April 19, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

  8. >But here’s the thing — Cano and Sandoval are actually able to hit nearly everything.

    Except in Sandoval’s case, pitches down broadway.

    It’s been a long-standing joke amongst baseball players and fans alike, but I wonder if there’s any truth to it. Does Sandoval’s approach really kill his power on belt-high pitches over the plate?

    Comment by Rickettsia — April 19, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

  9. Except for the fact that lefties have the incentive to bail out of the box towards first while righties drive toward the plate, making the low-inside pitch more of an ‘across-the-body’ hack rather than a graceful Griffey/Cargo stroke.

    Comment by Tsunamijesus — April 19, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

  10. What an interesting kind of player. You’d hardly even want a player to do this, but when they are capable of it, they are so dangerous. We can call it the family of Vlad. They must have remarkable ability to track the ball with their eyes and coordinate that to the swing, Someone mentioned Berra. Are there other hitters in the history of baseball who would seem plausibly to belong to the Vlads?

    Comment by JoeElPaso — April 19, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

  11. ever not even

    Comment by JoeElPaso — April 19, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

  12. The fun thing is that the highest K% is 17.4! I had expected much higher numbers.

    Comment by Jason B — April 20, 2013 @ 9:54 am

  13. It’s because the sample is selecting for players that make a lot of contact.

    Comment by The Party Bird — April 20, 2013 @ 11:35 am

  14. Willie McGee, from my childhood.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — April 21, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

  15. Cubans Cespedes and Puig will make the list in the near future…

    Comment by eliasll — April 22, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

  16. Anecdotally, having watched a lot of Sandoval games, he has a ton of vertical range. I’ve seen him crush balls that were up around his eyes, and make good contact on stuff that was barely off the ground.

    Comment by pitnick — April 22, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

  17. where is manny sanguillen?

    Comment by Oil Can Boyd — April 22, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

  18. It’s official. With 3 hits tonight, Pablo Sandoval is currently hitting his weight: .293

    Comment by TheScout — April 28, 2013 @ 12:18 am

  19. It’s the old saying, “you can’t walk off an island”.

    Comment by TheScout — April 28, 2013 @ 12:21 am

  20. The most notorious bad ball hitters in major league history are Berra and Ducky Medwick. Clemente had a similar reputation, to a lesser extent. Perhaps Kirby Puckett.

    Comment by Jim — April 28, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

  21. Interesting thing just occurred to me about that group I just named: they were all short. Clemente, at 5’11″, was the tallest, and Berra and Puckett are, along with Hack Wilson, probably the shortest players to ever hit 30 homers in a season.

    Comment by Jim — April 28, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

  22. The answer is here, and it is: No.

    Comment by DS — May 24, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

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