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  1. As a Jays fan, I love me some Jose Bautista. The changes he was able to make from Sept 2009 onward are just incredible. He shortened his loadup for his swing and turned it into one of the quickest in baseball…at times it looked as violent as Gary Sheffield in his prime.

    This is going to derail the comments off-topic, but here’s an interview that I am sure not many people have seen:

    …you may continue with the ISO comments

    Comment by exxrox — November 19, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  2. I’d love to see Derrek Lee’s chart. Given that he’s a free agent right now it seems like he’s worth a look.

    Gotta believe D-Lee is pissed he barely reached Type A status. I bet this has a big impact on his value.

    Comment by Jack Nugent — November 19, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

  3. I really doubt that Derrek Lee is that upset about reaching Type A status, since I think that the Braves will be too gunshy to offer him arbitration due to the risk of him accepting. If anyone is pissed it’s probably Frank Wren and the Braves front office, since the likelyhood of Lee accepting arb is much higher as a Type A than a Type B.

    Comment by harpago17 — November 19, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

  4. I like your train of thought on Fenway, but the problem is that Adrian Beltre’s 2009 was an injury year for him. While many of his batted balls fit his usual pattern, it’s hard to say it was a park effect when his ISOs were .197, .207 and .191 the three previous years in Safeco. Despite a relatively normal BB profile in 2009, his HR/FB was a mere 5.9% last season, which is way below his career 13.1%. And this year he hit some more flyballs than usual too. Fenway is actually not a HR-generating park overall (I believe it helps righties slightly, but lefties really suffer). Doubles, yes.

    Jason Bay’s 2010 is also an injury season, so it might be a mistake to point to the park as the only reason for his power drop. He hit an unusual number of fly balls in 2009 (49.1% compared to 44.5% career), with 19.7% of them going for homers, compared to 15.8% lifetime.

    What it looks like is that right-handed hitters are lofting the ball more in an effort to take advantage of the short fly ball HRs over the Monster.

    Comment by Red Sox Talk — November 19, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

  5. I am not a fan of the train of thought on Fenway since Beltre hit better away from it, so unless he was taking the Wall on road games…

    What the article should have said was that the AL East parks are hitter friendly by and large, and the AL West not so much.

    But its Beltre, so it was 96% free agent year.

    Comment by quint — November 19, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

  6. Uh… you realize they were BOTH free agent years, right?

    Comment by Terminator X — November 19, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

  7. I’m hoping that Kinsler’s spring ankle injury was to blame for his drop in ISO. His rate climbed month to month over the season, but still ended well below his 2009 mark.

    Comment by t ball — November 19, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

  8. Terminator – not what I was commenting on. Red Sox Talk said he liked the articles train of throught on Fenway and Beltre – and I said I didn’t since Beltre hit better on the road.

    I was commenting on my opinion was that Beltre didn’t have big numbers because of Fenway, but because it was his free agent year (historical) and because the AL East ballparks by and large (and not just Fenway) are better hitting parks than those in the AL West (where he just came from).

    In no way shape or form did I comment on Jason Bay.

    Comment by quint — November 19, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

  9. Allow me to respond for Terminator.

    Both years in question for Beltre were free agent years so you’re reasoning that his stats increase is due to him being in a contract year can be completely discounted.

    I do, however, think that there is some validity in thinking that Fenway was not solely responsible for his increase in ISO. Afterall, his numbers were just as good if not better away from Fenway.

    Jason Bay is a whole different issue, as I believe some of his ISO problems were ball park related. Jason Bay is a fly ball hitter and as previously stated he hit 49.1% of his balls in the air in 2009. In addition to that, his batted ball profile shows that he had a knack for shooting those fly balls towards the Monster.

    As someone who has watched the Sox religiously for the last 10 years or so, I can easily say that I never saw someone hit more balls that barely scraped the wall or snuck over it for a home run. These are balls that likely would have been outs in any other ball park. So when you take fly ball hitter and put him in a home ball park with a huge outfield, it comes as no surprise that his ISO dropped.

    I don’t think this accounts for his entire drop in ISO, but it is part of the explanation, along with injury, for why Jason Bay posted a career high ISO in 2009 and a career low ISO in 2010.

    Comment by chulton — November 20, 2010 @ 12:27 am

  10. Great stuff Jeff. The Bautista angle start is especially striking. It’s good to see that his power increase might have something real behind it.

    Comment by Lee Panas — November 20, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  11. It sure does….real HGH.

    Comment by Matt — November 20, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

  12. Seattle killed Beltre. Look at his home-road splits from his Mariner years. It wasn’t being in Fenway but away from Safeco that made the difference.

    Comment by philosofool — November 20, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

  13. …evidence??

    Comment by fredsbank — November 20, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  14. Let’s see.

    His ISO spiked 184 points in his age 29 season, an age where decline typically starts to set in. Keep in mind an ISO of 184 is solid in and of itself; but Bautista’s increased by that amount to a Pujolsesque 357.

    Now the “swing angle” take is a cute cover for pundits that want to believe this is 100 percent legit. No doubt he has changed his approach, including the angle, but he most certainly is on PEDs as well.

    Previously mediocre hitters don’t become mega-mashers at age 29 without help. And his homerun distance increased by what? 70 feet? C’mon.

    MLB can’t test for HGH yet, and the players know that. I am simply connecting the dots.

    Comment by Matt — November 20, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  15. Pardon me, 70 foot increase per hit ball, not homerun.

    Comment by Matt — November 20, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

  16. So what’s in the drinking water in Toronto?

    Vernon Wells in #3 on the list. Alex Gonzalez slugged .497 (career high pace) w/ Toronto and .386 w/ Atlanta. John Buck just netted a 3/18 contract after popping 20 HRs.


    Comment by Scout Finch — November 20, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

  17. So, why is Bautista the only one with such a big increase then? Aren’t other players taking HGH too?

    I don’t doubt that a lot of players are using HGH. I just don’t like it that any time any player has a big year now, he gets accused of using PEDs.

    Comment by Lee Panas — November 20, 2010 @ 10:31 pm

  18. I would like to see which players had their distance and angles change for better or worse toward the end of this season. It would be interesting to see if it carries over into next season. This seems like it could possibly be a valuable tool in predicting spikes in home run production and regression. The more of these graphs the better!

    Comment by Jeremy — November 21, 2010 @ 12:19 am

  19. [...] Here are the ten players (five increase, five decrease), who experienced the biggest shift in isolated power from 2009 to 2010. No, Pablo Sandoval is not on this list.  [...]

    Pingback by Summing Up the Baseball World (One Week at a Time): Ed. #2 | Baseball Bloggers Alliance — November 21, 2010 @ 3:01 am

  20. Whether Lee is Type A or Type B should be irrelevant. Unless Lee agreed to decline arbitration as part of being traded to Atlanta at the deadline, there should be now way that Wren will offer arbitration (regardless of potential compensation) with Lee coming off a 2.1 WAR age 35 season where he made $13.25M.

    Comment by hk — November 21, 2010 @ 10:21 am

  21. Hey – I agree. It is tiresome, but it’s the bed baseball has made.

    For me, with Bautista, it’s the age of the power spike and the magnitude of the spike that make me suspicious. Obviously, no one but Bautista knows the truth, I just think he’s on something.

    Comment by Matt — November 21, 2010 @ 10:39 am

  22. [...] they looked at some of the biggest changes in power, 2009-2010. It’s a really interesting, in-depth discussion of several players who rise and fell out of nowhere, like Jose [...]

    Pingback by Picks of the Pen (11/22): Gammons-Haters and Rage Calculators | Baseball Bloggers Alliance — November 22, 2010 @ 11:22 am

  23. This is called libel. Honest folks do not do this. Provide evidence or shut the %^$& up.

    Comment by Someanalyst — November 22, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

  24. All that will change somewhat with Cito’s departure. It is funny to me that people often seem to act as if players played independently of their coache’s instructions (you know, the guys that determine their playing time…).

    Comment by Someanalyst — November 22, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

  25. Actually, I think Beltre did take the monster with him on the road in 2010 — in his head, in exactly the same way he took Safeco’s cavernous LF with him on the road during his Seattle years.

    Comment by joser — November 22, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

  26. I think injuries can explain Zobrist. He was having back problems for a good chunk of the season. That said his talent level is probably somewhere between 2009 and 2010.

    Comment by nolan — November 22, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

  27. [...] Examining ISO Changes From 2009 to 2010 (FanGraphs). Very geeky, but very cool. Charts and stuff. [...]

    Pingback by Friday Links (2 Dec 10) – Ducksnorts — December 3, 2010 @ 9:22 am

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