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  1. “There’s nothing in Kendrick’s current profile to suggest he can suddenly slug balls out of the park at a higher rate”

    The thing about Kendrick is he has huge power. Hits the ball extremely hard. Just isn’t a homerun hitter. I could see him hitting 30 one day.

    Comment by Bill — May 12, 2011 @ 9:50 am

  2. he has huge power and doesn’t hit home runs? i don’t understand.

    Comment by cgreen — May 12, 2011 @ 10:15 am

  3. His swing has always been one that produces a lot of line drives. Very hard line drives. Very linear with not a ton of lift. That’s how you have a ton of power and don’t hit a lot of home runs.

    Comment by AA — May 12, 2011 @ 10:35 am

  4. I think that new tendency to walk and be more selective generally is helping fuel his higher BABIP and contact rates. It used to be that Kendrick would repeatedly foul off pitches out of the zone and get himself in a hole. Now, he lays off and gets pitchers to either walk him or throw more hittable pitches.

    Comment by AA — May 12, 2011 @ 10:37 am

  5. according to hit tracker, Kendrick’s HR have been a bit harder hit this year than last year… about the same “speed off bat” as Jim Thome.
    I’m not sure that HR speed is the best indicator of raw power but if you search that website enough you’ll find some interesting data that tends to prove what AA is saying. For instance, Carl Crawford (106mph) hit harder HRs than Jim Thome (104mph) last season, but Thome’s AB/HR was a lot better: 11 to 31.
    It looks to me that AA is right; technique counts for a lot when it comes to hitting HR.

    Comment by BG — May 12, 2011 @ 11:48 am

  6. 6 homers, thats a ton of power for howie. he usually at 2 hr at this checkpoint in the race. 20% HR flyrate means hes more of a groundball/liner guy. So yes he does have sneaky power but hes more of a liner to liner type dude. I have watched him since his inception into the bigs as well.

    foreal, i think he will be a TWEENER meaning 17,18,19 homers for 2011.

    they branded this guy a future batting champ. he has corrected his infield pop up. which he has 0 to date in 2011.

    Comment by johngomes — May 12, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

  7. I would be interested to see how many of those infield hits are bunt singles. HK is a great bunter and I think has at least two in the last week. His K rate is troubling though.

    Comment by Tizzidy — May 12, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  8. He’s set a new career high in WAR and we’re only half way through May? Wow has this guy ever been terrible and overrated.

    Comment by Big Jgke — May 12, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

  9. Injuries and one huge slump have prevented him from playing a full season.

    Comment by AA — May 12, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  10. I see him ending up around .300/.350/.470 with 40 2B and 18-20 HR. That’s not quite the player we thought he’d be five years ago, but still plenty good enough. That said, there is no reason to believe that he’ll keep striking out at this rate, which means that the average could be sustainable.

    Comment by Angelsjunky — May 12, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

  11. Watch the replays of his HR’s this year, he is tucking his hands inside the baseball better than he has at any point in his major league career. Granted his swing path is flat, he has still been instinctively putting rotational uppercuts on pitches, especially at the top of the strike zone…I don’t think the adjustment will come this year, but if he can learn to do that by intention and not out of instinct he will see his homeruns skyrocket up the 2b leaderboard for years to come.

    Comment by thaljr — May 13, 2011 @ 4:50 am

  12. Its possible that the K rate correlates to the increased BB rate.

    Also, I think Kendrick was always projected as a high AVG, moderate HR, high 2B guy. The difference is whether he is a regular .300 hitter with an acceptable OBP or if he can start winning batting titles.

    Comment by AA — May 14, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

  13. I’ve watched Howie every game this year, there certainly are a few differences. 1. he’s turning on the inside pitch instead of trying to inside-out it. 2. He’s not chasing the low and away breaking ball. 3. He’s staying inside the pitch.

    Kendrick is doing everything necessary to have a career year. He’s even playing 1B and LF to boot. If he stays healthy .300/.350 40 DB 20 HR and 20 SB should be about right. One of the more dangerous 2B in all of baseball.

    Comment by Scottathan — May 16, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

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