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  1. Solid analysis contextualized in a meaningful way, by placing Hamilton’s numbers among qualified seasons over the past five years. This is great work!

    Comment by BookWorm — May 22, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  2. Agree, this is fascinating stuff. Even more fascinating if he keeps it up for a while longer (not likely). What would really be interesting though is to compare this to his MVP season to see the difference. He has elite skills for sure, but this “new” approach may not last long. He said in an interview several weeks ago (just after his ridiculous 8 HR week) that he knew he was swinging at everything and that he would adjust as soon as pitchers stopped throwing him strikes. That time is now.

    Comment by LuckyStrikes — May 22, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

  3. Odd to call Reynolds productive in any way, though. But most sabermetric stuff can see things myopically.

    Comment by DSC — May 22, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

  4. I can’t figure out why the Mariners haven’t traded for Mark Reynolds yet.

    Comment by Nate — May 22, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

  5. Where exactly is the cutoff for when he should start accepting the walk? As long as he continues to crush the ball, it makes sense for him to chase, but how far do his numbers have to drop before it makes more sense to take the walk?

    Comment by Jimmy — May 22, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

  6. My guess is he hits a slump at some point and adjusts by not bein g as agressive on pitches outside the zone. Great piece, interesting stuff.

    Comment by Soxy — May 22, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

  7. This is Brett Lawrie’s idol!

    Comment by AL Eastbound — May 22, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  8. You dislike the Mariners that much?

    Comment by DSC — May 22, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  9. This is really great stuff.

    Comment by chuckb — May 22, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  10. great article. fascinating

    Comment by moose — May 22, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  11. I have to say, I’ve been pretty excited when Hamilton gets intentionally walked this year. Not because it usually means that Beltre will have 2 or 3 men on base in a game that is close late. But because there may be a legitimate chance that Hamilton swings, which would be pretty epic.

    Comment by Keystone Heavy — May 22, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

  12. One of the most facinating articles I’ve read on Fangraphs. Thanks Dave, great stuff!

    Comment by CheeseWhiz — May 22, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

  13. Great article, Dave.

    As a Pirates fan, I had thought that any article that can plausibly compare Hamilton with Barmes – by any metric – would have to originate from The Onion. Alas, Barmes is simply attempting to become the next Josh Hamilton. It all makes perfect sense now….

    Comment by CabreraDeath — May 22, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  14. Odd to read Fangraphs if you don’t appreciate that Mark Reynolds has been a productive hitter.

    Comment by Person — May 22, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

  15. Productive hitter, maybe, but not a productive player. Only two seasons over 2 WAR, and one over 3. Basically replacement level since he joined the O’s in 2011. Not someone whose time on the DL bothers me too much.

    Comment by gobears — May 22, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

  16. While he is swinging at a ridiculous amount of pitches, it might also be important to note that his walk rate was dramatically increased over the last month. While it may not seem overly significant, it at least suggests that Hamilton has slowly began to be slightly more selective.

    Comment by utb — May 22, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

  17. This is a great article with extremely interesting analysis.

    Comment by BurleighGrimes — May 22, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

  18. Or more likely, that pitchers are throwing him even fewer strikes.

    Comment by Justin — May 22, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

  19. Hamilton has a number of different swings he takes if you watch enough of his at-bats. He’s definitely swinging for the fences this season more than he ever has before. He can actually cut down on his swing pretty well and take a 2-strike approach, which is why he’s always had a good batting average.

    I see a lot of people compare him to Vladimir, but their swings and approaches to an at-bat are really nothing alike. Josh has a beautiful swing that produces more power in the strike zone, while Vlad would often alter his balance to go outside the normal strike zone. Vlad had better pure contact skills but his willingness to compromise his stance pitch to pitch ultimately lowered his slugging.

    Comment by Phantom Stranger — May 22, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

  20. Interesting in that you call the low fastball “close enough that they fall well within the margin for error, and very well might have been called strikes had he not swung at them.” The pitch that Brett Lawrie flipped out on was even closer to the plate and the common consensus amongst most analysts was that the umpire called the pitch a strike out of spite because Lawrie “showed him up” on the pitch before.

    Comment by schlomsd — May 22, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

  21. I wonder if you looked at the freeze frame of the Lawrie pitches. Pitch f/x do not lie, but neither does pictures of actual pitch.

    Comment by DC — May 22, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

  22. One of the best articles I’ve read all year. Well done Dave.

    Comment by GotHeem — May 22, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

  23. He probably was just alluding to all the ex- and current Mariners mentioned in the article — Olivo, Branyan, and LaHair. He doesn’t have enough PAs to qualify, but perennial call-up Carlos Peguero has this “skillset” too.

    Comment by joser — May 22, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

  24. This is the kind of analysis I come to Fangraphs for – Bravo, Dave..

    Comment by fergie348 — May 23, 2012 @ 2:24 am

  25. Does Hamilton read FG? He took a lot of pitches last night, including four straight to start is evening.

    Comment by Mario Mendoza of commenters — May 23, 2012 @ 9:36 am

  26. *his evening

    Comment by Mario Mendoza of commenters — May 23, 2012 @ 9:37 am

  27. Stand at attention homes,when u mention Branyan’s name if your a Mariner’s fan or even if you are not.All he did was lead the M’S in homers,31 in 431 ab’s[missing final 5 weeks of the 2009 season,back inj.] and again in 2010 with 15 in less than half a season,57 games to be exact in 205 at bats!And lead in slugging&OBS both years.All for 2mill.$1.5 in 2009&$500,000 in 2010 when he was re acquired.With Seattle’s pitiful offense,where u getting that kind of bang for da buck?

    Comment by robert mitchell — May 23, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

  28. 40% HR/FB explains it all

    Comment by adohaj — May 24, 2012 @ 12:16 am

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