FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. Dave I’m not a Rangers fan, but just looking purely at the numbers Cruz has 7 home runs in 218 at bats when he has 2 strikes on him. Compare that to 25 home runs in 210 at bats when he has less than 2 strikes on him.

    With 2 strikes: One home run every 31 at bats
    With less than 2 strikes: One home run every 8.3 at bats

    This would seem to indicate that he’s taking something off of his swing with two strikes unlike most of the guys on this list. However, it’s also fair to say that by virtue of him getting two strikes in the first place he is likely fooled to the point where he wouldn’t be able to hit for power. In other words these home run: at-bat rates are probably the same with every player on this list. Like you though, I’m feeling a little lazy to do that work…

    Comment by Mark — September 16, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

  2. Dave, I think Cruz has midPA patience. After opening his stance in accord with some Scott Servais coaching, he claims he does “see” the pitches better. And being the intensely strong power hitter that he is, he is likely to try on the first or second hittable pitch to send it off the property. (His first pitch HR rate is available I just haven’t checked to see what it is). His second pitch success for any kind of hit appears to be a one preview learning curve wherein he takes a pitch to see what he thinks the pitcher wants to throw him, then goes after pitch #2.

    Then, curiously enough, he gets a kind of quiet patience. He is sometimes called out on a third or fourth pitch that is marginal, but he also has taken walks after having two strikes on him. I think opposing managers have spotted this, and at times ordered intentional walks if they are not confident their pitcher’s offspeed or breaking stuff might strike Cruz out.

    A third factor we see in Arlington and on broadcasts that is not weighed in here: Crua has reverse splits. He may have more trouble with stuff coming at his belly button in the open stance than what a RHP throws parallel to his line in the box. But even soft tossing lefties (a nemesis) don’t let him see a fastball after two strikes.

    Just an opinion.

    Comment by Ed Coffin — September 16, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

  3. Mark,

    It might be more appropriate to look at his batted ball profile and HR/FB split based on count to see if he really is changing his swing. Aren’t there less home run-hittable pitches with 2 strikes on average anyway? Also, where’d you get those count splits? I’d be curious to see how those numbers look for everyone else.

    Comment by Alex — September 16, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

  4. He might be getting them from some other place, but B-R has them

    Comment by joser — September 16, 2009 @ 8:36 pm

  5. Dave, I’m not sure where you are getting your stats but Cruz’s contact rate this season is 75%. It only drops to 68% if you use PAs instead of ABs.

    Ct% = (AB-K)/AB = (429-107)/429 = 75%

    Comment by Peter — September 17, 2009 @ 7:05 am

  6. The contact percent Dave is using is percent of pitches made contact with when swung at. Which is found on this site.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — September 17, 2009 @ 8:23 am

  7. Essentially that Cruz becomes a defensive / ball in play hitter with 2 strikes on him?

    I can see that making sense.

    Comment by Joe R — September 17, 2009 @ 9:17 am

  8. Sounds like he chokes up to me.

    Comment by Vode — September 17, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

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