Clearly the offense has been struggling over recent weeks (at least as I type this they have put up two runs in the first against the Pirates, so we have that going for us). With that in mind I picked a couple of players, Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran, to look at in some detail to see if there was anything we could learn. Before I do that though I wanted to offer a positive graph. As you may have read we had some contests going on last week, and mine was to offer up your best graph. Our winner was Ben Chambers who provided the following graph for Allen Craig
with the following commentary:
It’s the hot/cold zones for Allen Craig from brooksbaseball.net for 2013. It’s amazing to me because I there isn’t a single place inside the strike zone that is below .308. That’s pretty amazing. Most of the time that he gets out, it’s outside of the strike zone. If someone wants to go up there and throw strikes, but he can hit pretty much anything inside the zone, what is the pitcher going to do?
Clearly that guys is still in there, so can we find out if he’s been doing anything differently over the last month or so? First to set the baseline I’ll give you swing rate by zone through June
Then just the month of July
While there isn’t a whole lot that jumps out at me, the biggest thing I see is the decrease in swings on belt high pitches. I’d especially point out the middle in pitch that he has only swung at 50% of the time in July compared to 70% or so on the season. I’d also highlight how much he has gone out of the zone low and in (70%) compared to 48% in other months. I’d also note that he has a 0.167 SLG on balls in play in that low and in spot .
Moving on to Beltran. I’ve isolated it to only at bats versus RHP. First the pre July numbers
Then the month of July
Beltran has taken many more swings on pitches off the plate away in July than in the previous months. He’s had some success out there on the belt high pitches (not a ton, but some), but the others he’s not had the kind of success to justify the swing rate out there.
All in all it seems like there are some approach differences that could be leading to the performance drop off. Hopefully things will turn around shortly.