Sunday, April 27, 2014

Jose Abreu - The Greatest Power Hitter So Far - Analysis

Ok, so the title may be a little misleading, but it's technically true.  Jose Abreu has hit more HR in his first month of play than any other player in history.  Let's see how he's doing it...
The most glaring stat for me is HR/FB% which is 32.1% for Abreu.  Basically, for every 3 flyballs Abreu hits, one of them leaves the yard.  He has 80 power and he's a monster at 6'3" 260 lbs.

He has struck out 25 times in 111 AB, which is okay for a power hitter in his first month.  From what I see, he still has to learn pitch recognition.  He swings at 39% of the pitches out of the zone, and we'd like to see about 30%.  Of those swings, he only makes contact with pitches out of the zone 56% of the time, and we'd like to see about 68%.

Here is some data from Brooks Baseball.

He can absolutely crush a fastball.  His .844 SLG against the fourseam is insane.

Above is his whiffs per swings on fastballs.  It's incredible how rarely he swings and misses.


Lots of red up there for average based on pitch location.  He clearly struggles with balls down in the zone, and below you will see he is swinging and missing at changeups low in the zone.

Below is Abreu's whiffs per swing on all pitches (not only changeups, shown above).  Abreu seems to have great hand eye coordination on balls in the strike zone and does not swing and miss often.  This leads back to one of my first observations.  If Abreu can learn to lay off pitches outside of the zone, the sky is the limit, and most of his batted balls will spend plenty of time in that sky.

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