Thursday, August 14, 2014

Javier Baez Hitting Analysis (Part 1)

August 10, 2014

Javier Baez Stats
JAVIER BAEZ - eBay Listings



The Javier Baez era has begun, as the Cubs decided to change the youngest player in the majors from Bryce Harper to Baez.  I have constantly been recommending him as my favorite hitting prospect and it is paying off.

He's already shown his exciting talents, quick wrists, and power, and has even hit a game-winning HR.  But it looks like he's been hit or miss, with the misses being literal misses (i.e. strikeouts).  Let's see what's going on:

Baez is what I like to call "hitterish".  He's up there to hit the ball, and hit it hard.  This is probably due to his quick wrists and being conditioned to thinking he can hit anything, because all his life, his bat really was able to hit anything.

I don't think pitch type has much to do with Baez's K's as much as location does.  The glaring stat is pitchers are getting swings and misses from Baez with offspeed and breaking stuff in the dirt.

Here are the percentage of pitches in each zone, looking at breaking stuff and offspeed stuff only.  Almost everything is low.  More than half of pitchers' secondary pitches are low and out of the zone.



Now, here are the swing and misses from Baez on offspeed and breaking pitches.  His swing and miss percentage on balls in the lowest row is terrible.  About 2/3 of the time he swings at pitches below the zone, he whiffs.



Simply put, Baez needs to learn to recognize secondary offerings and stop swinging at stuff in the dirt, because he isn't hitting it.  Pitchers are expanding the zone on Baez and he's taking the bait.  Over time, he will start recognizing these pitches, laying off, and getting ahead in counts.  This will force pitchers to throw strikes and Baez can crush the ball when it's over the plate.

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