On the season, Brett Gardner, the Yankees’ speedy left fielder, is batting a very impressive .346/.430/.432. Even with an abnormally high BABIP of .382, Gardner’s fleet-footed ways will allow him to maintain a BABIP close to .320-.330 or so, meaning that his numbers won’t completely flat line with a regression. He could still end the season well above ZiPS’ current projection of .279/.356/.371. With that said, I want to point to an intriguing number for Gardner that might help to explain why he is hitting as well as he has this year.
100%–that’s the number. While the league average for contact percentage on pitches in the strike zone this season is 88.1%, Brett Gardner’s contact rate on pitches in the strike zone stands at 100%. It seems he is hitting strikes whenever he swings at them (the 100% must be a rounded figure, albeit even with that occurring, it would mean his contact rate is very close to 100%). The key here is that Gardner is not swinging at many strikes. In fact, his swing rate on pitches in the zone is currently 39.5%, the lowest mark in the majors (the season average for the league is… 63.2%). From this, we can gather that Gardner is being particularly selective with the pitches he sees in the strike zone and, when he decides to actually swing at a pitch in the zone, he tends to hit it. This is an interesting situation. It is not as though he is swinging at everything and hitting everything. He is swinging at a very small percentage of the strikes he sees, and he is hitting them with freakish regularity.
What does this mean? I’m not sure, really. Gardner is being very selective in the zone and is identifying pitches he can handle, allowing him to pick and choose what he should go after. When he decides to attack a chosen strike, he almost always puts his bat on the ball. A low swing percentage on balls in the zone and a high contact rate on balls in the zone seems like a pretty positive combination, as it signals that a hitter knows his limitations and knows what he can hit (maybe I’m not seeing something, though, so feel free to comment away below). It will be interesting to see how this inverse relationship looks in a few months.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
- related web site on The Great Subway Race
- get your lover back on Contact Us
- Dorothy Silvan on Pineda’s Torn Labrum, or Does the lemon law apply to baseball?
- tao of badass on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- tube launch review on Why Has Attendance Fallen Year-To-Year?
- Evon Znidarsic on Teixeira MRI Update, Babe Ruth Pitching In Pinstripes, And Jeter’s Gift Baskets
- Sacramento PC Repair on Yanks finally sign non-Yankee free agent in Russell Martin
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees