It’s still way too early to draw any meaningful conclusions from the data available on the 2011 season, but that doesn’t mean it’s useless to try to make sense of certain patterns or developments that have unfolded during the first six games.
As one of his toughest critics last season, I came into the season expecting more of the same from Derek Jeter in 2011, which is to say, a nonstop stream of groundballs to shortstop. Thus far, the early returns haven’t been great from The Captain; however, as Buster Olney noted before yesterday afternoon’s game, Derek apparently decided to scrap his new mechanics after a mere five games (per Buster, “Remember, Jeter had shortened stride because he was jamming himself when pitched inside. It’ll be interesting to see if pitchers adapt.”), and perhaps trying to teach his old body new tricks was what was keeping him back, as he picked up his first extra-base hit of the season against Francisco Liriano (part of a 2 for 3 day) and drew a walk.
I wanted to see if there was anything noteworthy in the way pitchers were attacking Derek location-wise (there doesn’t appear to be a dramatic change in the pitch types that Derek has seen thus far), and so I went back into Gameday and created a spreadsheet of each pitch he saw and where it was located. This is admittedly a subjective analysis, as I was the ultimate arbiter of whether a pitch was over the inner half of the plate, down the middle or over the outer half, but I think if you went back into Gameday you’d find that I’m pretty close. If you are a super-nerd and for some reason want to sift through my data, feel free to download it here.
Anyway, here’s a composite of the outcomes of the various strikes that Derek has seen thus far:
As Jeter has historically made his bones inside-outing the inside pitch, it’s no surprise that the majority of the strikes he’s seen have been on the middle and outer half the plate. Derek certainly loves the inner half of the plate — though I only have three years of data to look back on, if you look at the nine-quadrant heat maps at the very bottom of each player page on Joe Lefkowitz.com, in 2008 he recorded his lowest take% in the inner-middle quadrant (scroll all the way down) for all four pitch types (RHP fastball and offspeed, LHP fastball and offspeed); in 2009 the inner-middle once again represented his lowest take% in three of four pitch types (except LHP offspeed); although in 2010 his take% was lowest in the inner-middle in only two of the four pitch types — RHP fastballs, and LHP offspeed. This is all a rather complicated way of saying that Derek swings at the inside pitch considerably more often than any other location.
This season thus far has been no different, as he’s offered at 12 of the 13 strikes he’s seen on the inner half, compared to 14 of 21 down the middle and 14 of 22 on the outer half. Interestingly, he actually went two straight games — Game 3 against Max Scherzer and Game 4 against Scott Baker — in which he saw zero strikes on the inner half of the plate.
Jeter’s only watched one strike go by on the inner half, compared to seven called strikes down the middle and eight on the outer half. He’s also fouled 7 inside pitches off, but mercifully has no groundouts due to swinging at pitches on the inside half of the plate.
He was doing almost nothing with strikes on the outer half of the plate through the first four games (one hit on 14 total strikes, two fouls), but seems to have gotten his bat around on the outside pitch with greater alacrity the last two games, picking up two hits (and another two fouls) on the 8 total strikes he’s seen. Although whether that’s due to a mechanical adjustment or simply the fact that he saw his first two lefthanders of the season in Games 5 and 6 is up for debate.
In any event, it looks like Derek’s new mechanics may have been preventing him from fully extending on the outside pitch during the first few games, while perhaps also hindering his bread-and-butter, the inside-out swing. Though there are no definitive conclusions that can be drawn from the first six games (not to mention the fact that pitcher handedness likely played some kind of role), if Derek has indeed scrapped whatever adjustments Kevin Long helped him make, hopefully it results in more games from Jeter like the one we saw yesterday afternoon.
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
- many dresses are especially for wedding or for other events2 on Chuck Johnson on Chase Whitley
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
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