The Best Hitter You’ve Never Heard Of

“You’re seeing more of that Dodger-type approach: Get your A-swing off all three times but be really good at commanding the zone,” Adam Ottavino told me this week. “Selective, but powerfully selective. The old swing used to be to see the ball deep — so that you could take the fastball to the opposite field or catch the breaking ball out in front — but now people have now seen the Justin Turners of the world, where they are really selective, but when they get their pitch they’re ready to hit it early and out in front. If you get your A-swing off and it ends up being a bastard pitch, they’re okay with it because they’ll miss it and they’ll have another chance. Don’t put it into play weakly.”

The quote first appeared in a piece by Eno Sarris and was reprinted by Craig Edwards.

Source: FanGraphs

Nothing is more frustrating to me than watching the Ike Davis-like swings at balls outside and in the dirt. Pitcher beats you on a ball in the strike zone, tip your hat and take your seat with your head high. But when you swing at garbage that never started in the strike zone and ends up two feet away from being a strike, you should be embarrassed.

A companion thought to this is the extreme frustration at watching 3-0 get-me-over pitches. Sure, if you’re an offensive sink hole like Keon Broxton, take that 3-0 pitch. But there’s absolutely no reason that Pete Alonso should get the take sign at 3-0. He should sit on a middle-middle fastball and look to see how far he can hit it when he gets it. It’s one of the reasons I was a fan of Curtis Granderson because he looked to attack that pitch.

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