Long said the team’s research had shown that Teixeira was losing 15 to 20 points off his average because of would-be hits that were swallowed up by the shift, making it a primary reason for Teixeira’s declining average (he hit .256 in 2010)....
Teixeira is an unusual case, too, in that he is a switch-hitter who does not have nearly the same tendencies batting right-handed as he does from the left side….
As a right-handed hitter, Teixeira has a more even distribution in terms of the location of his hits: For his career, he was hitting .480 when he pulled the ball right-handed, .317 when he hit it up the middle and .285 when he went the opposite way.
As a left-handed hitter, however, the distribution is more skewed: he hit .455 when he pulled the ball, .290 when he went up the middle and just .232 when he went the opposite way, making it easier for other teams to justify playing the shift when he bats left-handed. This year, for example, he was hitting .389, or 66 points lower than his career average, when he pulled the ball left-handed (with only a .226 average on balls in play), indicating the shift may, indeed, be decreasing his productivity.
An interesting look at Teixeira’s declining batting average of the last couple of years, and the role that “the shift” has played.
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