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Sunday, October 20, 2019

How to neutralize a rookie sensation: Fangraphs: Mailhot

Can Yordan Alvarez make adjustments to the steady diet of fastballs up and in?

He’s also seen an increase in the number of fastballs thrown against him, up to 64.8% in the postseason. And it looks like both the Rays and Yankees have a common approach with their heaters.

...In the GIF above, Luis Severino busts Alvarez up and in with a 95 mph fastball. Alvarez can’t get his powerful arms extended and pops up harmlessly to left. In a September article examining his outstanding year, Ben Clemens wrote about Alvarez’s ability to pull the ball with power:

  “Here’s a random, tossed-off statistic for you. When Alvarez pulls the ball in the air, he bats .868 with a 2.421 slugging percentage. … Your mind will logically go to small sample sizes and regression here, and that’s not unreasonable. Consider this, though: Alvarez’s xwOBA is a robust .963 on these balls, second only to Joey Gallo. He hits them, on average, 100.3 mph, good for sixth in the league. He’s barreling up nearly half of them, 43.2%. In other words, Alvarez might be getting marginally lucky when he pulls the ball in the air, but for the most part he’s hitting the ball too hard to need luck.”

Most of those pulled fly balls and line drives during the regular season came off pitches in the middle of the plate or down and in where he can drop the barrel of his bat or get his arms extended. By pitching him up and in, the Rays and Yankees have prevented Alvarez from taking advantage of his greatest strength. He’s only pulled four batted balls in the air during the playoffs, three line drives and a lazy fly ball.
...

puck Posted: October 20, 2019 at 04:42 PM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: houston astros, yordan alvarez

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