Last week I posted some numbers on how the addition of Matt Holliday had impacted the way pitchers approach Albert Pujols, and the conclusion was not at all. I also wanted to take a look at how Albert looming in the on deck circle impacts those hitting in front of him. For this particular case study I looked at Colby Rasmus since he has a good amount of at-bats both before and after Pujols. The next few tables summarize the findings, first the pitch distribution
While Colby sees a few more fastballs hitting before Pujols, it’s not as big of a difference as the main stream media would have us believe. However, does he get more first pitch fastballs or fastball when the pitcher is behind in the count?
So it appears the pitchers are a little more hesitant to fall too far behind in the count, but nothing too drastic. And finally are the pitches themselves “better”, meaning more strikes/fatter pitches
|FB in zone||59.6%||61.9%|
Overall he sees more strikes and more pitches in the fat part of the zone, but sees less fastballs for strikes when hitting in front of Albert. While there are advantages to hitting in front of Albert (usually on the order of 2-3% to the “good” side of the comparisons) those advantages appear to be minimal.