Bernie beat me to the analytical punch with the info in his article today in the PD (on line version here) and Albert went off last night with two home runs both of which were on the inner half of the plate. That said I did have a few interesting pieces of info to share that I found in my investigation. Breaking the plate into 4 horizontal slices and plotting the percentage of pitches in each zone shows that Pujols has been attacked more inside so far this season (SMALL SAMPLE SIZE) than last
The chart is from the catcher’s perspective, so -1 is slightly off the inside corner. It’s not anything conclusive because of the small sample size, but it is something to keep an eye on the rest of the year to see if the trend continues.
To look into possible causes, I turned to AP’s performance against high velocity to see if there were any indications of a slowing bat. The following table has the run value per 100 swings against pitches 95 mph and greater by year
I wonder if other teams spotted something similar and are seeing if they can attack more hard in. We’ll have to wait and see if 2010 was an anomaly or something more.