Steve already touched on Jeremy Greenhouse’s fantastic work over at Baseball Analysts of using linear weights on strike zone location for 2009 batters, and found a disturbing trend that outside of Pujols, Holliday and Schumaker, the Cardinals seemed to have done an awfully poor job on smacking a pitch down the middle when it comes. I thought it would be fun to put together some visualizations of the entire zone for the main members of the lineup and their run values per 100 swings for the 2009 season.
Here ya go -
Skip made his hay off of driving pitches down the middle, but seemed to sort of struggle with everything else, and was especially susceptible to high and inside pitches.
Rasmus liked low and in, high and away, but didn’t do much with anything else.
So there was a glitch in The Machine, and that’s pitches low and away, and low pitches in general. It’s not as if Pujols will be legging out a lot of ground balls. Pujols loved middle-up and high and away.
Luddy really struggled with pitches up in the zone, especially up and in.
Holliday handled pitches with low and inside and low and down the middle pitches, something most batters struggle with. He murdered a lot of pitched down the middle.
Yadi can handle himself on the inside of the plate, so long as the pitch isn’t up. He struggled mostly with pitches outside, which struck me as odd, because my general impression of Molina is that he’s pretty good taking the ball the other way. You’d think pitches on the outer half would be the type of pitches he could slap to the right side.
Now the Boogameister. It’s a little surprising to see a ground-ball hitter and a fast runner like Ryan to do so poorly with low pitches.
I’m going to pass on the more depressing cast-aways (DeRosa, Greene, Thurston), but I couldn’t resist putting together a zone for Ankiel. Ank handled pitches down the middle, but was helpless on just about everything else.
This was fun. Sometime soon we’ll have to look at pitchers.