It is still worth it to keep up with plate discipline statistics, but after the recent offensive onslaught in which Mariner fans like us were treated to 47 runs in 48 innings, it is probably more fun to look at some power numbers. Here’s a sneak peak, and I’ll add OBP and ISO next week.
Versus individual past performance:
Versus the league medians:
Since homerun figures don’t stabilize until 300 plate appearances, it’s important not to get too excited or depressed about any of the lighter shades.
Last week, Justin Smoak stroked three homeruns in just 29 plate apearances. That 10.3% homeruns per plate appearance, and 60% homeruns per outfield fly ball. It’s nice to see some power, but I’m actually still concerned about the 60% HR/FB. Why? Because that means he only hit five outfield flyballs in the last week! I mentioned before that Smoak needs to hit the ball in the air (and preferably not straight up) to have success. But with 10 grounders, five outfield flyballs and two line drives last week, I’m not sure his homerun streak will last.
During Smoak’s best-ever two month stretch–the beginning of the season last year–he hit 46 outfield flyballs versus 61 grounders. That’s a 0.75 ratio. Even during last week’s power binge his ratio was only 0.5. That’s half as many outfield flyballs as grounders. I’m no hitting coach, but whatever he’s doing, he needs to stop hitting over the top of the ball so much. His success has to come from patience and power, and he can’t hit for power if he doesn’t hit it in the air.