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Player Notes: Offense

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Here are some random thoughts and stats. Please feel free to discuss.

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Periodically I like to take a look at some statistics for each player and see if they match up to the general mood of the fanbase, or my impressons.  It's not an exact science but I'm doing my best, so deal.

First lets look at Segura.

Jean Segura

Segura's bat is cooling off a bit, but his BAbip over the last 7 days is at .238. From what I've seen he's still hitting the ball hard, but he's just starting to find more mitts than he was earlier in the season.  It could be a regression to the mean or he likes hitting at Chase.  At home he's batting .407, but so far on this road trip he's only batting .250.  Personally, I think he's getting a bit quick with his swing and that has a lot to do with his hand being so low in his setup.... but that's for another article.  If I were to guess, I'd say he's going to continue to cool down and probably start to hold closer to a .275 avg.  There's also a matter of his OBP being so close to his average.  His OBP is only .358 which means he's only walked twice so far this year.  For a lead off guy, this is not what you want.  As his average starts to come down, his OBP will fall just as fast, and we'll have fewer ducks on the pond for when Goldie finally gets hot.

Jake Lamb

If your impression of Jake lately has been that he's hitting the ball harder, you'd be right.  Over the last 7 days his SLG is .727.  Jake is also become much better with his strike zone recognition.  Last year he was swinging at 28.8% of pitches outside the zone.  This year it has climbed down to 23.5%.  For comparison, Goldie was at 22.0% last year.  This has led to 7 walks in his first 15 games.  Last year he had just 36 in 107 games.   But the thing I think most people worry about with Jake's offense are his splits against LHP.   There's some good news and bad news on this front.  When Jake is facing lefties he's only batting .143, but if you look closer, he's batting .273 against starting LHP.  This seems to suggest he's fine when he gets his swings, but not so good against the pen or coming off the bench.  Chip might want to squirrel that nugget away the next time Lamb has a day off and the game is close.

Paul Goldschmidt

So Goldies in a slump you say?  Why, what ever would make you say that?  Just because he's batting .218/.362/.436?  Really, when you look at it, only the BA is all that bad.  He's still getting on base and hitting the ball hard.  Even his strike zone recognition, contrary to what it looks like, is quite good.  He's only swinging at 20% of the pitches outside the zone.  That's better than it was last year.  But, there's a caveat, he's not swinging at strikes as much either.  In fact, he's not swinging much at all, just 37.4% of all the pitches he see's.

Perhaps this does lend credence to not seeing the ball real well.  It also doesn't help that pitchers are attacking him on the first pitch a bit more with 58% of the first pitches he see's being strikes.  Pitchers are taking advantage of his indecisiveness and that's leading to him being behind in the count a lot.  To make matters worse, when he does put it in play, he's hitting it on the ground.  48.7% of all the balls he's putting in play are on the ground.  That's the highest of his career, and by a lot.  That of course leads to a dreadful BAbip of only .250.  Lastly, he's pulling the ball more than he has in past years.  43.6% of his hits are going to the left side of the field.  That too is the highest of his career with the nearest being his rookie season in 2011.  I know Goldie is Goldie, and we shouldn't be worried, but there doesn't seem to be anything we can point to that would lend one to great optimism.  Hopefully he can turn it around soon.

Yasmany Tomas

Is he doing better so far this year?  Yes.  At what specifically? Well... everything. Seriously, better zone recognition with nearly 6% fewer swings at balls outside the strike zone.  He's hitting the ball harder and in the air.  His GB/FB ratio went from 2.36 to 1.23.  Yes, you read that correctly.  His percentage of balls hit hard went from 31% to 39.5% so it's not just your imagination.  Oh, and if there ever was a RHB to put a LHB shift on, it would be Yasmany.  Nearly 45% of all the balls he hits are to opposite field.  This has led to a SLG that's 100 points better than last year and his strikeout rate is down to 20%.  His BABip isn't unsustainable either at .333.  Last year it was .354 so we know he can keep it up.  He looks to have really become a stable force in the lineup.

Wellington Welington Beef Castillo

Speaking of stable.... well... yeeesh.  Beef is batting just .213, but when he gets good wood... boy he gets good wood.  As long as he keeps his SLG above .400 and Herrmann continutes to struggle, I'm sure he won't be battling for his job.  But you'd like to see him swing at fewer balls out of the zone, and more at the ones in the zone.  30.4% and 57.7% respectively.  When he does swing, he's missing.  72.2% of the time he swings he makes contact, good or bad. That's the lowest of his career, so as you might guess his BB/K is.. well... I think Hallmark should make a card.  5/14.  If you were looking for hope that maybe it's just platoon splits getting him.  Sorry.  .167 BA vs Lefties.  His BABIP falls right in line too with .226.  He's not getting unlucky, he's just not seeing or hitting the ball very well.  Could be early season rust, and hopefully he shakes it off.

Chris Owings

Chris has been turning things around slowly, but really hasn't shown much power.  His slash line is .250/.268/.275.  His peripherals don't help either.  His BABIP suggests his current avg is unsustainable at a whopping .345 and BB/K ratio just 1/10.  But there is some good news mixed in.  Perhaps somewhat astonishingly he is exactly even on batted ball displacement.  That is, he hit's 33.3% to the left, 33.3% to the center, and 33.3% to the right.  Any team foolish enough to shift on him is being coached by someone who doesn't understand percentages, baseball, or both.

He IS hitting the ball harder up to this point.  30% of the balls he puts in play are struck hard, they just aren't turning into multiple bases yet.  I'd like to see him bunt more again.  He was successful 38% of the time last year.  So far this year he hasn't gotten any down.  Now, his hard hit balls and ability to spray the ball might give you the impression he's hitting more to the outfield and splitting the infield.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  He is putting 42% of his hits on the ground, and only 25% are line drives.  This is actually about where Chris has been his entire career, it's just that he seems to be hitting the same percentages with more gusto.

What has genuinely improved though, and what should give everyone hope that Chris has truly turned the corner, is his zone recognition.  He's dropped the amount of balls he swings at to 32.8% (2nd lowest of his career), and swinging more at strikes (72.5%).  That latter number is not just a high point for his career, it's also 6% better than his career average.  I think this proves he is quite a bit more confident in his swing.

Nick Ahmed

So we thought Nick's bat was really coming around.  Turns out he was just on a hot streak that would rival Canopus (look it up).  That woosh of air and sucking sound is Nick batting average over the last 7 days.  .115/.115/.154 suggests Nick may need to consult a spirit guide to ask the soul of Tony Gwynn to re-invade his body (too soon?). So, I think we all have the same question for Chip Hale at this point.  Why isn't he batting 9th still?  Seriously.  When Nick is batting 9th in the order, he's hitting .345/.406/.724!  Those are approaching video game numbers.  He is hitting the ball harder this year, but he's also pulling it more.  36.7% of balls he hits are hard compared to just 21.6% last year, and 51% of them are to the left side of the field.

David Peralta

Only one word comes to mind when I look at David's slash line.  Solid.  .279/.343/.426.  Looking at his splits however, a different word comes to mind.  YIKES!  .313 vs RHP, .154 vs LHP.  Last year he was at least serviceable vs lefties at .250.  So perhaps this is just SSS and early season rust.  If you're wondering how he's doing against the shift, quite well actually.  He's batting .333 in 27 attempts.

His BAbip is right about where it should be at .347, but his line drive rate of 26.5% is the best of his career.  Problem is, he's also putting the ball on the ground more.  26.5% vs 21.3% last year.  Lastly he is making more contact this year.  Despite swinging at more balls (37%), his overall contact rate (for balls in and out of the zone) is up to 83.3% from 77.8% last year.