J.J. Hardy had 3rd lowest swing percentage (36.3) among guys seeing 1000 pitches, but saw way more strikes than the others in that cohort. Only Logan Forsythe swung <40% and saw >50% strikes, and Hardy’s 36.3/53.3 combo has another few points beyond those filters. The game seems clear – pitchers aren’t afraid at all, and Hardy’s swing patterns were giving them more reason not to be afraid. I think a key April indicator for how the year will go is going to be if Hardy can knock a few extra base hits. If he’s still passive and punch-less early, this snowball could run downhill.
Since they are both shaky for their current positions, Mountcastle and Sisco’s destinations were considered, and both were credited with enough bat/athleticism for outfield. Could those be the young legs around AJ in a few years?
Schoop’s <.300 obp and >60 XBH was only the 21st player season like that in history. I like to think of him as a ball crusher, but his exit velocity was 171st of 213 qualifiers. He gets his crushes for sure, but it seems to be more than offset but too much bad contact. Standard Orioles damage to contact ratio, I guess We worry about any change to the low strike zone hurting Britton, but it might really help all our sluggers more than it hurts our pitchers.
Sedlock and some other 1st round picks were college relievers, and it was new to me the perspective that NCAA coaches have been using their best guys as Andrew Millers for some time now. If we are truly all-in on the end of the Machado/Britton era, could he be Chris Ray’d into the pen by this September and for 2018?
Apparently Mariners fans nicknamed Seth Smith (#50 overall, 2004 draft) “Dad” – that is a nice style match for the kind of player he is. I suppose Hardy (#56 overall, 2001 draft), who is just 1 month older, gives him some good competition here, but Smith’s college time might be the “Dad” edge. Ping pong is very strong, though.