Just a quick post today about some numbers I saw that weren’t too surprising to me, but the extent of some of the year-to-year changes raised my eyebrows a little bit.
The Yankees are pulling the ball a lot more in 2022 than they did in 2021 and it’s working.
Last season, the Yanks ranked 25th in pull percentage and 8th in opposite field percentage on batted balls. In 2022, they rank 11th in pull percentage and 13th in opposite-field batted balls.
As you likely know, they are second in MLB in runs per game in 2022, they were an embarrassing 19th in 2021.
On a micro level, check out what Judge is doing:
Aaron Judge has the second highest increase in across MLB in pull percentage from 2021 to 2022 (35.8% to 45.7%). Of course, Judge was very good last season, posting a 149 wRC+ but he has been an absolute monster in 2022 with an MLB-best 196 wRC+. Also as we’ve noted, his home run total would likely be in the 60s already if he weren’t hitting dead baseballs in 2022 (see a few posts back on the MBP Facebook page for the source.)
More on the micro level – check out Gleyber!
Gleyber Torres has the highest increase in exit velocity from last season to this season in MLB (87.1 mph to 90.3), and quite predictably, has seen his wRC+ go to 108 this season up from 95 in 2021.
Those of you who’ve followed me consistently, know where this is going: Gleyber actually made more contact in 2021 (76.1%) than he is in 2022 (73.6%). Altogether now kids, it’s not about contact, it’s about hard contact.
Now it’s time to avert your eyes…
Out of 169 MLB batters with enough swings to qualify, Josh Donaldson has the third largest drop-off in average exit velocity (94.1 mph to 90.9) from last season to this. If that isn’t ugly enough, he also has the 10th largest increase in chase rate.
I’ve expanded upon it before, so there’s no need to rehash, but one of the problems with leaving the zone is sometimes you make contact – and it’s very likely to be weak contact. Which again, is not good.
In honor of a visit to Oakland, a note on Billy Beane…
In 2002 (the Moneyball season) the Athletics organization had a value of $157 million and spent $40 million on player payroll. In 2022, the Athletics are valued at $1.18 billion (that’s an over 750% increase for you scoring at home) and are spending $47 million on players.
I think about this every time someone implies it’s Billy Beane’s fault the As haven’t won a ring in over three decades. The fact the As have made the postseason 11 times under Beane’s watch – that’s almost half of the seasons he’s been calling the shots – is a remarkable accomplishment.
That doesn’t mean the Yankees won’t put a beat down on the yellow and green this weekend though.
Did I miss something? Let me know. Leave a comment below or yell at me @mybaseballpage1 on Twitter and/or the “My Baseball Page” on Facebook.
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