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Not so much as intimidating as highly frustrating for opponent shooters, the best hitter in Major League Baseball today is a guy who basically doesn’t belong in baseball today.
All of this is contained in his triple inclined rank. This guy gets hits and walks, but he’s unlikely to hit anyone:
It’s okay if you look at this and do a double try. Modern-day greats — think Juan Soto, Mike Trout, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — don’t strike that way. Heck, you have to go back to Tony Phillips in 1993 to find The last time The mixture ended up with an OBP over 0.440 and an SLG under .440
Tony Gwen has never done that. Nor Ichiro Suzuki, which was not surprising big fan The man who does it: Luis Araz.
as far as How It does, so let’s start by giving a couple of things about a versatile player in the Minnesota Twins. Considering he was a .313 hitter with .374 OBP between 2019 and 2021, this isn’t the first Rodeo as a tough one to come out with. It is also not without strength.
Ariz, 25, has entered the season with four home runs, but has run three times through 58 games. and in 403 ftthe grand slam he hit on June 11 against the Tampa Bay Rays was the longest of his career.
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I can’t stop watching this 😍 pic.twitter.com/WxVFYbwZEo
But while he is clearly capable of doing so, trying to strike power is not Araz’s style. in 9.0 degrees And the 22.2 percentthe average launch angle and volley rate were lower than ever before in 2022.
In other words, Araz does not want any part of “volleyball revolution“This is very ongoing in MLB. Since the dawn of the Statcast era in 2015, the league launch angle And the volleyball percentage They rose and stayed awake as more and more hitters chased the long ball.
The catch this year is that volleyballs They don’t travel long distances. this It’s no accident, as a new model of the ball and the use of a general moisturizer have conspired to make baseballs more pliable than usual. The difficulty most hitters have in adapting is clearly visible in the league’s collective batting average. At .241, it fourth lowest in MLB history.
Although it’s too early to call Arraez a trendsetter, his fellow hitters can learn something from him. For their convenience, let’s break down his main lesson points.
Don’t give up on bats
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But given that two of these are really good hits for hitters, do we dare say that the real problem they face is the lack of what we call competitive hitters?
These will be free of non-competitive outcomes, of which at least two are. There are hits, which have a zero chance of hitting a hit. There are also pop-ups, which in 2022 contains a file 2 percent chance to go for blows.
Since tennis data became available in 2002, this is The first season More than 22 percent of board appearances end with hits and more than 10 percent of balls in play are in-court popups. Remove popups and popups away, and just 72 percent of speculators were competitive in 2022. This is down from a peak of 79 percent in 2005.
within individual hittersHowever, you can guess who it is Not Part of the problem in 2022 is by a large proportion of the players competing:
- 1. Louis Araz, Maine: 89.8%
- 2. Jose Iglesias, Colonel: 88.8%
- 3. Stephen Cowan, Klee: 87.8%
- 4. Michael Brantley, HOU: 86.8 percent
- 5. Jose Ramirez, Klee: 85.8%
This mostly relates to how the Arraez swing is directed to contact. It is unusually direct for the ball, resulting in the second highest contact rate in the league (91.9 percent) and the third lowest write-down rate (8.5 percent).
As for popups in the field, Arraez has a “1” in This column this chapter. Between that and his 20 knockouts, he only delivered 21 of his 235 knockouts at bat.
This alone meant a high hit potential for his other 214 hits, though other reasons help boost his hitting average up to 0.361.
Line engines are good, but globes can be too big
AP Photo / Joe Puetz
Hitters have fallen in love with volleyballs in recent years for a reason. This is where the power is, as in 2022 .523 ISO (the isolated force, or the percentage of slow minus the average hit) on volleys is more than twice the height .239 ISO On-line.
Go figure who likes to hit the driving lines.
“I’m just trying to hit the line engines. That’s how I do [contribute]Araz said earlier this month, he said Phil Miller subordinate Star Tribune. “I know Ichiro can hit the house, but I just want to hit the line engines.”
And hitting line drives does. in 27.6%Arraez’s payline rate is four percentage points higher than League average. He even benefits from his linear drive more than the average hitter, hitting .804 on them.
To be fair, this is where Arraez might be due to the regression as the season goes on. in 91.4 mphhits his driving streak over 2 miles per hour Slower than the league average. Because strong hit Font engines have a better chance of achieving better results than hit softness Of which, it is not surprising that .635 average expected On-line a little less than league base of .639.
However, even if Arraez doesn’t get as many drives to find dirt in wages between now and the end of the season, he’ll still have to rack up as many hits as the first one in this clip:
That was a globe that left his racket on 94.7 mph He slipped easily into the left field for once. Essentially, the kind of hit we might begin to call a “Louis Ares Special”.
It actually doesn’t work well (3 for 36) when he drags the ball to the ground, which is another unsurprising thing. He only hits those balls at a rate 84.3 mphwhile the globes besides the clouds are generally medium 86.9 mph.
However, when Arraez hits balls in the middle or to the left side of the field, he usually mashes them:
Graph via Google Sheets
It’s also why opposing teams don’t bother turning their pitches against him. It just happened in 3.0 percent Of all the pitches against him, it’s not even close to the level 56.7% The turnover rate for left bats this season.
Between this and Arraez’s fondness for competitive batting, his essential lesson on batting can be summed up this way: The best way to get over it is to not make it easy for them.
Oh, and make the pitchers work
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Araz’s 2022 season would be impressive enough if his 0.361 average was all he had for him. But as the percentage on the .443 base shows, he doesn’t just hit his way around.
Like anything else, this aspect of Ares season defies common sense. Not only in the sense that less powerful hitters should theoretically see more hits, but also in the sense that his area discipline didn’t undergo any immediately noticeable changes. for him swing rates Almost everyone in and out of the region is in line with his career rates.
But the one thing that has changed in Ares’ approach is his willingness to let the bowler set the tone. Even more than previous seasons, he don’t swing In the first field:
- 2019: 18.8%
- 2020: 19.8%
- 2021: 20.8%
- 2022: 15.3 percent
So much so that he finds himself at 1-0 Often, this works. It’s also important that Arraez doesn’t loosen his discipline once he’s advanced in the screening. Quite the contrary, in fact. When advanced in the count between 2019 and 2021, chase 25.6 percent Of the stadiums he saw outside the area. this year? Just 20.8%.
This is a good way to get the fourth ball, and Arraez also has a way to extend strikes. It’s dirt 47.1 percent of the stadiums in which it swingsthe shadow“From the area when he’s late in counting. It’s just 38.3 percent For the average hitter, that is, Ares is on another level when it comes to defending the strike zone.
Of course, the problem with implying that other hitters might be like Ares is that he didn’t choose to be the hitter that he is. This is the hitter that has always been. Even before he reached the majors, America baseball‘s Exploratory reports spread about him as a “batting tool addict” with “hand-eye coordination [that’s] off the charts.”
However, Ares’ example deserves more than appreciation, and not just because he has so many different types that are good at what he does. It’s living proof that, to be a great hitter, he doesn’t necessarily have to be better at doing what other people do.
Instead, he could be better at doing his own thing.