Friday, June 22, 2012

Panda Belt Tim Thoughts

Had three thoughts I wanted to cover on Pablo, Belt, and Lincecum.  Giants win, back to three games back.

Awaiting Panda Power 

Pablo, as expected, has not shown much power since he returned from his hamate bone surgery, which most hitters go through when that bone breaks.  Last year, he went 11 games, hitting .222/.234/.222/.456, with .270 BABIP, no extra-base hits, 9 K's (80% contact rate) and only 1 BB (0.1 BB/K ratio), before he went on fire, with four straight games with doubles, then a game with homer, a total of 9 straight games with extra-base hits.

Up to today, Pablo had played 11 games, hitting .275/.341/.300/.651, with .355 BABIP, 1 extra-base hit (double), 9 K's (78% contact rate) and but 4 BB's (0.4 BB/K).  He did not catch on fire tonight, going 1 for 3 with a single, plus a walk.

Now, part of the reason he might not have turned it on yet is because he's back much faster than last season.  In 2011, he was out from April 30 to June 13th.  This season, he was out from May 3rd to June 8th, coming back 8 days earlier than last season.  So if the power kicks in like last year on a time-wise angel, it would be 11 games after June 16th, which would be the June 28th game.

Obviously, the power outage is already longer than last year's, now at 12 games, though obviously there are improvements, such as higher OPS, BABIP (around career norms), does have that one double, plus got a lot more walks, which makes him productive offensively with a .341 OBP (and higher now with the single and walk).

Belt Watch

Given his struggles with contact, I thought it would be interesting to observe his trends with contact over 10, 15, and 20 games.  His 10-game average stayed very low - 50-60% since May 20 - popped up for good on June 12th, the first HR of the season for him, and is now approaching the 85% contact rate that good hitters attain, he's been bouncing around in the 80-84% range, and he didn't strike out tonight.

He was similarly bad with his 15-game average, breaking out again on June 12th with that average as well.  But he's just reaching 80% there

For his 20-game average, he didn't really break out until June 14th, the third of his three homer stretch.  He's still in the mid-to-high 70's range still there as well.

Still, these are all very significant for him.  His contact rate has basically been in the 60's and low 70's range since he came up to the majors, for the most part.  And he was down there much of the season, with a 68% contact rate as of June 9th.  Since then he has hit .387/.486/.742/1.228 with only 5 K's in 31 AB (84% contact rate (plus no strikeouts in 2 AB's today, putting him at 85% contact rate) and, even better, 6 walks (now 7 with today's game), and great hitters are able to get BB>K.

Tim Hits Bottom?

Wow, that's pretty bad start to the game, 3 singles, 2 walks, 1 fielder's choice, no outs, 3 runs.  But he appeared to hit bottom with that, striking out 3 that inning, then only 2 walks, no hits, over the next 5 innings, with 5 strikeouts.  Hope that is the start of a good stretch for Timmy.


3 comments:

  1. I thought I would follow up my research on Belt's contact rate trends by updating to include Oakland's series plus cover his 2011.

    He only had 2 K's (last game) plus 3 walks previously, in 12 AB's, so he did good. His 10-game average went down from 83.9% to 80.6%, because it pushed out 3 really good games for not striking out for Belt. However, he continued to inch upward, his 15-game average rose from 80.0% to 80.9% and his 20-game average rose from 75.9% to 77.2%.

    In 2011, he only had a 2 game sequence where his 10-game average was 80% or above, August 2nd, his last game before being sent down, and August 16th, his first game after getting called back up. He was mostly in the 60T and low 70's until his last two games of the season, when he got it to roughly 76.6%.

    After starting in the 70's, his 15-game average fell into the 60%'s for the most part (with some 50%'S), until he got it to 72.5% in the second to last game of the season, before falling offin the last game.

    Similar thing happened for the 20-game average as well, starting in the 70's dropping to mostly 60's until that second to last game, reaching a high of 70.3% in the second to last game, before falling under 70%.

    So now his 2012 numbers stick out like a sore thumb. He's never reached 80% in his 15-game average, only briefly in his 10-game average, but he's been above 80% for 10 games now in his 10-game average, 4 games in his 15-game average. He almost reached it with his 20-game average with a 79.6% in the second game of the A's series, but his 2 K's in the last game sank it back down to 77.2%.

    Still, that's a sustained period of time over 80%, though still, remember 85% is the minimum you want to see your best hitters over. But with his power and ability to take walks, he can be a very productive hitter even while striking out that much.

    He can probably be productive if he could have stayed in the 70-75% range for contact, but if he can keep it above the 75% range, he can be a good player in the league, and if he can get it over 85%, a star on the order of Joey Votto, delivering average, walks, stolen bases, plus the power.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why I've been wanting him to get to this stage as soon as possible, he has that potential if he can get to where he was in AA, relative to the competition. That's a difference maker to our lineup. He wasn't going to get near that, though, striking out as much as he did last season and most of this season.

      That's why I haven't been as adamant as other Giants fans and bloggers about where he's learning it. I still feel that if he wasn't solving AAA pitchers, he should have been in AAA figuring that out first, before tackling the majors. However, the Giants coaching staff knows Belt best, knows better how his ego would take a demotion to the minors, knows better whether he would be better off in the majors learning rather than the minors. That's stuff I have no idea about.

      Just like with the Cain long-term contract. Many bloggers where talking about how Cain would not sign because he would get a better offense elsewhere and better money. I had the temerity to suggest that maybe Cain had other priorities as well that would lead him to stay. They forcefully argued that I don't know anything about how Cain feels. I readily agreed, noting that the same sentiment applied to them, only they were grasping at straws, making up stuff they thought Cain was thinking, whereas I could point out salient facts that could suggest a positive attitude on Cain's part.

      I'm sure a lot of the #FreeBelters think that his hitting justifies their stance. As Bochy noted in a recent interview, that ain't necessarily so, he still needed some time off:

      “He’s really settling in here,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s throwing out good at-bats and I think it’s helped him to go out there every day, too. He’s getting those four at-bats, knowing he’s going to be in the lineup. I know that’s helped him settle down.”

      “But I’ll add to that. It took some adjustments on his part. I don’t think it would’ve helped him earlier to play more until he made some adjustments.”

      http://www.csnbayarea.com/baseball-san-francisco-giants/giants-talk/Belt-Im-enjoying-baseball-again?blockID=727176

      I totally agree. Just leaving a guy out there flailing does nothing good for him when you know that there is a problem with his mechanics, which the Giants had been saying all spring and into this season. He's not going to change his ways if you just play him and not make him accountable for his production, most humans are not built that way.

      Given Belt's admission that he made his changes only because he saw it on video of him hitting in 2010, and not because his coaches had been saying that about him since spring shows that he's still in denial about the Giants being right in their assessment of his mechanics. They used the main tool they could - given that they wanted to keep him in the majors - to get him to change, not giving him full-time starts.

      Delete
  2. Whoa, Sandoval just got 2 doubles in today's game, and is 3 for 3 with a Sac Fly. Hopefully that is a sign that his power is returning, and just at the right time, when we are facing the hated Dodgers.

    ReplyDelete

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