Article: Are Arcia's Problems Self-Correcting?
Posted 26 June 2014 - 05:17 AM
Posted 26 June 2014 - 08:49 AM
Posted 26 June 2014 - 09:03 AM
Posted 27 June 2014 - 08:38 PM
Posted 28 June 2014 - 01:27 PM
I suppose there is logic to the notion, which Parker points out, that with a lower load point with his hands, a hitter may be more susceptible to strikes higher in the zone. The video clip of Arcia he included demonstrates this on a one swing sample size as Arcia puts what appears to be a beautiful and well-timed swing under the pitch...
First off, I appreciate your critique and your thoughts on this matter. I will just address a couple of your concerns regarding my analysis:
(1) Yes, it is a one-swing example because (a) I do not need to litter a post with multiple examples of this effect when the numbers/in-game examples demonstrate this and ( MLB has a pesky problem of not posting outcomes like that. Rest assured, Arcia has swung underneath plenty of high pitches (28 of 59 pitches offered at this year). I realize I have access to a database that shows more than than most people can see, but I feel that I should not have to post dozens to highlight what the data speaks to.
(2) His struggles with the being pitched up in the zone (now batting .143 for his career and 0-for-20 this year) is part of his inability to recognize pitches/free-swinging approach but that ties back into his mechanical issues to catch up to pitches up in the zone.
(3) It's not the low load in and of itself. It is because he brings his hands down from a high point during the pitch. When you consider the time to recognize and react, this puts him at a severe disadvantage on balls up in the zone. Factor that adjustment in addition to the effective velocity tenet that shows that pitches up in the zone are effectively faster because of the distance needed to move the bat, it is clear why he has had issues with that part of the zone.
Adjusting to compensate for the high pitch causes Arcia to commit to the fastballs sooner and leaves him ineffective vs off-speed pitches (career .183 hitter vs off-speed/breaking balls).
(4) Williams did not start his hands high. He started and loaded low, unlike Arcia who drops his during his load.
All in all, I think we're in agreement that Arcia has a great swing. It's powerful and aggressive. It boils down to what I wrote:
As Smalley championed during the game, Arcia does not necessarily have to change his swing -- he just needs to recognize pitches and understand his limitations. A high fastball is going to give him issues. Cheating for high fastballs is going to leave him susceptible to slow breaking balls. This goes back to improving his plate discipline. As pitchers shift their offerings and attack certain holes, Arcia will need to make adjustments.
Posted 29 June 2014 - 05:43 PM
Posted 29 June 2014 - 08:10 PM
I sat clicking play-pause on a few different clips of his recent swings, and it's just really hard to tell without a frame by frame high resolution gif. It seems like maybe his hands are still dropping when they should already be loaded, but it's basically impossible for me to tell from what I'm watching.
What do you think Smalley means by "cheating"? Do you think he means starting the whole step/hitch mechanism a touch earlier, or do you think he means over committing to make up for lost time? I'd buy the over committing line of thinking if he's doing it to make up for his hands continuing to load when they should have already.
I personally tried to duplicate the stance to load part of Arcia's swing, and it feels admittedly strange and slow-pitch softball-esque. It seems like he must be really trying to crank up the power.
Didn't mean to pick on the sample size thing. It did stick out to me though. I'm definitely a mechanics and film junkie, and would've enjoyed the post even more if you had 'littered' it with a few more image samples. But thanks for clarifying some of your points.