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A theory on the loss of Joe Mauer's power

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#1 SgtSchmidt11


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Posted 22 July 2014 - 02:46 PM

It's not the primary emphasis of the article, but there is an interesting statistical anomaly about Joe Mauer in this article located at Fangraphs


Or basically when he hits the ball in the air, he hits it to the opposite field at a league leading rate for two years. Since Joe obviously doesn't have opposite field power, he can't hit HR's very often.

#2 Badsmerf


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Posted 22 July 2014 - 03:40 PM

Cool article. Provides good examples of the negatives of going the other way too often. A follow up would be an explanation of why hitting a ball the other way with authority is difficult. A huge pretty peeve of mine with mauer is his lack of pull power.

#3 Kirby_waved_at_me


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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:17 AM

The shift that has been used on Mauer plays right into this tendency - the outfield shifts towards left field, and the infield plays Mauer to pull the ball on the ground.

Some of it has to be about taking what you're given at the plate, and teams do throw a lot of junk to Mauer on the outer half. Mauer I trust is smart enough to figure this stuff out. I'm curious to see how he comes back from this latest injury.

Certainly the back issues and oblique injury can mess with his batspeed - is there a reliable metric to measure if Mauer's bat is slower this year? That can lead to more balls to the opposite field as well. He's flourished in the past by hitting the ball "deep in the zone," it seems to be biting him this season as the ball is not jumping off the bat quite the same way, possibly because the various injuries are slowing his bat down.

And then there's the old chestnut that his brain is still a bit scrambled, which is making his reaction time longer - this would also lead to more balls in play going to the opposite field.

#4 TheLeviathan


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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:53 AM

I thought some spray charts might be helpful. Here is Mauer's hit type chart for 2014 vs 2013.

Batted ball chart for 2014 vs. 2013.

For whatever reason there is some serious contrast.