CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Raising Aces: In Need ... (06/14)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: How Be... (06/12)
Next Column >>
Pebble Hunting: Blind ... (06/18)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (06/15)

June 14, 2013

Pebble Hunting

A Week of Watching Yoenis Cespedes

by Sam Miller


Was going to watch Yoenis Cespedes for a week because he was hitting so poorly. Was going to start watching on Tuesday, June 4. He entered the day hitting .229/.302/.447. Yes, you can spot the hole where a better BABIP would provide a convenient fill, but there were plenty of signs that Cespedes was stalled: two steals in seven tries, for instance, after swiping 16 in 20 attempts last year; a .203/.241/.414 line against right-handers, whom he had handled well in 2012.

So that’s where Cespedes was when I sat down to watch a week of him. That was in the past. Now we’re in the future! Isn’t it marvelous? Look at my cellular phone, it has a camera! Also, Yoenis Cespedes is having a good year. Just like that, Cespedes went from having a bad sophomore season for me to write about to having a pretty good season (118 OPS+) for me to write about. What happened in those seven days, you might wonder. Mostly:

It's those four swings I'd like to focus on.

You'll hear a lot about how important it is for pitchers to establish the inside part of the plate. And it is. But it is, if you believe some pitchers, important not for that end unto itself but because owning the inside makes it possible for pitchers to own the outside part of the plate, and that's the part of the plate they really need to own. Here's Bob Gibson, if not the most famous owner of the inside part of the plate then certainly a bona fide tycoon:

Be realistic about it. I hear a lot about pitchers owning the inside corner. No pitcher owns the inside corner. If you're going to own anything on the plate, it's going to be the outside corner. The reason's obvious: Most hitters like the ball from the middle in, so they can turn their hips and yank it into the seats and get on SportsCenter and make a lot of money. So you pitch them away. It's pretty simple stuff, and hard to beat if you back it up with the force of your convictions. If the guy starts looking for the ball away in a manner that's disrespectful of what you're trying to do—if he chooses to venture out there aggressively, without any apparent concern for the consequences—there should be a pretty good chance he'll get it.

You'll also hear, if you ask a manager about the plan of attack against almost any young hitter, that the basic strategy is going to be hard in and soft away: "Pitching 101," one manager told me last summer, talking about that approach to Mike Trout. This is the battle that starts as soon as a hitter reaches the majors: prove you can hit the inside pitch, or it'll be a long and brutal series of one-two punches, inside-outside attacks.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Yoenis Cespedes

3 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Raising Aces: In Need ... (06/14)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: How Be... (06/12)
Next Column >>
Pebble Hunting: Blind ... (06/18)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (06/15)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Painting the Black: Super Twoing
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Meltdown in Minnesota
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, April 18
Premium Article Notes from the Field: A-Ball Notes
Premium Article Raising Aces: Masahiro Tanaka, the Debut Ant...
Baseball Prospectus News: New Stat Reports a...
Premium Article Skewed Left: How Service Time Dictates Top P...

MORE FROM JUNE 14, 2013
Premium Article What You Need to Know: A Royal Rotation Surp...
Premium Article Perfect Game Presents: College World Series ...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, June 14
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Another Year of Chien-...
Fantasy Mailbag: Getting the Big Fish
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: June 14, 2...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week 12

MORE BY SAM MILLER
2013-06-18 - Pebble Hunting: Blind BABIP Test, Part 2
2013-06-18 - BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 2...
2013-06-17 - BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 2...
2013-06-14 - Premium Article Pebble Hunting: A Week of Watching Yoenis Ce...
2013-06-14 - BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 2...
2013-06-13 - BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 2...
2013-06-12 - Premium Article Pebble Hunting: How Beanballs and Brawls Cou...
More...

MORE PEBBLE HUNTING
2013-06-21 - Premium Article Pebble Hunting: The End of a Fun Fact Machin...
2013-06-19 - Pebble Hunting: Every Manager's Face, Part 2
2013-06-18 - Pebble Hunting: Blind BABIP Test, Part 2
2013-06-14 - Premium Article Pebble Hunting: A Week of Watching Yoenis Ce...
2013-06-12 - Premium Article Pebble Hunting: How Beanballs and Brawls Cou...
2013-06-10 - Premium Article Pebble Hunting: The Worst a Team Ever Did in...
2013-06-07 - Pebble Hunting: Baseball's Best Comp
More...