Mets Hitters Adjusting Philosophy to Blast Line Drives

Statcast provides baseball fans many useful hitting attributes for free. While the information is available freely, fans can reverse engineer some of the vasts data in different combinations and analysis in order to make sense of what their favorite players and teams are trying to do.

For example, at Launch Angle Graphs, statcast provides and reports all members of Team Elevate dutifully. Hitters with a launch angle (defined as the vertical angle at which the ball leaves a player’s bat after being struck) between 15 and 25 degrees are hitting line drives, and those with a launch angle of 25 to 45 degrees are likely hitting home runs.

By comparing players who have changed their swing planes the most, one can isolate hitters who are trying effectively to hit the ball on a line drive.

The chart below compares all players who have changed their swing plane the most in all of baseball. Note that of the top 15 hitters in all of baseball, four hitters are on the Mets:

MLB Rank Player Total Balls Hit Into Fair Territory 2017 Launch Angle 2016 Launch Angle Difference
1 John Jaso 49 23.6 7 16.6
2 Miguel Montero 35 21.7 9 12.7
3 Yonder Alonso 73 21.1 10.3 10.8
4 Brandon Guyer 36 23.2 12.8 10.4
5 Yoenis Cespedes 50 24.6 16.4 8.2
6 Travis d’Arnaud 48 15.6 8.4 7.2
7 Rougned Odor 105 19.8 13 6.8
8 Jose Bautista 79 21.1 14.9 6.2
9 Nick Hundley 45 16.4 10.5 5.9
10 Josh Harrison 94 17.3 11.5 5.8
11 Jed Lowrie 100 16.6 11.2 5.4
12 Eduardo Escobar 45 20.1 14.8 5.3
13 Byron Buxton 52 18.8 13.5 5.3
14 Curtis Granderson 85 23.5 18.4 5.1
15 Wilmer Flores 47 23.3 18.4 4.9

Kevin Long is the hitting coach of the Mets, and to have four hitters at the top of this list shows the Mets’ approach is to hit the ball hard in the air.

As a result, the Mets offense has caught fire in 2017, as the Mets are through May 10th fourth in the National League in runs scored and third in home runs despite being twelve in batting average and eleventh in on base percentage.

Once injured players such as Cespedes, d’arnaud, and Duda return to the lineup, Mets fans should look forward to even more offensive explosions from their team.



About Carl Aridas 24 Articles
Mets fan since the Wayne Garrett/Craig Swan/Joe Torre days, Carl works as a bank consultant during the day, but at night enjoys writing baseball articles for Fangraphs, Hardball Times, and Metsmerized Online. He joined as a MMO Rookie of the Year hopeful in 2016 and has been a Mets fan for more than 40+ years.