I posted a piece here on MMO earlier today explaining how the quality of a player’s contact (launch angles and exit velocity) was more important than just contact alone. No sooner did Mike Puma report in the NY Post that Mets hitting coach, Chili Davis, will bring more of an old school approach which focuses on situational hitting, making contact and taking advantage of pitcher’s mistakes.
It’s not that I hate home runs, it’s I don’t like to see guys going up to the plate trying to hit home runs, Davis said. Home runs are mistakes by pitchers — they have to make the mistake before the home run is going to happen. You don’t hit good pitchers’ pitches out of the ballpark. You hit mistakes.
Davis thinks the Mets “have a young and talented lineup.” I personally agree, and if you read my article which highlighted Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil’s production from 2018, his hitting approach may be exactly what the doctor ordered for this team. The Mets don’t have a ton of power guys, so while launch angles and exit velocity are important aspects of hitting, the majority of guys in this lineup aren’t bangers. And even the guys that do have power could benefit from making more contact at the plate.
While I don’t like the idea of every hitter taking the same approach at the plate, it sounds like Davis will be tailoring the hitting approach to the Mets strengths. Just because Davis favors contact doesn’t necessarily mean he disregards guys getting on base with walks–it sounds like he understands the type of hitters he has, and there is also a reason why the front office thought he was a good fit. His philosophy may go against the grain and direction of what most teams are doing these days, but it could be the perfect recipe for the Mets offense in 2019.