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  • Yasmani Grandal

    He currently has one of the weirdest lines I've ever seen, .113/.378/.242 in 91 PA's. He's taking walks at a record pace but his 102 wRC+ and .311 wOBA suggest he's been an average hitter so far. His BABIP is a robust .119 and his average exit velocity is 92.9.

    I'm not sure what to make of him so far this season. Is he just incredibly unlucky while putting the ball in play while simultaneously incredibly lucky at getting favorable calls on balls and strikes? I assume he's due for some serious correction and regression in both aspects, but what do others make of him so far this season?

  • #2
    Originally posted by blurry View Post
    He currently has one of the weirdest lines I've ever seen, .113/.378/.242 in 91 PA's. He's taking walks at a record pace but his 102 wRC+ and .311 wOBA suggest he's been an average hitter so far. His BABIP is a robust .119 and his average exit velocity is 92.9.

    I'm not sure what to make of him so far this season. Is he just incredibly unlucky while putting the ball in play while simultaneously incredibly lucky at getting favorable calls on balls and strikes? I assume he's due for some serious correction and regression in both aspects, but what do others make of him so far this season?
    His line, plus those four catcher's interference calls early on, and at times seeming to have trouble just catching the ball have made him my least favorite guy to see in the line-up. At the same time, I don't believe he'll stay this bad. I feel like he's going to have an epic hot streak that will even him out and take him towards his expected numbers. But the longer this crap goes, the more epic that streak will need to be.

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    • #3
      40% of his contact is topped, and 53% of his balls in play are grounders. Both are career highs.

      4.4% of his contact is solid, and 13.3% of his fair balls are line drives. Both are career lows.

      At least he’s not swinging at bad pitches.
      (null) Avg Exit Velocity: 90, Hard Hit %: 42.1, wOBA: .344, xwOBA: .336, Barrel %: 10.2.

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      • #4
        I hope he's able to get his BA near the Mendoza line.

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        • #5
          Grandal has always taken a lot of walks and seen the strike zone well. That is part of the reason he was such a great addition to the Sox on paper, the Sox have a history of free-swinging sluggers.

          Grandal in 2020 blamed the pandemic, and specifically his lack of access to a video room, for his disappointing performance at the plate. He no longer has that excuse in 2021. He's 32 years old: he is a bit young for his ability to hit to totally desert him, but some guys do lose their skills that young.

          One of the hardest-hit balls I've ever seen in person was the home run that Yasmani Grandal hit off Max Scherzer in the first inning of the 2019 NL Wildcard Game. I'd love to see his power come back, it can be lethal. He's going to get balls in the strike zone because of his continued ability to take walks, so he'll have plenty of opportunities to punish them.
          "Hope...may be indulged in by those who have abundant resources...but those who stake their all upon the venture see it in its true colors only after they are ruined."
          -- Thucydides

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          • #6
            My personal belief on this is that his knee is still bothering him, which is somehow affecting his swing. I think he knows this on some level too, which is why he is walking so much. I think by the time the season is over, it will balance out a bit though he still might be hitting under .200.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by blurry View Post
              He currently has one of the weirdest lines I've ever seen, .113/.378/.242 in 91 PA's. He's taking walks at a record pace but his 102 wRC+ and .311 wOBA suggest he's been an average hitter so far. His BABIP is a robust .119 and his average exit velocity is 92.9.

              I'm not sure what to make of him so far this season. Is he just incredibly unlucky while putting the ball in play while simultaneously incredibly lucky at getting favorable calls on balls and strikes? I assume he's due for some serious correction and regression in both aspects, but what do others make of him so far this season?
              I read recently that since 1945, only two qualified batters have ever finished a season with a BABIP below .200. Even though the BABIP can be partially explained by the high ground ball rate and the shift, I think it's a pretty safe assumption that it will start to come up, and with that his average will come up.

              If he continues to hit in front of Yermin, he will likely get more pitches to hit (as opposed to hitting in front of Leury and Hamilton like he was doing for much of the past couple weeks).

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              • #8
                The best way to get Grandal out this year, it seems, is to throw him strikes.

                I don't know how things broke down for him last season, and I don't have to time to look it up. I know that this year, he typically doesn't swing until he gets two strikes. He has to be getting to two strikes in more than 70 percent of his at bats and has only a few two-strike hits, reflected in his abysmal batting average. He has only seven hits and 27 strikeouts. He isn't walking because he's got a great eye for the strike zone, although he may well have. He's walking because he isn't swinging. Part of that may be his position in the batting order. There is no way he would be doing this if he were hitting ahead of Abreu or Moncada. He has two strikes on him in more than half of his at bats, and he has has had very little success this year hitting with two strikes. He seems to be getting himself out. Incredibly, he had four hits during the opening road trip to Anaheim and Seattle and only three hits since. He isn't ever going to have a significantly BABIP if he's hitting with two strikes half the time.

                I've got to think opponents will notice, especially deep into divisional play. Maybe he'll start hitting when he sees more good pitches early in the count. But his approach at the plate is not one in a confident hitter.

                And I don't know what's going on with the catcher's interference.
                Last edited by TDog; 05-11-2021, 11:42 AM.

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                • #9
                  Grandal was quoted in a story last week as saying he no longer is going to swing at pitches pitchers want him to go after (example, pitches just off the plate). he said if he doesn't get a pitch he can drive he's letting it go...and taking the walk.

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                  • #10
                    Any thoughts on hitting him second in the order?

                    Maybe the shift is not as much of an issue if Madrigal or Anderson are on base ahead of him? Maybe he sees more hittable pitches with Moncada and Abreu behind him? Maybe he kills more innings grounding into double plays?
                    “It's not the high price of stardom that bothers me...it's the high price of mediocrity." - Bill Veeck

                    "If I was going to storm a pillbox, going to sheer, utter, certain death, and the Colonel said 'Shepherd, pick six guys", I'd pick six White Sox fans because they have known death every day of their lives and it holds no terror for them." - Jean Shepherd

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PaleHoser View Post
                      Any thoughts on hitting him second in the order?

                      Maybe the shift is not as much of an issue if Madrigal or Anderson are on base ahead of him? Maybe he sees more hittable pitches with Moncada and Abreu behind him? Maybe he kills more innings grounding into double plays?
                      Pitchers would throw him more strikes. It would force him to swing the bat, hopefully before he becomes a defensive two-strike hitter. It would be a bad thing for the lineup, though.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TDog View Post
                        The best way to get Grandal out this year, it seems, is to throw him strikes.

                        I don't know how things broke down for him last season, and I don't have to time to look it up. I know that this year, he typically doesn't swing until he gets two strikes. He has to be getting to two strikes in more than 70 percent of his at bats and has only a few two-strike hits, reflected in his abysmal batting average. He has only seven hits and 27 strikeouts. He isn't walking because he's got a great eye for the strike zone, although he may well have. He's walking because he isn't swinging. Part of that may be his position in the batting order. There is no way he would be doing this if he were hitting ahead of Abreu or Moncada. He has two strikes on him in more than half of his at bats, and he has has had very little success this year hitting with two strikes. He seems to be getting himself out. Incredibly, he had four hits during the opening road trip to Anaheim and Seattle and only three hits since. He isn't ever going to have a significantly BABIP if he's hitting with two strikes half the time.

                        I've got to think opponents will notice, especially deep into divisional play. Maybe he'll start hitting when he sees more good pitches early in the count. But his approach at the plate is not one in a confident hitter.

                        And I don't know what's going on with the catcher's interference.
                        He has 7 hits and 27 walks, not strikeouts this year (19 Ks). I mean he definitely is walking some because he has a great eye for the zone, as you can see from his high BB totals and walk percentage throughout his long career. Though it certainly seems like he's more patient than normal. He's in a slump, and seems content not to swing his way out of it at the moment. I'm interested to see if they continue to have him bat in front of Mercedes to give him some protection and at worse take walks in front of Yermin. This is still pretty early on in the season and had a knee injury during ST. In general he's been a low BA player forever, so a slump for a career .240 hitter can look a bit ugly from a BA perspective (but yeah .113 is ugly). I think it's safe to say his average is only going to go up from here, and hopefully the warmer weather will help him out some too -- as he's only played prior in SD, LA and MIL (dome for a lot of April games).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ChiSoxNationPres View Post

                          He has 7 hits and 27 walks, not strikeouts this year (19 Ks). I mean he definitely is walking some because he has a great eye for the zone, as you can see from his high BB totals and walk percentage throughout his long career. Though it certainly seems like he's more patient than normal. He's in a slump, and seems content not to swing his way out of it at the moment. I'm interested to see if they continue to have him bat in front of Mercedes to give him some protection and at worse take walks in front of Yermin. This is still pretty early on in the season and had a knee injury during ST. In general he's been a low BA player forever, so a slump for a career .240 hitter can look a bit ugly from a BA perspective (but yeah .113 is ugly). I think it's safe to say his average is only going to go up from here, and hopefully the warmer weather will help him out some too -- as he's only played prior in SD, LA and MIL (dome for a lot of April games).
                          I confused the walks and the strikeouts in my typing but not in my mind. I should have said he has almost three times as many strikeouts as hits.

                          The production of walks if you have a batting average just north of .100 and you are striking out more than two times for every hit. Unless you are playing a dice game (which is basically the sabermetics perspective), His stats tell you that he's been a black hole offensively. He often doesn't swing at pitches until he is behind in the count or the count is full. He isn't working the pitchers into advantageous hitting situations. He's just taking pitches.

                          I have to believe that pitchers are confident they can get Mercedes out with off-speed and breaking pitches, that he has built his offensive success this season on fastballs, and they probably won't be able to throw pitches by him, at least not without upsetting his timing with off-speed pitches. I don't believe pitchers regard Mercedes as being as dangerous as his numbers indicate. If you can't throw a strike to Grandal for some reason even though he's shown he isn't going to swing much, let alone swing at pitches out of the strike zone, having him hit ahead of Mercedes would be a good thing.,Once pitchers figure out the most efficient way to get Gandal out this season is to throw him strikes, he will stop walking and he will have to adjust.

                          Gandal this season reminds me of the kid on my YMCA baseball team when I was in the fourth grade during my childhood exile in Dallas. He never swung at a pitch all season and walked every time, not because he had a small strike zone, but because the rest of our team hadn't figured out the pitchers couldn't throw strikes. Obviously, most MLB pitchers can throw strikes and they generally get Grandal out when they do.

                          Somewhere baseball fans bought into the concept that batting averages were meaningless and that it was the on-base percentages we should be looking at. But on-base percentages are meaningless if they eon't have a foundational batting average to support them. Really, all pitchers have to do to get Grandal out consistently is to throw strikes. Until that changes, well, it don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TDog View Post

                            I confused the walks and the strikeouts in my typing but not in my mind. I should have said he has almost three times as many strikeouts as hits.

                            The production of walks if you have a batting average just north of .100 and you are striking out more than two times for every hit. Unless you are playing a dice game (which is basically the sabermetics perspective), His stats tell you that he's been a black hole offensively. He often doesn't swing at pitches until he is behind in the count or the count is full. He isn't working the pitchers into advantageous hitting situations. He's just taking pitches.

                            I have to believe that pitchers are confident they can get Mercedes out with off-speed and breaking pitches, that he has built his offensive success this season on fastballs, and they probably won't be able to throw pitches by him, at least not without upsetting his timing with off-speed pitches. I don't believe pitchers regard Mercedes as being as dangerous as his numbers indicate. If you can't throw a strike to Grandal for some reason even though he's shown he isn't going to swing much, let alone swing at pitches out of the strike zone, having him hit ahead of Mercedes would be a good thing.,Once pitchers figure out the most efficient way to get Gandal out this season is to throw him strikes, he will stop walking and he will have to adjust.

                            Gandal this season reminds me of the kid on my YMCA baseball team when I was in the fourth grade during my childhood exile in Dallas. He never swung at a pitch all season and walked every time, not because he had a small strike zone, but because the rest of our team hadn't figured out the pitchers couldn't throw strikes. Obviously, most MLB pitchers can throw strikes and they generally get Grandal out when they do.

                            Somewhere baseball fans bought into the concept that batting averages were meaningless and that it was the on-base percentages we should be looking at. But on-base percentages are meaningless if they eon't have a foundational batting average to support them. Really, all pitchers have to do to get Grandal out consistently is to throw strikes. Until that changes, well, it don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing.
                            I think you are speaking as if Grandal has never been able to hit, this is over a 22 game stretch of being in a slump. And I wouldn't say it's meaningless, his .378 OBP is certainly useful. Pitchers clearly are aware of what Grandal has been doing this season, but he still continues to walk, it isn't just as easy as throwing him a strike and then he's out. He's got an AS caliber reputation still in the box.

                            I think Mercedes puts together very solid ABs and lays off some really tough pitches. He isn't like first month in the league Eloy or Robert that couldn't help themselves from swinging at the low and away slider. Like every good hitter, he's built his success from hammering the FB, but he can lay off breaking pitches well, which I think will help him in the long run with the adjustments pitchers/teams will make with him. He reminds me of how Carlos Quentin came on to the scene with the Sox in '08. He had fantastic numbers, but the quality of ABs were what impressed me the most.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ChiSoxNationPres View Post

                              I think you are speaking as if Grandal has never been able to hit, this is over a 22 game stretch of being in a slump. And I wouldn't say it's meaningless, his .378 OBP is certainly useful. Pitchers clearly are aware of what Grandal has been doing this season, but he still continues to walk, it isn't just as easy as throwing him a strike and then he's out. He's got an AS caliber reputation still in the box.

                              I think Mercedes puts together very solid ABs and lays off some really tough pitches. He isn't like first month in the league Eloy or Robert that couldn't help themselves from swinging at the low and away slider. Like every good hitter, he's built his success from hammering the FB, but he can lay off breaking pitches well, which I think will help him in the long run with the adjustments pitchers/teams will make with him. He reminds me of how Carlos Quentin came on to the scene with the Sox in '08. He had fantastic numbers, but the quality of ABs were what impressed me the most.
                              Grandal isn't hitting into bad luck. He isn't swinging the bat. It's not a matter of being in a slump. It's his approach to hitting this season, at least since the first homestand. He doesn't appear to be looking to hit. It's possible there is something more that we don't know that is holding him back, Maybe walking is the best he can do. But lack of production (walking isn't production) is the result of his approach.. Watch him hit. Read the pitch logs of his at bats. If he's in a slump it's because of the way he is approaching his trips to the plate.

                              Until he changes that, the best way to get Grandal out is to throw him strikes. It should be obvious to his coaches and fans. it should be obvious to opposing pitchers.

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