Stats: Josh Hamilton missing outside zone
As the Texas Rangers prepare to take on the Boston Red Sox in the first game of a 10-game homestand tonight, they do so with an offense that is still not clicking on all cylinders. Neither is the bat of Josh Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP and player of the month in April and May for the AL. It seems clear that Josh Hamilton is chasing -- and missing -- off-speed and breaking pitches outside the strike zone.
But what's interesting about what ESPN Stats & Information (thanks Kenton Wong) is that Hamilton is actually swinging at fewer off-speed pitches outside the zone than he was in April and May. The difference: He's missing way more of those pitches. A look:
Josh Hamilton vs Offspeed Pitches Out of Strike Zone
April-May -- Swing percentage: 56.7; Miss percentage: 54.8
June-July -- Swing percentage: 50.2; Miss percentage: 68.9
With the increased swing-and-miss percentage has also come an increase in Hamilton's strikeout rate and, of course, a lower batting average and fewer home runs:
April-May: .368 batting average, 21 homers, 18.8 percent strikeouts per plate appearance
June-July: .201 batting average, 7 homers, 30.2 percent strikeouts per plate appearance
Of course, the offensive struggles are not simply confined to Hamilton. He's just the most visible because of who he is and where he sits in the lineup. But as a whole, the Ranger bats haven't been the same since the first two months of the season. Rangers' offense by month:
April: 5.4 runs per game, .292 batting average
May: 6.0 runs per game, .285 batting average
June: 4.8 runs per game, .277 batting average
July: 3.1 runs per game, .239 batting average
The numbers get worse in July:
Batting average: .239 (25th)
Slug percentage: .361 (28th)
Runs per game: 3.1 (29th)
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