Saturday, July 12, 2014
Inside the numbers: Wright's hot streak
By Mark Simon
The Mets have had myriad phrases over the years to describe hitters on good streaks, ranging from “The monster is out of the cage” (then-coach John Stearns on Mike Piazza) to “stupid hot,” which has been a favorite term in the past for David Wright to use on teammates.
They might want to come up with one for this Wright run.
Dating back to June 17, a game in which Wright homered and doubled against St. Louis Cardinals starter Michael Wacha, he’s hitting .393 with 24 hits in 16 games (in which the Mets are 10-6). The run that started prior to aggravating a shoulder injury that forced him out a week has continued since his return.
Perhaps the most amazing stat from this stretch is this: In the past 16 games (spanning 61 at-bats), Wright has four home runs and only three strikeouts. He’s gone from missing at a rate of one out of every five swings prior to this hot streak to one out of every seven swings since it began.
Wright’s hard-hit rate (how often he hits a ball hard, according to those who do video review for major league teams), which lingered at 15 percent, is nearly 23 percent during this stretch.
The pull power that was missing earlier this season seems to have returned. Our batted ball estimates had him averaging 268 feet per pulled fly ball prior to the streak and 293 since (including the 425-foot home run Friday).
This streak is one characterized by aggressiveness at the right time. His chase rate (how often he swings at a pitch out of the zone), which was 25 percent entering this streak, is 20 percent during it, and he’s been swinging at three-quarters of the pitches in the strike zone over these games compared to 63 percent prior.
We’ll see if the Marlins treat Wright any differently today. He’s now 19-for-42 (.452) with nine RBIs in 11 games against them this season.