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'Inside' Evan Gattis' red-hot start

Updated: April 12, 2013, 1:03 PM ET
By Buster Olney

Evan Gattis has been destroying baseballs for the last calendar year, and it hasn't mattered whether he was playing in the minor leagues, winter ball or against the Philadelphia Phillies.

He is hitting everything, from a stance that seems very Barney Rubble-esque. Gattis is large, at about 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, stands with a slightly open stance and a crouch and doesn't wear batting gloves. It's like he's swinging a sledgehammer, and from that setup, he has blasted everything on the inner half of the plate, such as this pitch against the Marlins on Wednesday night.

Now the onus falls on the pitchers around the league to try to make adjustments, and you can bet that scouts, pitchers, catchers and pitching coaches are working to come up with a plan on how to beat Gattis at the plate. This is the rhythm of adjustments in the big leagues: For each player having success, there are dozens who are looking for a way to neutralize him. The same thing is happening with Chris Davis, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Upton.

The following numbers from Justin Havens of ESPN Research confirm that Gattis is destroying everything on the inner half (while hitting pretty well on everything):

Inner half: .545 BA; 1.765 OPS
Outer half: .250 BA; .808 OPS
Upper half: .357 BA; 1.143 OPS
Lower half: .444 BA; 1.434 OPS

I asked ESPN MLB analyst Curt Schilling for a diagnosis of Gattis as well as what kind of pitching plan he would implement against him. Schilling indicated that he would need more information to develop a complete plan, based on swing percentage and whether the inner-half damage was on fastballs or soft stuff.

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