1. Plate Discipline
The big one. You can hit all you want, but if you swing wildly, as he had been doing, pitchers are always going to be able to exploit the holes in your swing. And early on, that’s exactly what was happening.
He was swinging at between 30-50% of pitches outside of the zone in the early parts of the season, but in his last six games, tracking back to the finale against Colorado, he hasn’t gone above 26%, with two games firmly at 0%.
In that time, he’s taken six of his ten walks on the season and suddenly, he’s looking like one of the most disciplined hitters on the team. His walk probability has gone from about 4-5% throughout the early parts of the season to about 38% in these last six games.
It’s a completely different approach. He’s seeing the ball differently, he’s not chasing, he’s containing his swing to only go after pitches he can do something with. And it’s all coming together to make him a fearsome hitter.