I wrote part one of this two part series on Friday, about how Mike Trout is getting himself out. You can read the first post here, and you can compare and contrast what I have and post your own opinion in the comments. I believe this is going to be huge for Trout going forward, and for the possible 2014 MVP to be even better in 2015.
I talked about Mike swinging at pitches up in the zone to get himself out, now I will talk about him swinging at pitches out of the zone, mostly low and away. Mike Trout saw the most pitches out of every zone, in the bottom right zone in the following graph. As you will notice it is the hottest zone on the map, and there is a good reason for that. Teams have began to notice that he will chase that pitch when down in the count. He is such a great low ball hitter, but when it comes to that pitch, he can’t touch it.
According to Baseball Savant, Trout swung and missed 61 times in that zone, the most of any other. The swings and misses were also coming against righties more than lefties. The sweeping breaking balls and spotted fastballs really gave Trout trouble against righties.
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Trout has been pretty consistent his entire career, when making contact and when he swings at pitches. He swung at about 24 percent of pitches outside of the strike zone in 2014 according to FanGraphs. It has been the same zones that have given Trout trouble the last two seasons when swinging outside of the strike zone. He is a pretty patient hitter and has the maturity to really know the strike zone at times.
The above graphs shows the percentage of whiffs per swing dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season and you will notice that the bottom right hand corner is the hottest on the map. 62 percent of the pitches he swings at in the that zone are whiffs. That is a pretty high percentage for one zone, so you know it is on the scouting report to pitch him there. If there is one thing he can improve on is holding back on pitches that are sweeping out of the zone.
2015 is a huge step for him and to get better, if that is even possible. Teams will continue to pitch Trout in these zones until he adjusts. He has adjusted well in years past, but this offseason is going to be an even bigger adjustment. A whole allotment of numbers are being recorded and those numbers are going to be used to try to get Trout out the easiest way possible. At this point, teams know where his weaknesses lie.