Saturday, June 2, 2012

Brennan Boesch’s Home/Road Splits

Brennan Boesch has been a disappointment this year.  Many people predicted that this would be Boesch’s breakout season, being his 3rd year in the league and hitting in front of sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.  However, he’s taking a step backwards, especially with the BB rate.  Here’s what he’s doing compared to the last 2 years:

2010 – .512 PA, 256/.320/.416, 14 HR, 7.8% BB%, 19.3% K%
2011 – 472 PA, .283/.341/.458, 16 HR, 7.4% BB%, 17.6% K%
2012 – 208 PA, .234/.269/.355, 5 HR, 3.8% BB%, 18.8% K%

Looking deeper into the stats, it seems like the problem is only happening at home.

Home – 101 PA, .182/.198/.303, 4 HR, 1.0% BB%, 20.8% K%
Road – 107 PA, .286/.336/.408, 1 HR, 6.5% BB%, 16.8% K%

Except for decreasing power, his road numbers look like what everyone was expecting Boesch to do this year.  What’s causing this?  Does he have a different approach on the road than at home?  Is it due to harder competition at home?  Is it a small sample anomaly that will correct itself over time?  Are balls just not falling in for hits at home? 

2012 Balls in Play:
Home – 10.3% LD, 50.0% GB, 39.7% FB, 12.9% HR/FB, .189 BABIP
Road – 22.2% LD, 39.3% GB, 38.3% FB, 3.2% HR/FB, .338 BABIP

Half of his balls in play have been ground balls at home and his line drive rate is way down.  It is just over 100 PA, so it very well could be an anomaly.  But you have to wonder…is Boesch trying to hit more ground balls at Comerica?  Factor in the BB rate and it’s very possible that he just isn’t seeing the ball well at home.    

Has this always been the case?

2010 Balls in Play:
Home – 268 PA, .292/.369/.475,7 HR, 9.7% BB%, 15.3% K%
         16.2% LD, 45.2% GB, 38.6% FB, 9.2% HR/FB, .326 BABIP

Road – 244 PA, .219/.266/.355, 7 HR, 5.7 BB%, 22.5% K%
          14.0% LD, 45.0% GB, 40.9% FB, 10.0% HR/FB, .262 BABIP

2011 Balls in Play:
Home – 242 PA, .289/.347/.486, 9 HR, 7.9% BB%, 14.5% K%
           18.9% LD, 44.9% GB, 36.2% FB, 13.4% HR/FB, .305 BABIP

Road – 230 PA, .276/.335/.429, 7 HR, 7.0% BB%, 20.9% K%
         17.3% LD, 40.7% GB, 42.0 FB, 10.3% HR/FB, .327 BABIP

Boesch hit much better at home than on the road in 2010, but according to the batted ball ratios, his approach was about the same.  His lower BABIP explains why is production was down on the road.  In 2011, everything is about even.

So what is different about Comerica Park in 2012 than it was the last 2 years?  The scoreboard?  Is the new scoreboard causing Boesch not to see the ball well in 2012?  Is this happening to other left-handed hitters? 

And what do we do with Brennan Boesch?  Obviously we can’t bench him at home and only play him on the road.  Do we option him down to AAA?  Do we just play him and hope that it gets corrected?  

No comments:

Post a Comment