Friday, April 9, 2010
Vernon's Hot Start
By request, a quick and dirty look at the quick and dirty start to Vernon Wells' season. You know, the guy with four home runs in three games. Stack that paper.
If you watched on Opening Day, you already know Wells home run off Scott Feldman was a thing of beauty. Sinker down and away, a pitch nobody has any business hitting out to left centerfield, let alone Vernon Wells. The game-tying shot VW hit Thursday was a big, fat, juicy splitter up in the zone; a total mistake from Francisco. A couple fastballs in bad spots and Vernon sets a few team records.
I doubt it is unique to Wells, but the Rangers threw a whole wack of fastballs his way this series (Nearly 75%). Wells was awful against the heat last year, but during his up years he turns on fastballs like Cito on Randy Ruiz. As the season progresses, the true test of Wells (and every good hitter) will be his ability to hit offspeed pitches. Perhaps he'll pull a Derek Jeter and perfect the art of fouling away pitches he doesn't like in search of the perfect, blessed fastball.
A hot start from Wells doesn't necessarily mean he's due for a huge year. While his best month as a professional was April 2006 (.487 wOBA!), posted decent Aprils in two of his worst seasons, too (2007 & 2009). However, the Tao excitedly points out how good Wells looks, making nice swings and working good at bats. Easy to do when you're knocking everything out of the park, but hopefully the real (good) Vernon Wells is here to stay in 2010.
Image courtesy of Celluloid Heroes, Pitch F/X courtesy of Joe Lefkowitz and good old Brooks Baseball.