Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The Pains of Being Murph at Heart
Remember back in the halcyon days of the 2009 when Travis Snider was a can't miss 21 year old prospect with exciting power to all fields? I sure do.
A few things have changed since then. Snider is obviously a few years older (yet still very young) and while not quite a prospect, he is still a player with tremendous potential. One thing is conspicuous in its absence from the Travis Snider circa 2011's profile: the opposite field pop.
The image you see above is Travis Snider's season-by-season spray chart (courtesy of the good people at Texas Leaguers) giffed up for comparative goodness. Notice anything different? I know I do: the opposite field tater tots from 2009 are all but missing.
Snider hit 5 home runs to left field in 2009 then none last year. Why might that be? A lack of fastballs to drive the other way or a pull happy team influencing a struggling young hitter?
I miss opposite field home runs. They're great fun, they really are. Both Lind and Snider used to hit them with regularity but now...gone. Not only are they pleasing to the eye, they're a great way to keep pitchers honest.
With Snider struggling and seeing a steady diet of off-speed junk, maybe a policy of staying back on the soft stuff and riding the hard stuff to the opposite field could help him solve his early season woes at the plate. Not that I advocate straying from The Plan at the plate. Heaven forbid.
Labels: Travis Snider