FanPost

Gordon and making contact


This isn't a real post so much as it is a conversation topic and a request for someone more capable to dig a little deeper.

Just before the start of the regular season, Jeff wrote up a profile of Alex Gordon's career hitting tendencies.  There are reports that Gordon worked all off-season on recreating his swing to be more level and hopefully make more contact.  It's really early still, but with the reports that he's changed his swing, the different looking results, and the appearance that it might look a little different to the untrained eye, it might be worth updating that profile and comparing this season's results to his career profile.

Just looking at fangraphs, Gordon's K% is down to 20% from a career average of 25%.  If that's sustainable, I'm guessing it would add about 15-20 points to Gordon's batting average, making him a .265 to .280 hitter.  With his power and walks, it seems cutting his K% to 20% would make him a much improved player.

Diving a little deeper, his contact rate is at 80.6% compared to his career rate of 76.4%.  Given the small sample size, I'm not sure if that's statistically significant yet, but it's at least interesting.  The contact figure that most jumps of the page is his 67.7% contact rate on swings at balls outside the strike zone.  His career rate is 54.6%.  Presumably, a lot (a majority?) of Gordon's strikeouts are on missed swings at balls out of the zone, so if that improvement is sustainable, it would go a long way in reducing Gordon's K%.  Even in a small sample, I'd be surprised if that 13% jump isn't statistically significant.  I'd also love to see those contact rates broken out by splits against lefties, against whom Gordon has particularly struggled to make contact in his career. 

Maybe I'm fishing for any signs of life from Gordon, but the improved early contact rates look promising.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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