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Pitchers Cutting into Perez's Production

I love Salvador Perez. Not enough to start calling him Salvy like Neddy Yosty does, but I like him. There just seem to be some elephant in his closet that is keeping my small feelings towards him from turning into a full blown bro-mance.

Let me explain. Sal seems to swing a lot, especially at pitches off the plate. When he does swing at those outside pitches, he makes contact, unlike French (not more -y, it reminds me too much of Yost). Most players that make a ton of out-of-the-zone contact are not power hitters. Players like Juan Pierre, Chris Getz, Ichiro, Jamey Carroll. Just think of all the #2 hitters the Royals have had recently and that is your typical high contact hitters.

When I think of Perez, I don't think of those single machines. The first person that did come to my warped mind is Vladimir Guerrero. Big in size and with his swing. Home runs from pitches off the ground or a foot over his head. I miss Vlad.

Vlad swung at pitches outside of the plate 40% of the time which is exactly the same value as Sal. The similarities end there. Vlad only made contact with those pitches 67% of the time while Perez is doing it 86% of the time.

Dammit Sal what are you hiding. You are a one of a kind hitter so far in your career. Thinking time.












OK. Writing about Perez and Geurrero got me thinking of Dennis Haysbert. Not the Good Hands All-State Dennis Haysbert or the leader type from "24" or The Unit. None of those. I am talking about the snake carrying, Jobu worshiping, fastball destoying Dennis Haysbert from major league. Yep, Cerrano.

If you remember, Cerrano had a little problem with the breaking balls.

Lou Brown: Jesus, this guy hits a ton, how come no one else picked up on him?

Duke Temple: Alrght Eddie, that's enough fastballs throw'em some breaking balls.

Maybe he is not able to hit a certain pitch. At FanGraphs, they track pitch values. It shows that Perez has problems with cutters and curves. I work for FanGraphs and I have no idea how these values are calculated. Instead, let me calculate some number that we can all hopefully understand.

Here are Perez's values for all batted ball (basically BABIP including HRs) and swinging strike rate for various pitch types.

Pitch Type BABIP (w/ HRs) Swing Strike %
Cutter 0.150 11.8%
Slider 0.421 8.5%
Curve 0.306 6.1%
Change 0.409 5.9%
Sinker 0.444 4.2%
2 Finger FB 0.386 4.0%
4 Finger FB 0.385 3.9%

Sal has been holding out on me that he does not like the cutter. I really don't blame him. I went to create a GIF of Sal hacking away at a cutter and found something interesting. The 11% is from 9 cutters he missed, 8 were from last season and just one was from this season on September 16th.

Perez has gone from missing the cutter, to just making weak contact. 9 fly outs, 5 ground balls, 3 line outs. I went and looked at some of his swings on the cutters. The one aspect I noticed is that he has gotten better and better at making solid contact. He is slowly trying to make me love him more.

This progress against the cutter makes sense. Many teams don't allow their young pitchers to throw cutters. Probably the only chance for Perez to see any cutters before making to the majors was from some AAAA retreads in 49 PAs in Omaha. He is showing the ability to adapt in the majors.

Perez has a secret. It doesn't explain the insane power to outside contact relationship, but it is a little more I know about him. Every little bit counts as we try to take our relationship to the next level.