917: that's the number of pitches Sal Perez saw in 2014 that he didn't swing at. 1112: that's the number of pitches Sal Perez did swing at in 2014. Sal Perez swung at more pitches in 2014 than he didn't, 195 more to be exact. That's 54%.
For example, Alex Gordon saw 2655 pitches in 2014. He swung at 1143 pitches and watched 1512 of them. That's 43%. Nori Aoki: 2083 pitches, 939 swings, 1144 non-swings. 45%. Eric Hosmer: 2108 pitches, 1015 swings, 1093 non-swings, 48%. Alcides Escobar: 2199 pitches, 1147 swings, 105 non-swings, 52%.
So, Salvador doesn't swing that much more perhaps than it seems. I'm not sure if that's something that needs to be debunked, but it's at least kinda bunked now. Or debunked? Or whatever the opposite of being unproven is.
What we think about though when we think about Perez is his O-Swing%. Maybe not in terms of O-Swing% exactly, but his inability to not chase pitches, or put differently, his ability to chase pitches. Pitches that should never be swung at. Pitches that Joey Votto laughs at, maybe he hyperbolically eats them for breakfast.
There is the top five highest O-Swing% hitters in 2014. Perez swings a lot and Pablo Sandoval swings more, but what Perez doesn't do is swing at pitches inside the zone compared to his free-swinging peers. This is another one of his problems.
Players with similar Z-Swing% profiles don't swing at outside pitches on his level either, which leads to his OBP being 20 points lower than the next guy and 86 points lower than Dexter Fowler.
Sadly I don't have a really cool infograph or some cool chart showing all the insane, non-Joey Votto appeasing pitches Perez has swung at, but what we do have are GIFs! GIFs of some of the worst pitches Perez swung at in 2014. I can't guarantee these pitches are the worst, ie farthest from the plate, that he's swung at, but they are a collection of at least some of the worst pitches, and likely the worst. It'll also be the ones that ended the at bat.
First off, I'm sure we all remember this one:
Sal Perez final at bat. ONE OF THE PITCHES WENT INTO THE CAPTION pic.twitter.com/xlBxGQPfLh— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) October 30, 2014
An 85.3 MPH slider from Max Scherzer in the second game of the year.
Here's a pitch from late-August during the series at Colorado. The Royals had already squared away victory leading 7-2 in the 8th inning so maybe Perez was trying to do the Rockies a favor and speed up the game. A 79.8 curveball from Nick Masset.
Here's the prior pitch from Masset that Perez did lay off.
At least in this one Perez drives in a run. Jon Edwards is the first Pecos League alumni to make the major leagues. Here's an 87.1 MPH slider from the former Alpine Cowboy.
Prior to this 86.8 MPH Slider from Joe Nathan on September 9th, the Royals were ahead of the Tigers by a half game. When the ball reached Alex Avila's glove, the Royals found themselves a half game back of the Tigers. Two days later they would tie the Tigers, but the next day lose the AL Central lead and never get it back.
Perez didn't take a single pitch of the at-bat despite runners on base and Joe Nathan only throwing him one strike during appearance. You all remember this game for a different reason though...
This one Perez actually made pretty great contact on but a good snag by Joe Mauer took away a hit.
If there's one zone Perez has some patience with it's up. The majority of Perez's chases are low and away. This is the highest pitch Perez swung at all season, and it happened in the same game as the second example. A 93 MPH fastball from Tyler Matzek. It's kind amazing that Perez can ground ground out on a fastball two feet from the middle of the zone.
This one was almost a hit, but a good play from Kyle Seager stopped the Royals potential rally in this 9th inning loss. I mean...come on. On my birthday!?
This next one is from a pretty memorable 2014 game as well. We all know of Max Scherzer's dominance over the Royals, but on this date in June he'd allow 10 runs on 10 hits over 4 innings. Although this 91.2 MPH fastball wouldn't yield a hit.
Before this Jose Quintana 81.8 MPH curveball, Ryan noticed how aggressive Perez has been with runners in scoring position. Bingo Ryan.
Andrew Miller had Perez swinging at basically everything he threw, before finally retiring him on a 85.9 MPH slider.
The penultimate bad Perez chase comes off an 81.3 MPH slider from Eric Surkamp.
Finally. The suffering is over. With this 84.6 MPh changeup from Michael Wacha and Perez's strikeout, we close the book on these terrible, dark, and painful memories. Although, to Perez's credit...he at least for a moment, for once, didn't want to swing at an outside pitch.