September 24th, US time,red manIn the game against the Pirates, in the bottom half of the 9th inning, with one out and the score trailing 12-13, there was someone on third base and the number one rookie in the batter’s box.Cruz(Elly De La Cruz), as long as he hits a grounder or a deep enough fly ball, he will have a chance to tie the score. Facing relief pitcher Carmen Mlodzinski, Cruz struggled for 11 balls and finally still They were deceived by a Sweeper ball 86.4 miles from the inside corner and struck out. This critical number of outs completely extinguished the team’s counterattack. The winning probability dropped from 41.6% to 16.0%, and the Reds finally lost. An embarrassing defeat, and this performance is like a microcosm of Cruz’s season this year: people were full of expectations at first, but what they ushered in was an anticlimactic ending.
Cruz, who hit the ground running in his rookie year, dominated the major leagues as soon as he entered the major leagues. His showmanship and consistent strength have made him the new darling of the league, with .307/.358/.523 in June. His hitting measurements and wRC+ were as high as 131. With such a monster result, articles praising him were flooded with articles. Now, a few months later, perhaps not many Taiwanese fans are paying attention to the Redskins. , but you will find that there seems to be less news about this super star? The fact is that his performance in the past few months is really not worth writing about. After 6 months, his hitting measurements were .204/.276/.348, wRC+ was left at 60, and he accumulated only 400 hits. 11 home runs, and the bat number was quietly adjusted from the first to the ninth, which was a huge difference from the previous strength.
Comparison of Cruz’s results before and after June. littlenosejiang／watchmaking
There is no doubt about Cruz’s talent. This season, his fastest initial bat speed of 116.6 miles is in the top 2% of the league. His sprint speed of 30.5 miles is the best in the league. His defensive range and passing arm strength are also tops. He is known as the “Jia Guerrilla Defense Zone”. “Aaron Judge”, his desire to hit the bat is not very high, and his batting frequency of 45.9% is lower than the league average of 47.1%, but he encounters a typical conversion problem for major league rookies: he swings a lot of empty balls. Great. With a tall body of 6 feet 2 and nearly 190 centimeters, Cruz’s biggest inherent disadvantage is that he has a wider strike zone than ordinary people, with a swing rate as high as 29.8%, and he does not have a good grasp of the four-seam fastball at the major league level. The strikeout rate is as high as 44.7%. From the chart displayed by Baseball Savant, we can see that he is basically defenseless against balls beyond waist height. The strikeout rate is almost always higher than 40%. The 34.3% strikeout rate throughout the season is also quite miserable. , which is the bottom 2% of the league.
Cruz does not have a good command of the major league-level four-seam fastball. His strikeout rate is as high as 44.7%. He has no resistance to balls beyond waist height, and his K% is almost always higher than 40%.Picture taken from the official savant website of the Big League
In addition to the strikeout problem that is common for rookies, Cruz’s pitch selection ability is also immature. Various data used to evaluate a player’s home plate discipline include a strike rate of 60.8% (average 67.0%) and a contact rate of 79.5%. (82.0% average), 33.3% catch rate (28.5% average), 54.3% contact rate (58.0% average). These numbers are all worse than the league average. (Meatball Swing%) 70.2% is also far from the average of 76.1%, which shows that even if Cruz reduces the frequency of batting, he still cannot convert into better ball selection performance.
Missing the ball is a problem, but even if he does hit the ball, Cruz’s inability to produce good hitting content is the biggest problem. The average initial batting speed of 90.8 miles is indeed at the top of the league, but he always hits the ball to the ground. This can be seen from the ground ball rate of 53.3% and the average batting angle of only 4.2 degrees, which makes his excellent initial velocity unable to be converted into Barrel% (Barrel is defined as under a specific batting angle and initial velocity, A bat with a batting average greater than 50% and a slugging percentage of at least 1.500), unable to hit powerful balls into the air, which naturally greatly weakens the threat of his cannonball.
Cruz has good long-hitting potential, but his current ball selection ability and swing skills are really poor. He should seek advice from Watto, the team’s ball selection expert.AFP file photo
Compared with the hot start to the season, Cruz’s cumulative results throughout the season are indeed not as good as outside expectations, but don’t forget that he is only a 21-year-old young man, and not every player can be like Judge and Ronald Acuna Jr. ) and Corey Seager, who showed extraordinary influence in their rookie year. However, Cruz’s weak momentum may become a major obstacle for the Redskins to challenge for a wild card spot.
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