Welcome to Ronnie’s Run Down! This column looks at some fascinating matchups and facts that might pique the interest of the reader as that day’s games are reviewed. This is just my attempt at creating come compelling thought on any given day. There are nine innings in baseball, and nine points in my daily run down.
- The best HC for August in the NL belongs to Diamondbacks David Peralta at 61.8%. In the month he has a .567 wOBA and a .415 ISO. He’s really been crushing sliders with 5.1 wSL in his last 42 PA. He has a very favorable matchup tonight as he faces Rub-A-Dub-Chub Bartolo Colon.
- The best overall contact for the month just might be Michael Conforto. He is making 58.3% HC while making only 4.2% SC. That fantastic contact has only lead to a .270/.386/.324 slash, which is solid other than the slugging. Without the power he has only a 102 wRC+. Part of the power problem lies in his 16.7% FB. If he doesn’t get some elevation, he’s not going to get production.
- Michael Brantley has made contact with 100% of the pitches he’s seen inside the strike zone this month. That’s impressive considering that 44.0% of his pitches seen have been in the zone and he has a 62.7% Zswing. Brantley is making 48.3% HC for the month, helping him to a 155 wRC+. TOnight he faces Homer Bailey of the Reds. Left handed batters have a .532 slg against Bailey on the season.
- Matt Carpenter is still mashing. In 50 PA in August, Carpenter leads the NL in home runs (6), ISO (.500), he’s 4th in BB% (20.0%), and 2nd in fWAR (0.8). He’s also making 46.4% HC for another impressive month. Carpenter is right up there in the MVP conversation, leading the charge in my opinion. He leads the NL in home runs (32), wRC+ (159), ISO (.317), HC (50.8%), and he’s 2nd in wOBA (.407).
- Jacob deGrom is really coming on strong lately. In his last 29 innings he’s struck out 34, walked just 4, and is allowing just a 27.4% HC. He has a 2.83 second half SIERA and an 8.5 K/BB. For the season he leads all NL pitchers with 5.8 fWAR.
- Clayton Richard throws tonight for the Padres as they take on the Angels at home in San Diego. Richard is giving up the 3rd worst HC in the NL at 41.2%. He also has the 3rd worst K/9 at 6.34, and he has a terrible 4.57 SIERA. In his last 4 starts he is striking out just 4.00/9 while walking 5.50/9 in route to a 6.27 SIERA.
- Sean Reid-Foley is making his Major League debut this evening on the road as the Blue Jays travel to Kansas City. Reid-Foley has a very nice fastball that sits in the 93-94 mph range, and a solid slider/curve with an occasional changeup that is still in development. In AAA this year he struck out 10.28/9 and walked just 2.95. It’s worthy of note that he struck out 12.8/9 in 17 A ball starts in 2015. The Jays have a pretty average bullpen with a 3.73 SIERA and they rank 15th in the Majors with a 73.2% LOB.
- Jonathan Schoop is just terrible right now. He has a 0.0% walk rate and a 45.7% strikeout rate in his last 35 PA. He makes up for that lack of contact with a abysmal .029 ISO. All of these great qualities are good for -26 wRC+ and -0.5 fWAR.
- The Rays Mallex Smith has a 25% walk rate in his last 40 PA. That’s the best in the AL over the last 10 days. He’s also the top base runner in the AL for that period with 16 BsR; a good pairing with his walk rate. That’s thanks in no small part to 7 stolen bases in 7 attempts. For the year he has 25 stolen bases, trailing only Jose Ramirez and Dee Gordon for the AL lead.