Sarris: Joey Votto is picking his battles

From SABR member Eno Sarris at FanGraphs on March 25, 2014:

It’s spring training, and the results don’t matter. That’s the perfect time to work on process, and so everyone’s adding, subtracting, and adjusting right now. Even a mid-career veteran that’s top five in baseball over the last five years has to take part in the process. The thing is, he might not be working on the same things that some fans would expect. He’s not necessarily following the publicly-accepted offseason agenda for his game. But believe: Joey Votto is working on things.

 Take, for example, his command of the strike zone. Some in Cincinnati were beating the drum for Joey Votto to swing at more pitches. Even his General Manager commented that he might benefit from swinging at more pitches with men on base. Too bad. Votto saw things a little differently: “I swung too much in the strike zone last year.”

It’s interesting to see what happened to his plate discipline over the season last year. His elite rate of swinging at pitches outside of the zone just got more elite…but his rate of swinging at pitches inside the zone did increase:


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Originally published: March 25, 2014. Last Updated: March 25, 2014.