A two-fer! Well, not really, I just forgot to post my analysis of Steve Pearce’s slow start earlier, focusing on how pitchers are changing their approach to him:
This is Steve Pearce’s brand-new baseball game: one in which he sees more and more breaking and offspeed pitches. This is the adjustment opposing teams are making against him, one they’ve been making since 2012.
There’s no question he’s hitting the ball hard. His hard-hit rate is at 36.8%, the highest of his career by far, and is 26th-best in baseball — ahead of Chris Davis, Buster Posey, andDavid Ortiz (just to cherry pick some names). As a result his ISO is an astounding .329 and his line-drive rate is a superlative 28.8%. The hard-hit rate coupled with his speed has boosted his BABIP to an otherworldly .400.