After two weeks off thanks to other news, the Reds versus The Strikezone series is back. This week we are going to look at another outfielder, newcomer Yasiel Puig. In the 2018 season he hit .267/.327/.494 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, good for a 120 OPS+. That 120 mark in OPS+ would rate him behind Eugenio Suarez, and just behind the group of Joey Votto (125), Jesse Winker (124), and Scooter Gennett (124).
Let’s take a look at how Yasiel Puig performed on pitches that would have been balls, or strikes, had he not swung at them. In 2018 the outfielder swung at pitches outside of the strikezone 31.1% of the time. Of the 243 players in 2018 with at least 400 plate appearances that ranked 104th. Not great, but not terrible. That’s pretty much league average, which was 30.9% during the year. When Puig did decide to swing at non-strikes he made contact on them 59.1% of the time. That was slightly below-average, which in 2018 was 62.8%.
When it comes to the pitches thrown in the strikezone to Yasiel Puig he swung 71.5% of the time. That’s better than the league average of 67.3%. When he swung at strikes, the new Reds outfielder made contact 89.8% of the time. That was also better than the league average, which was 85.5% in 2018.
Pitchers that threw Yasiel Puig strikes didn’t fare well. He hit .328 on strikes and he slugged a whopping .640 against them when he made contact. The slugging was more impressive than the average, though. Among the Reds “every day 10” of guys returning from last year, and the two Dodgers, the .328 average on strikes would rank 5th. But his .640 slugging would rank second behind only Eugenio Suarez, who had a .645 mark. His Isolated Power of .312 would have ranked 1st. And that, of course, was done mostly out west in large ballparks.
Like most every other hitter, though, Yasiel Puig wasn’t good on non-strikes. He hit just .202 when he made contact on pitches outside of the strikezone. That also would have ranked 5th on the team. His Isolated Power of .111 on pitches out of the zone would have ranked 3rd behind Scooter Gennett (.146) and Suarez (.139).
As it has been for every other player thus far, Yasiel Puig was far better on strikes than non-strikes. That’s always the case. With league average rates of swinging at non-strikes, and his production on strikes, if he could tighten up what he’s swinging at just a little bit, there could be some improvements to be had. But, the move from the cavernous National League West ballparks to the much more hitter friendly National League Central ballparks could also play a good role in seeing the numbers on the chart improve across the board, too.
Data on average and slugging percentage in and out of the strikezone is from Brooks Baseball. The data was manually tabulated based on their raw numbers provided.