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Markakis


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Last year, Nick had a few things go against him...one of them being lefties.

Well, he isn't doing great against them thus far but he did get 3 hits off of CC last night, including his first homer and 2 hits off of Lester the other day.

He has struggled vs these 2 in the past.

One thing that I have continued to notice about Nick this year is that he has yet to pull the ball with any authority. A big reason for that is he is getting nothing to hit...The "protection means nothing" theory is looking wrong right now in regards to Nick.

Anyway, part of the reason all of his hits are the other way is because everyone is working him on the outer half of the plate and instead of rolling over on the pitches, which he did a ton last year, he is going with the pitch..which of course is resulting in him going to center and left. This is also why he should be better vs lefties..He rolled over a lot last year vs the lefties working him on the outside corner...If they continue to do that and he continues to go the other way, he will have good numbers vs lefties this year.

It is going to be very difficult for him to hit a lot of homers this year if they continue to give him nothing to hit...Nick does have power to the opposite field but his homers are usually pulled.

I do like his approach though...He has been patient, is going with the pitch and trying to not groundout to second so much.

He is also going to struggle to drive in runs since no one is getting on ahead of him...So, between a combo of getting nothing to hit and no one getting on ahead of him, it could be a "bad year" in terms of the homers and RBIs for Nick...but that doesn't mean he will have a bad year.

Hopefully this will all start to turn around and I expect it will but right now, Nick is doing what he needs to do because he only has so much to work with.

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Last year, Nick had a few things go against him...one of them being lefties.

Well, he isn't doing great against them thus far but he did get 3 hits off of CC last night, including his first homer and 2 hits off of Lester the other day.

He has struggled vs these 2 in the past.

One thing that I have continued to notice about Nick this year is that he has yet to pull the ball with any authority. A big reason for that is he is getting nothing to hit...The "protection means nothing" theory is looking wrong right now in regards to Nick.

Anyway, part of the reason all of his hits are the other way is because everyone is working him on the outer half of the plate and instead of rolling over on the pitches, which he did a ton last year, he is going with the pitch..which of course is resulting in him going to center and left. This is also why he should be better vs lefties..He rolled over a lot last year vs the lefties working him on the outside corner...If they continue to do that and he continues to go the other way, he will have good numbers vs lefties this year.

It is going to be very difficult for him to hit a lot of homers this year if they continue to give him nothing to hit...Nick does have power to the opposite field but his homers are usually pulled.

I do like his approach though...He has been patient, is going with the pitch and trying to not groundout to second so much.

He is also going to struggle to drive in runs since no one is getting on ahead of him...So, between a combo of getting nothing to hit and no one getting on ahead of him, it could be a "bad year" in terms of the homers and RBIs for Nick...but that doesn't mean he will have a bad year.

Hopefully this will all start to turn around and I expect it will but right now, Nick is doing what he needs to do because he only has so much to work with.

Good observations about how Nick has refined his approach, and adjusted to how he is being pitched. It speaks volumes about his ability as a hitter.

In terms of the homers, I'm not too worried at this point, because Nick always seems to be a streaky homerun guy.

2009 Game log - 4HR hit over 8 day span May 1-May 9

2008 Game log - 7HR hit over month span April 9-May9

2007 Game log - 5HR hit over 10 day span Aug 22-Aug 31

2006 Game log - 9HR hit over 16 day span Aug 15-Aug 31

His power numbers this year may be a bit concerning to some, but he is starting to drive the ball as evidenced by 9 doubles so far. Let's hope that Nick capitalizes once the pitchers start working ball on the middle-in part of the plate or on those occaisions where pitchers make that mistake. Based on his history, would not be surprised if he goes on a 5HR over 10 day binge sometime in May.

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One thing to look for in a few weeks is will Nick go through his normal May swoon. Over the last few years, he has been really bad for the second half of May..last year, it went well into June as well.

Maybe this year's swoon occurred over the first 20 days of the season? Let's hope so...

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I don't buy the protection thing one bit. I've seen Nick get pitches right down the middle and ground the ball weakly to the 2B. Bottom line. Nick is just not a good pull hitter. Occasionally he'll pull a homer or send one into the gap but for the most part his strength is taking the ball the other way.

Does Pujols hit a homer on every batting practice pitch?

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Does Pujols hit a homer on every batting practice pitch?

Nope, but he should. He IS The Machine afterall!

Wow, 500 posts. It took me THIS long to get to it? Guess I was saving them until I got some Plus membership action going since I didn't want to burn them so quickly.

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I don't buy the protection thing one bit. I've seen Nick get pitches right down the middle and ground the ball weakly to the 2B. Bottom line. Nick is just not a good pull hitter. Occasionally he'll pull a homer or send one into the gap but for the most part his strength is taking the ball the other way.

He is also not a home run hitter. He is a singles, gap type hitter like Pete Rose or Wade Boggs, although both of those were a heck of a lot better - just using them for illustrating the type of hitter he is. Sports Guy is full of baloney if he thinks the only reason Markakis isn't hitting homers is because he isn't getting the pitches to do so.:rolleyes: That is total malarky.:laughlol:

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I don't buy the protection thing one bit. I've seen Nick get pitches right down the middle and ground the ball weakly to the 2B. Bottom line. Nick is just not a good pull hitter. Occasionally he'll pull a homer or send one into the gap but for the most part his strength is taking the ball the other way.

I'm not sure whether I agree, but a Boggs-like approach might just be what Nick needs to do.

To me, it always seemed like I had a better approach when I tried to hit the other way and then just let myself go every now and then by trying to crush a ball by pulling it. Alternatively, when I started off as a pull hitter, I eventually turned into an Adam Jones type who was ahead of everything and couldn't hit anything fair with authority. The k's went up, the bb's went down and the production disappeared.

Nick also seems much more useful as an opposite field guy as well.

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He is also not a home run hitter. He is a singles, gap type hitter like Pete Rose or Wade Boggs, although both of those were a heck of a lot better - just using them for illustrating the type of hitter he is. Sports Guy is full of baloney if he thinks the only reason Markakis isn't hitting homers is because he isn't getting the pitches to do so.:rolleyes: That is total malarky.:laughlol:

Nick has proven that he is a 20+ homer guy...Go away and don't ruin this thread old man.

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Interesting to read from baseball-reference that similar batters to Nick through age 25 are Zaz, Carlos Beltran, Ellis Burks, Harold Baines. Link. Also curious to see that most similar by ages for 23 and 24 is Matt Kemp.

Pretty strong comp set there. Examining closer, you see that Yaz did not breakthrough homerun wise until age 27 when he blasted 40+ (prior was high teens, low 20s, just like Nick). Beltran did not move from the mid 20's to upper 30's until his age 27 season either.

Nick is still just 26. He is still improving, and many believe he will develop more homerun power in time. But if he doesn't, and he puts up Paul O'neill type offensive numbers, with plus defense and arm in RF, I'm sure all of us will be OK with that as a base case. Check out O'neill's OPS+ from 1993 to 1998 for the NYY.

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Good observations in the opening post and some of the comments. Even though Nick has hit only one HR, his ISO is right at his career average .173 because he's been hitting so many doubles -- he's hitting them at a pace that would generate 69 doubles over the course of 162 games. Nick does tend to hit his HRs in little mini-streaks, so maybe last night's HR signals the start of a little burst. Overall, he's been solid so far, though he hasn't done well in the rare RISP opporunities he's had. Hopefully he will get truly hot (I contend that hasn't happened yet, at least by his standards) and start knocking in more runs. As to his mid-May swoon, I don't think he's been playing long enough to really call that a strong trend. Hopefully it doesn't happen, but like most players, Nick will have his ups and downs, I'm sure.

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Nick's only problem right now is that everyone batting in front of him *ahem* has a pitiful OBP.

This is why I would have Reimold hitting in front of him. Considering how low his BA is, his OBP is pretty good, and he's going to pick up soon enough.

On thing I've noticed about Nick that I really like is that he's getting better. He used to struggle against Papelbon and Okajima, but he looked pretty good against them over the weekend. He's starting to understand how people get him out and adjusting. Always a great sign.

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The combination of Nick not getting anything to hit and Nick having solid plate discipline makes me think he should be leading off until Brian Roberts comes back.

Really amazing that Trembley continues to hit Jones and his terrible on base skills in the leadoff spot.

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