Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Breaking Down Jose Bautista's 30 Bombs

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Either Jose Bautista is putting on hell of an audition for his new team, or he's making a very convincing argument for the Toronto Blue Jays to hang onto him.

Bautista blasted his 29th and 30th home runs last night against the Baltimore Orioles and became the first player this season to even come remotely close to breaking the 30 home run plateau. At a clip of a home run per 13.96 plate appearances, Jose Bautista is on pace to hit 49 home runs this season.

Just as a comparison, the first Blue Jay on the roster to clear 30 home runs was Aaron Hill, and it took him 536 plate appearances to reach that mark. Jose Bautista managed to do it in 355 plate appearances - almost 200 less plate appearances than Hill.

Now while it may be a bit of a stretch to say he'll hit close to 50 bombs this year, even at the All-Star Break many had Bautista pegged to barely even clear 30 home runs before season's end.

It barely took Jose Bautista four months to join the 30 Home Run Club, but here's a breakdown of how and where he hit all his bombs:

Bomb # Date Pitcher Count Distance (feet)
1 11-Apr-10 Kevin Millwood (1-2) 372
2 19-Apr-10 Brian Bannister (0-0) 383
3 19-Apr-10 Luis Mendoza (0-0) 413
4 26-Apr-10 Josh Beckett (0-0) 401
5 3-May-10 Mitch Talbot (0-1) 411
6 4-May-10 Jake Westbrook (1-0) 409
7 10-May-10 John Lackey (1-1) 450
8 15-May-10 Scott Feldman (0-1) 367
9 15-May-10 Darren O'Day (2-1) 404
10 16-May-10 Colby Lewis (1-1) 392
11 17-May-10 Kevin Slowey (3-2) 376
12 20-May-10 Jason Vargas (2-1) 377
13 21-May-10 Dan Haren (1-1) 404
14 23-May-10 Billy Buckner (1-1) 391
15 25-May-10 Ervin Santana (0-0) 404
16 30-May-10 Will Ohman (0-0) 408
17 4-Jun-10 A.J. Burnett (3-2) 441
18 4-Jun-10 A.J. Burnett (2-0) 440
19 22-Jun-10 Jaime Garcia (3-0) 450
20 22-Jun-10 Kyle McClellan (1-1) 353
21 3-Jul-10 Andy Pettitte (2-0) 424
22 7-Jul-10 Kevin Slowey (1-2) 348
23 8-Jul-10 Ron Mahay (2-1) 404
24 10-Jul-10 Ramon Ramirez (1-0) 406
25 17-Jul-10 Jason Berken (1-0) 434
26 20-Jul-10 Anthony Lerew (2-2) 435
27 25-Jul-10 Jeremy Bonderman (0-0) 366
28 26-Jul-10 Brad Bergesen (0-1) 428
29 27-Jul-10 Kevin Millwood (1-0) 436
30 27-Jul-10 Alfredo Simon (2-2) 397

Here are some other interesting tidbits about Jose Bautista's 30 home runs.

Home runs by month: April (4), May (12), June (4), July (10)
Home runs at home: 18
Home runs on the road: 12
Average distance: 404 feet

Home runs with men on base: 20
Home runs without men on base: 10

Home runs before the 7th inning: 20
Home runs 7th inning or later: 10

Home runs against left-handed pitchers: 4
Home runs against right-handed pitchers: 26

Home runs when ahead or even in the count: 25
Home runs when behind in the count: 5
First pitch home runs: 6

With the current incarnate of the Blue Jays with their "grip it and rip it" hitting philosophy, one might assume that a great deal of Jose Bautista's home runs could be attributed to being aggressive right out of the gate. Surprisingly, only six in total or 20 percent of his home runs were swinging at the first pitch.

For the most part, Bautista does a phenomenal job of being patient and sitting back and waiting for an opposing pitcher to leave something on the inside part of the plate for him to crush.

Not a lot of folks talk about it, but his ability to draw the walk is another deadly part of Bautista's game. He currently ranks third in the American League for walks with 57.

Jose Bautista's ability to not only force a base on balls combined with his slugging power make him a huge threat to any opposing pitcher. His .915 OPS ranks 8th in the league and he's in good company with perennial heavy hitters like Mark Teixeira, Miguel Cabrera, and Justin Morneau.

While he may not be one of those household names I just mentioned, Jose Bautista is very quickly making a name for himself across the league and staking a reputation as a big slugger.

Not too shabby for a player who was once cast aside by three organizations in a single season. Along with the Orioles, Rays, Royals and Pirates, I bet they all wish they renewed their Bautista Appreciation Society memberships before he hit the jackpot.

5 comments:

  1. You have a bit of a glitch in your breakdown:

    Home runs before the 7th inning: 30
    Home runs 7th inning or later: 10

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the catch Matt. My math at 1:30 in the morning while writing these posts is admittedly deplorable.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Remember way back at the beginning of the season when people were saying that he might hit 30? I was very cautiously optimistic at the time but thought that would
    be his max. Now 49 sounds attainable. Rediculous, but attainable. Wow...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mattt, I can't remember the exact quote - but I recall Cito saying in Spring Training something to the effect that the Blue Jays could have 5 or so guys in the lineup who could hit 20 or 25 home runs. Well, scratch one on them (Bautista) off the list already!

    ReplyDelete

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