Squish that bug (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
We all know that if you make it easy for Evan he can swing with the best of them, but pitchers have not given the slugger much to hit on the year as they'd rather let the Gator's and Peacock's of the world beat them. With this in mind I wanted to take a look at the results of just the pitches that Evan has offered at depending on the number of strikes in the count. Good hitters focus on a certain pitch or area of the zone and gradually expand that as they gain more strikes against them. Is that the case? Click the jump to see a look at zero, one, and two strike counts based on the result of the swing (foul, in play, or swing strike) and a reference chart that shows you the pitch type.
The idea here is to use the first chart to get an idea of what results are happening in what part of the zone and then find that pitch on the second chart to see what type of pitch it was for those that you're interested in.
We can see that Evan generally has a pretty solid understanding of the zone as he only goes outside of it away on some fastballs and a few low pitches that are mostly fastballs. He's swinging at a bunch of pitches away compared to inside and rarely whiffs on the pitch that's above 2.5 feet though he's susceptible on that pitch to the bottom of the zone with many of these swing strikes on breaking balls or change ups.
We start to see much more zone expansion once Longo has a strike upon him with several whiffs on low and away on all three types of pitches. We can see him going after more pitches that are below the zone, rarely putting the ball in play and fouling off about as much as he whiffs. He's swinging at more pitches on the inner half, but still going after a ton of pitches on the outer half as pitchers are making him go out there for the fastball and breaking ball. He's still showing that he'll go after that pitch off the outside of the plate though when he makes up his mind to go out there he doesn't miss.
Two strikes are where we see Longo really open up to the idea of chasing that breaking ball low and away and the change up down in the zone. He's also more likely to go after the fastball at the top of the zone without much success. Hitting with two strikes is extremely difficult as the American League as a whole has a triple slash of .184/.252/.276. We can not only look at the pitches he's seen, but look at the gaping patches in the middle of the zone where he's swung at nothing so far and again on the inner half of the plate as pitchers have no problem either inducing a swing off the plate or not worrying if Evan leaves it off the plate.
I hope you help provide your own conclusions here either based on the data or your own observations.