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Minor Details: Baseball's Little (Big) Mysteries

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Player A(Age: 22)- .277/.427/.547 28 HRs 93 RBIs
Player B(Age: 21)- .274/.327/.447 15 HRs 64 RBIs

Player A(Sergio Pedroza) stands at 5 foot 11 inches tall and tips the scales at 180 pounds. Player B(Joel Guzman) stands at 6 foot 6 inches tall and weighs around 250 pounds. Now re-read those stats, with the "tale of the tape" in mind.

What gives?

How does a player who can literally look up to Dave Eckstein have THAT much power, while Guzman towers and is more of a doubles hitter than he is for light tower shots? Sounds like a hysterical science experiment gone wrong, or a suitable sequel idea for "Twins II"(minus Ahnold and Danny Devito). Unless Guzman is in horrible shape, instead of what a 22 year old professional player should look, he should automatically have Pedroza outmatched in the raw power department. You can't even make a case for Pedroza being big for his size, so the numbers seem even more confusing.

I have some theories how Pedroza appears to have the upperhand on Guzman in the power hitting department.

  1. Pedroza's swing maximizes his power, basically causing enough lift to hit it over the fence. His short stature is used to get a better uppercut swing, because the trajectory of a breaking pitch goes right into his center of gravity.
  2. Pedroza has much better plate discipline and has a rare form of pitch recognition. If he sees a mistake pitch, he swings at it. If he doesn't, he'll take a pitch.
  3. Pedroza's 2006 was played at 2 different levels and 3 different leagues, while Guzman played 2006 in AAA and 2 different leagues.
The theory I believe in the most is the one dealing with plate discipline. I'll explain why.
Pedroza's BB/K: 101/135
Guzman's BB/K: 30/95

Doing some research on current major leaguers who are known for walk totals, I've found only 3 so far that walked 100 or more times when they were in the minor leagues. Those 3 are Adam Dunn, Nick Swisher and Nick Johnson. Adam Dunn and Pedroza both did it at lower levels(Dunn had his in the midwest league, while Pedroza had his at Low A and High A combined), while Johnson and Swisher both had their 100 walk seasons at AAA.

While Pedroza walks a ton, he strikes out just as much. That either means that he's more of hacker than he is a "mistake pitch" power hitter, or his "eye" needs some refinement.

Guzman has very low walk totals, basically walks once ever 12-15 ABs, but he doesn't compound that by striking out too much. Add into the fact that Guzman played 2006 in AAA, he faced better pitchers than Pedroza did at the Low & High A levels.

This may be a mystery that may never be solved, mainly due to the 2 players involved in the mystery. Guzman, though never dominant at any level, played 2006 in AAA at the age of 21, while Pedroza played 2006 in the mid-levels at the age of 22. Will Pedroza's plate discipline, BABIP(Batting Average of Balls In-Play) and IsoP continue to be above-average as the talent levels that he's receiving pitches from start to improve? It's hard to predict, but it's fun to think about the weirdness of baseball.