Tsutsugo unleashes his power

Three weeks ago, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo talked about the successful adjustment of his batting contact point last year. This is not going to be news to everyone, since my colleague who covers the DeNA BayStars explained it to me during the interview, but one of the things I like to do is see if I can spot the adjustment in game results.

There was some talk that Tsutsugo was pulling the ball less during the second half of last season, but he is and always has been a spray hitter with between 46 and 52 percent of the balls he puts in play going toward second, short and center or to the pitcher.

Of course, there’s no guarantee in this data that the second baseman isn’t playing in the hole behind first, but I thought it was better to define the pull and opposite fields as balls to the corner infielders and outfielders.

So while the number of balls he hit to each part of the field didn’t change that much, the results he got from those hits last year were massively different. Discounting his 2013 season, when he barely played, Tsutsugo hit homers out to left 11 times more often last season than he had in the past. His home run power to right nearly doubled, while his batting results up the middle barely changed.

Here’s the data:

Left field hit percentages
Year Balls in play Pct of total to all fields 1B pct 2B pct 3B pct HR pct
Pre 2016 252 .244 .234 .087 .000 .012
2016 88 .223 .261 .102 .011 .125

Center hit percentages Left Field Hit Percentages_Clone
Year Balls in play Pct of total to all fields 1B pct 2B pct 3B pct HR pct
Pre 2016 252 .244 .234 .087 .000 .012
2016 88 .223 .261 .102 .011 .125
Right hit percentages
Year Balls in play Pct of total to all fields 1B pct 2B pct 3B pct HR pct
Pre 2016 273 .264 .337 .077 .011 .143
2016 104 .264 .260 .038 .010 .260

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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