Eric Hosmer has been to 2 World Collection in his profession, however individually he’s by no means had a season just like the one he’s having now.
The San Diego Padres have turn out to be the discuss of the baseball world this season, whether or not it’s due to their defying ridiculous unwritten guidelines or the truth that if the season ended at the moment they’d be within the playoffs for the primary time since 2006.
A part of their resurgence has been due largely to main contributions to a trio of fellows that haven’t lived as much as their contracts till now. Extra particularly Eric Hosmer, who signed an eight-year, $144 million contract in 2018.
This appears considerably arduous to imagine as a result of Hosmer has a World Collection ring, so that you’d suppose residing as much as expectations is one thing he’s already used to.
When the criticism begins circling round, then you already know it’s time to make changes, and one adjustment specifically has actually propelled him to a profession yr. With developments in participant and ball monitoring and the added emphasis on launch angle during the last half decade, it might come as a shock to those that Hosmer has by no means had a season with a mean launch angle above six levels. He’s even had a season with a detrimental common launch angle.
Hosmer’s common launch angle has been hovering round 10 levels this season. Why is launch angle so essential? For one, you possibly can’t hit residence runs in the event you don’t truly hit the ball within the air. Secondly, a part of Statcast’s standards for barreled ball and candy spot hits is the launch angle of the ball.
Barreled balls require a launch angle between 26-30 levels (the vary will increase the more durable you hit the ball) and candy spot hits require an angle between Eight-32 levels. Hosmer already has 11 barreled balls on 86 batted ball occasions this season. He had 33 all of final yr and his profession excessive is 44 barreled balls.
So, what has the upper launch angle completed for his manufacturing? He’s posted profession highs in xSLG, wOBA and xwOBA by huge margins. He has eight residence runs in his first 28 video games this season which implies had this been a full season he’d be on tempo to shatter his profession excessive of 25.
The secret is to hit the ball arduous and within the air as of late. It’s arduous to do critical injury on the plate whenever you don’t hit the ball within the air. Hosmer has dedicated to getting the ball within the air extra usually and it’s paid off for him, and it’s part of the explanation the Padres are wanting like an actual risk within the playoffs.