Miami Marlins: The In-Game Adjustments of Lewis Brinson
The Marlins fell to the Reds 4-1 on Friday, the Fish’s lone run came from a fourth-inning Lewis Brinson home run. While the solo shot seemed somewhat uneventful, what lead to it was rather impressive.
On the Season
Lewis Brinson’s first 31 games in a Marlins uniform have come with his fair share of struggles at the dish. He is currently hitting .168/.233/.299 which equates to a wRC+ of 46 which is well below the average of 100.
Brinson’s main problems so far have been his strikeouts and his batted ball profile. He currently strikes out in 35.9% of his at-bats, which is fifth worst in baseball behind Giancarlo Stanton. He is also in the bottom 23% among qualified hitters for BB% which does not help supplement his high strikeout rates.
A player’s batted ball profile tells you a lot about the type of hitter a particular player is. It also correlates with BABIP which leads directly to a player’s overall batting average.
In 2018, Brinson’s batted ball profile is not conducive to a high BABIP which leads to a high overall batting average. He is currently hitting 16.1% line drives, 54.8% ground balls and 29% flyballs.
These are all well above or below league average trends in the wrong direction. The main concern would be his sky-high ground ball rate and low line drive rate.
This is important because line drives produce the highest wOBA (Weighted On Base Average) out of any type of batted ball. Line drives have a wOBA of .684 and a batting average of .685 in comparison, groundballs have a wOBA of .220 and a batting average of .239.
This means that when Brinson does put the ball in play, it is in a way that lowers his chances for hits.
On the Night
On the night, Brinson went 1 for 3 with a home run. Instead of focusing on Brinson’s entire game, I will be focusing on two pitches and the adjustments he made between them.
The first pitch that we will be focusing on is the first 2-2 fastball that Sal Romano threw to Brinson on the inner part of the plate. It was 93.5 miles per hour on the gun and Brinson got his foot down late and barely fought it off, which sent a foul ball flying over the first base dugout.
While Brinson was clearly beat by the pitch. Showing the ability to fight off tough two-strike pitches on the black is a great sign as he has struggled with strikeouts on the season like I mentioned above.
The very next pitch, Romano made the mistake of coming back with a 93.6 MPH fastball in the same exact location. Brinson did a great job of getting his foot down on time and pulling his hands in to meet the ball out front.
This resulted in a fly ball hit at 102.9 MPH off the bat with a 33-degree launch angle. Or in common baseball terms, a 388 foot home run that just snuck over the wall past Billy Hamilton.
In the Future
While barreling up one baseball may not seem like a big deal to everyone. The way in which he got to that point was rather impressive.
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The game is extremely fast at the major league level, and at times Brinson has struggled to catch up. The adjustments between these two pitches show that Brinson was able to slow the game down enough for him to make an adjustment to a pitch that previously beat him.
Baseball is a game of adjustments. From day-to-day and pitch to pitch ball players continually have to adjust to the opposition. The only way Brinson will have prolonged success at the major league level is if he can continue to make adjustments like he showed he can on Friday night.
Next: Power pitching and hitting keys to Marlins win
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