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Guzman’s NPB Career So Far

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Guzman’s NPB Career So Far

by Patrick Newman (Apr 22, 2011)

I’ve mentioned once or twice that Joel Guzman hasn’t looked good at the plate so far this season. On Thursday he went 2-3 against Yakult to bring his average up a little bit, but he he still has a rough line so far: 37 plate appearances, 6 hits, 1 home run, 17 strikeouts, 0 walks. Obviously if this continues, his Chunichi Dragons career won’t last long.

I dug in a little and charted the result he’s gotten on each of the pitches he’s faced so far this season.

flyball hit3
groundball hit1
home run1
linedrive single1
strike looking24
strike swinging30

Yikes. About one pitch out of three has resulted in a called strike or a whiff for Guzman. My perception was that Guzman had been waving at a lot of breaking pitches, so I narrowed my query to just look at strikes.

curvestrike looking2
cut fastballstrike looking1
fastballstrike looking12
shuutostrike looking1
sliderstrike looking8
changeupstrike swinging1
cut fastballstrike swinging3
fastballstrike swinging10
forkballstrike swinging2
shuutostrike swinging1
sinkerstrike swinging1
sliderstrike swinging12

I don’t mind the strikes looking so much; those are explainable by taking first pitch fastballs, and adjusting to a new strike zone. The number of fastballs he’s swung through surprises me though.

So is there any hope for Guzman? Maybe, but he needs to quickly make some adjustments, notably laying off breaking pitches, waiting for fastballs, and identifying mistake pitches.

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