Friday, January 3, 2014

Did the Home Run Derby mess up Chris Davis?

In 2013 Chris Davis had a record setting season hitting .286/.370/.634 with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs. But before the All-Star Break Davis was hitting .315/.392/.668 with 37 home runs and 93 RBIs. He played in the 2013 Home Run Derby and was eliminated in the semifinals. After the All-Star Break he didn't return to his first half form hitting .245/.339/.515 with "only" 16 home runs. It raises some questions about the Home Derby and its effects on players swings because the players could adjust their swing for the derby but not adjust it back for the regular season.

In 2012 Prince Fielder actually improved after the home run derby taking his .299/.380/.505 slash line in the first half to a .330/.448/.558 second half. But Andrew McCutchen who didn't make it past the first round was hitting .362/.414/.625 with 18 home runs in 81 games. In the second half McCutchen hit only .289/.355/.475 with 13 home runs in 76 games.

I think the reason some players struggle after the home run derby when they participate is that they change their natural swing and try to hit more home runs which causes them to have troubles adjusting back and pitchers adjust to their hitting ability.

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