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Franklin Gutierrez, And Today's Thing To Be Concerned About

Fun facts all around!

You know who's currently sporting a hot sexy .668 OPS? One Franklin Gutierrez, whose 2009 and 2010 spray charts look like the following. (Try to guess which baseball website I'm using a lot right now)





I don't want to go to the trouble of making a .gif, so open each of those images in separate tabs and cycle through them a few times to spot the differences. What do you notice?

What I notice is that a lot of those hit balls are kind of contracting inward. He doesn't seem to be hitting the ball as far this season as he was a year ago - especially to the power alleys. I know he's hit some decent shots down the line to right, but everywhere else, the distances seem shorter.

Supporting this subjective observation are numbers from Hit Tracker Online:

2009, average home run: 398 feet, 103.9mph
2010, average home run: 382 feet, 101.5mph

A year ago, Guti's longest home run went 444 feet, and left the bat at 111.6 miles per hour. This year, we're looking at 413 and 105.7.

I don't know why Guti isn't hitting the ball as hard all of a sudden. I don't know if it's a statistical fluke, or something physical, or something mental, or all of them, or none of them. What I know is that all the early-season talk about how Guti had reached another level is out the window, and until his power comes back, he's going to be an offensive liability.