by Myron Logan
Check out this nugget on Jim Lefebvre, Padres new hitting coach, from Corey Brock:
In fact, Lefebvre has fully embraced statistical analysis and is using that information to his benefit as he works with hitters. He’s worked closely during the off-season with Josh Stein, the Padres coordinator of baseball research and advance scouting. Lefebvre carries all this information in a blue binder and consults it frequently.
Lefebvre likes to talk about on-base percentage but is more concerned with ball flight and measuring balls in plays, run expectancy and non-productive outs. The information Stein provides shows Lefebvre what areas his individual hitters need to work on.
That is interesting, and I think, very good. You surely want a hitting coach that knows the basics of hitting, from a mechanics perspective, but let’s face it, most hitters have heard about all there is to hear on mechanics by the time they reach the majors. A hitting coach willing to embrace the numbers, especially ones more meaningful than batter-pitcher matchups and lineup order splits, can really provide an edge.
The stuff mentioned in the above passage, ball flight, measuring balls in play, run expectancy, all sounds pretty ‘cutting edge.’ I wonder how ball flight is measured. I don’t think it could be with HITf/x, because I don’t think that debuts until this year. Maybe it’s done by using a model similar to Greg R’s at Hit Tracker or maybe just by watching video. I don’t know, but either way, it sounds promising. File this under the ‘interesting to things to follow in ’09’ category.
And by the way, it’s good to see Corey is blogging again.