Big-Boi and Alex are both “cooler than a polar bear’s toenails…”
The worst start imaginable has consumed “Bae-Rod’s” April 2016, but despite the bleak numbers, Alex is not finished as some pundits have stipulated as he will rise like a phoenix from the ashes.
Au contraire, fans should expect Alex to get back on track relatively soon. As a hitter predicated on timing for his entire career, with a power driven leg kick and low load point with his hands, Alex simply goes through funks where his timing mechanisms throw him out of whack. Also factor that in his advanced age (Alex will turn 41 on July 27th!), he has become increasingly reliant on his ability to “guess pitches” and play the mental game with opposing pitchers at the plate.
What’s the result? Alex can look straight up fucking lost at the dish sometimes, and we’re seeing that right now. He’s whiffing on 36% of the pitches he swings at currently (according to brooksbaseball.com), which has resulted in a .100/.229/.200 slash line.
On top of that, he’s pulling only 23.8% of pitches, while serving 38.1% the other way (according to fangraphs.com). A spray distribution that’s indicative of the way pitchers are approaching Alex, which is a high concentration of off-speed low and away.
In other words… deff not ideal.
Is it cause for concern? FOR SURE NOT.
Aside from the mechanical justifications, his stats also support the notion that he will break out of this funk soon.
Take for instance the fact that Alex hit .232 and had a 27.4 K% last spring. Slow starts are not uncommon for players that are 35+. His BABIP is a mere .105 currently, a stat that would indicate his luck will turn around eventually, and you can plainly see that Alex has fucking scolded some pitches for outs lately. He’s also hitting line drives at a 23.8% rate (the highest of his career), and has an average exit velo of 93.8 mph, according to StatCast.
Although he’s swinging and missing like a nerd at a frat party, stats show he’s still seeing the ball well as evidenced by his 11.4% walk rate and swinging at a mere 22.2% pitches outside the zone.
These are not the characteristics of someone who is “finished.”
All in all, Alex should get back to launching YABO shots shortly…