The other evening my Uncle Jeff, a die-hard Yankee fan, and I were talking about the Mets. I mean what else do we have to talk about? It's the saddest time of year for baseball fans. Anyway, we were talking about the Mets and their advantage as a contender for the World Series trophy. The Mets, he said, have two things going for them: their pitching and their hitting with purpose. We call that hitting with purpose situational hitting and we need it in 2016.
According to Pro Baseball Insider, "Situational hitting is an important slice of a balanced offensive attack. Understanding baseball situations and how to hit strategically in those situations set you up for a productive at bat, even if you don’t get a hit. Effective situational hitting can keep pressure on the defense and push runners around to score even if the offense isn’t fully clicking." It's a strategic use of your bench against the potential match ups on the field, it's the hit and run, it's the ground ball to the left side, it's beating the shift, it's hitting behind the runner, it's hitting the deep fly ball... it's all of this done strategically and purposefully.
According to CBS Sports the Royals have that magic formula that encompasses what we know as situational hitting. "By 2015 standards, the Royals have a very unique offense. These days the focus is on power and on-base percentage, and those things certainly win games, but the Royals use a different formula. They put the ball in play and run like hell."
The Mets, some say, don't shorten their swing, bunt, get the run in from third and hit when it counts and this can come back and bite them against a very gritty hitting Royal team. "It's easy to say the Royals are a pitching and defense team, and they are, don't get me wrong, but their offense should not be overlooked. It's unconventional because they're don't focus on power or on-base ability like so many other clubs. They don't necessarily work the count, but the extend at-bats by spoiling good pitches, and they put the ball in play better than any team in recent memory," states CBS Sports.
The Yankees need that magic formula back. The team collectively left way too many ducks in the pond in 2015, failing to convert base runners into runs scored. This and our lack of pitching really hurt us in the end. We need some gritty, selfless hitters this spring. The situation is we need players who can hit when it counts. Forget the home run... we need situational hitting that is consistent. Put that on the resume, future Yankee hitting coach, and you're hired!
-Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
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