Mets’ Daniel Vogelbach taking plate discipline to new level

The extra Daniel Vogelbach learns, the much less he swings.

In every season since 2017, the Mets’ latest slugger has swung at pitches much less incessantly than through the earlier year. The higher he understands the strike zone and the way in which pitchers need to throw to him, the extra targeted he has develop into on solely swinging at choices he can damage.

The method and its outcomes helped entice the Mets, who acquired Vogelbach from the Pirates in July, and has made him a very distinctive batter — one who makes use of his bat much less usually than anybody else.

Before the Mets’ 9-6 loss to the Braves at Citi Field on Friday, Vogelbach, who went 0-for-2 with a stroll, had swung at 32.2 p.c of the pitches he had seen this season. The mark was simply the bottom amongst main leaguers with at the least 100 plate appearances and comes with good company: No. 2 was Juan Soto at 35.4 p.c.

“That’s not my goal,” Vogelbach mentioned in regards to the odd batting title. “I just try to have a plan when I go to the plate and stick to my plan, whatever that plan may be. I try not to swing at what I didn’t want to swing at going up there.”

Daniel Vogelbach
Robert Sabo

The 29-year-old can also be among the many league’s finest at shedding balls, which helps clarify the mindset: Vogelbach doesn’t chase pitches usually and tries to make the opposing pitcher enter the strike zone earlier than he lifts the bat from his shoulder.

His dwelling run Thursday off Atlanta righty Kyle Wright, got here on the fourth pitch of the at-bat — and on the primary time Vogelbach provided at a pitch.

The selectivity helps Vogelbach swing on the proper pitches and leads him to attain base extra usually, having walked seven occasions in his first 10 video games with the Mets.

“When you have that type of power and you have the ability to hit balls where they can’t catch them, you’d think that would lead to wanting to swing more,” supervisor Buck Showalter mentioned of Vogelbach, who has been precisely what the Mets craved in a lefty-hitting designated hitter. “The discipline required not to do that’s exceptional, and that’s why it’s a commodity that folks need, together with us.

“It’s hard. I couldn’t do it.”

It takes data of opposing arsenals and having the ability to choose up rapidly on pitches’ spins, understanding whether or not the ball will tumble out of the strike zone. It additionally takes a consolation level with getting deep into counts.

“I gotta be OK hitting with two strikes,” mentioned Vogelbach, who had a decent .593 OPS with two strikes this season. “Some guys, you don’t want to get to two strikes. Some guys are OK with it. It just depends on the type of pitcher and the pitches they have.”

Vogelbach has traded uniforms, going from a non-contender in Pittsburgh to a contender in Queens and all of a sudden is within the midst of a pennant chase.

But even in a new dwelling park with a noticeable buzz, he hasn’t traded his method, even when screaming followers would possibly immediate others to be extra aggressive.

“I’m lucky to be here,” Vogelbach mentioned. “But when I was in Pittsburgh, it was the same thing — you’ve gotta bring it every single day.”

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