At present, the Kansas City Royals offer at 34.1 percent of pitches outside the zone.
If you think that is a high number, you are correct sir/madam!
This decade, only the 2014 Colorado Rockies—who went a sterling 66-96, it should be noted—have had a higher mark.
On the home front, myriad Kansas City Royals are swinging outside the zone at an alarming rate. Of the regulars, seven are above 30 percent O-Swing percentage.
For some perspective, the Philadelphia Phillies are an objectively terrible ballclub at the moment and they have a 30.0 percent O-Swing percentage as a team. The Phillies! Who regularly, and intentionally, give Freddy Galvis at-bats!
Some of the numbers are truly alarming. Alcides Escobar and Brandon Moss, hey, nobody is surprised nor particularly cares; they’re bad at the part of the game where you dig in the box and try to hit the ball. Whit Merrifield’s 33.6 percent O-Swing mark is a little high for a leadoff hitter, but what’re you gonna do?
But Mike Moustakas (42.2 percent)? Salvador Perez (45.8 percent)? Not only are those horrendous numbers, they make Mouse and Salvy the only teammates in the league’s top-10 in O-Swing percentage among players with at least 100 at-bats. And both those guys have a chance to set the franchise single-season home run record.
I can’t yet decide if I’m excited that Alex Gordon’s 25.2 percent O-Swing rate is both lowest on the club and an indication that he hasn’t lost that excellent batting eye, or disappointed that he’s being patient, working the zone and getting good swings and still can’t sniff .200.