Yesterday, Mike Schmidt called out Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino for under-achieving last year. Quite frankly, Rollins has under-achieved the past two seasons, but we will just stick with last year. Today, I will discuss the abnormal Rollins 2010 season.
Let’s dive into what has gone wrong with Jimmy Rollins. For comparison purposes, we will compare his numbers to his 2008 season, his last “successful” season at the plate. Now, I know Rollins was plagued with injuries last season, but there are some numbers to consider with what went wrong with Jimmy Rollins.
First, the good news. Rollins walked more often and struck out less than normal, at 10.2% and 9.1% respectively. For his career he has a walk rate of 7.4% and a strike out rate of 12.7%. So at first look, you’d say to yourself, “Wow, Rollins really improved his discipline at the plate.” His 1.25 BB/K rate was the highest of his career and the first time he had a rate over 1 in his career. So really, what happened?
Last year, Jimmy Rollins swung at pitches out of the strike zone 23.1% of the time. The highest percentage since his MVP season in 2007. However, he swung at only 59.7% of the pitches he saw in the zone and only swung at 40.2% of the pitches he saw in general. Last year, was the first season of Rollins career where he was dealt with seeing pitches in the zone lower than 50% of the time at and astounding rate of 46.7% of the time. Because of seeing less pitches, Rollins seemed to get a little antsy at swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone, even if he made contact 77.4% of the time on those pitches, the second highest percentage of his career (2008). In fact, Rollins made contact 89.7% of the time, second to only his 2008 season again.
So far, Rollins has walked more, struck out less, and made contact more often than usual in his career. Seriously, what went wrong?