Tommy Pham had a bad year in 2018, bad enough that he ended up being traded at the end of July 2018.
Coincidentally, or not, Matt Carpenter also had a mostly bad year in 2018 -- though he got hot in the last weeks of the season -- and a completely bad year in 2019.
I'd suggest their problems were related.
And related to why I think David Dahl isn't as good of a hitter as he could be.
And it has to do with how the Cardinals -- and baseball -- teach hitting.
In sum, a lot of the problem is well-intentioned efforts to SHORTEN the swing that end up LENGTHENING it.
This piece discusses a flaw I call Dead Heads, but it also touches on a number of related pieces.
Dead Hands and David Dahl
Take your hands DIRECTLY to the ball. That's what everybody says.
But it's not what the best hitters do.
Instead, the best hitters employ a number of patterns, and follow a number of cues, that violate that principle.
One of the principles that is violated by the best hitters is variously referred to as...
- Wasted Motion
- Unnecessary Motion
And the importance of removing it from the swing.
And that is what caused Tommy Pham and Matt Carpenter's problems in 2018.
And why David Dahl isn't as good of a hitter as he could be.
In sum, I'd submit, much of if not most of that wasted, unnecessary movement is actually of critical importance to things like the Efficiency of the swing.
Given that Albert Pujols is a prototypical "wasted motion" hitter.
NOTE: This page is obviously a work in progress. However, the ideas and clips are important enough that I'm releasing it while I'm still working on it.