Nolan Reimold hasn’t exactly gotten off to the start he was hoping for this season. Over 12 games, Reimold is hitting .189/.268/.270.
He had a streak of five consecutive strikeouts during the Orioles first two games against the Rays and has been a major contributor in the O’s ineffectiveness from their designated hitters in 2013 (3-for-47 so far).
So what’s Reimold’s problem and how can the Orioles fix it?
Believe it or not, Reimold has shown decent plate discipline this season. According to FanGraphs.com’s PITCHf/x data, he’s swung at 21.3 percent of the pitches he’s seen outside of the strikezone. By comparison, the Orioles hottest hitter, Adam Jones, has swung at 32.3 percent of pitches outside of the zone.
Reimold has swung at 62.4 percent of the pitches he’s seen in the strikezone. Jones has swung at 69.7 percent. The difference is, Reimold isn’t making contact while Jones is putting the bat on the ball over 75 percent of the time he swings. Reimold is making contact on just 66.7 percent of the pitches he’s seen and only 23.5 percent of the pitches he’s swinging at outside of the strikezone.
If Reimold is swinging at a pitch outside of the zone, you can pretty much guarantee he won’t be making contact. To give you a better idea, a guy like Nick Markakis makes up for his mistakes by making contact on 88.2 percent of the pitches he swings at outside of the strikezone.
The only solution would be to improve Reimold’s plate discipline. If he can’t at least foul off the pitches he swings at outside of the zone, he needs to cut down on swinging at them altogether. Currently, 53.8 percent of the pitches he sees are strikes. That means he should keep the bat on his shoulder nearly half the time.