The Wizard of Hoz

If you were watching the Rockies vs Royals game last night you had the luxury of seeing Holland blow a game against his former team when this happened:

It was a much needed win for the Royals as they are just a half game back of the 2nd Wild Card spot and 5.5 games back of the division.  Eric Hosmer was the hero last night, and he is in the middle of a hot streak.  Over the past 16 games he is hitting .339/.453/.597 and a wRC+  of 180.  He has only had 5 hitless games in that stretch and only 9 strikeouts in 75 plate appearances.  The area of improvement that has led to this success lies mainly in his plate discipline, specifically in his ability to not swing out of the zone.  Among qualified hitters this season, Hosmer ranks 85th out of 153 in o-swing% at 30.2%.  Within the past 15 games, he ranks 2nd with a swing percentage cut in half at 14.7%. Here is his 15 game rolling graph with k% and o-swing%:

We can see that since game number 100 he has started having a lower k% and o-swing%.  What is peculiar about the graph is that is is generally pro-cyclical except for the space between game 70 and 100.  In that time his o-swing% was increasing but his k% was approaching and eventually reached a season low.  Throughout the season, Hosmer has the 12th lowest o-contact% among qualified hitters with 47.4%.  From game 70 to 100 his o-contact% was at 67.6% which was up considerably.  Overall this season, Hosmer is hitting the ball slightly weaker than in 2016.  His average exit velocity in 2016 was at 91.7 mph compared to 89.9 mph this season.  It is not a considerable difference.  With Hosmer making clear that he wants a contract worth more than $100 million, he needs to have an elite season.  He is having a solid season, but not $100 million solid.  This hot stretch he is going through is good for him and good for the Royals.  When he stays in the zone his wOBA is .331 compared to .386 when he attacks out of the zone.  If Hosmer can continue this stretch, the Royals will have a better chance of making the playoffs, and Hosmer will have a better chance of getting his money.

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