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Sunday Notes: Daulton Varsho Goes Pull-Side, Thinks Low and Hard

Daulton Varsho’s last 2 seasons were directionally various than his very first 2 seasons.The left-handed-hitting outfielder set up a pedestrian 37.8% pull rate in 2020-2021, and in 2022-2023 that number reached a lofty 52.6%. Apprised of the significant dive by associate Davy Andrews prior to my current see to Toronto Blue Jays camp, I asked Varsho if it was stimulated by a purposeful modification of technique. He declared that it wasn’t.

“I think it’s just how teams are pitching me,” stated Varsho, whose pull rate in the two-year period was the greatest amongst certified players. “You don’t want to force the ball to any certain field — it has to sort of naturally happen — and I’ve been getting pounded in. You also have to figure out the changeup away and righties throwing sliders in. You don’t really want to force those to left-center or left field, because they end up being fly outs.”

Davy had actually likewise notified me that Varsho’s pull-side outcomes have actually been far much better than his opposite-field outcomes, which came as anything however news to the 27-year-old Marshfield, Wisconsin native. My discussing it generated a matter-of-fact action.

“That’s where success happens,” stated Varsho. “It’s where my swing is the most successful, and where I can do the most damage.”

It’s obvious that capturing pitches out front and driving them in the air goes a long method towards producing power numbers, and not just has Varsho gone backyard 47 times over the previous 2 projects, simply among the blasts was to the opposite field. My asking if he’s made a collective effort to raise the ball caused the following exchange:

“No. I’m trying to hit the ball on the ground.”

“Balls on the ground are outs.”

“Balls in the air are outs. Most balls you hit up in the air — any fly ball — you’re out.”

Varsho made a legitimate point. At 13.5%, his HR/FB rate over the previous 2 seasons not just ranks in the middle of the pack amongst his contemporaries, it is likewise anything however dinger-friendly. As for whether he really wishes to strike the ball on the ground… that’s not the case. What he desires is to strike line drives, and those originated from a hard-and-low believed procedure.

“When you’re on top of the baseball, you’re staying through it,” described Varsho, whose 35.2% ground ball rate in 2015 was anything however high. “Those are the line drives and homers you hit. Consistently working up, up, up, those are the misses where you’re flying out. By trying to work down, in games you’re going to have that adrenaline to where you’ll square up a baseball by missing a little bit underneath. Those are the homers. Homers are mistakes. If you try to hit a home run in a game, you’re going to pop out or strike out. It’s about being early, being on time, and letting my swing do the best thing I do. That’s basically to hit the ball hard and low on a line, which for me comes from thinking down.”



Skeeter Webb went 0 for 14 versus Phil Marchildon.

Muddy Ruel went 0 for 14 versus Firpo Marberry.

Hub Perdue went 0 for 14 versus Rube Marquard.

Irish Meusel went 0 for 12 versus Cliff Markle.

Sherry Magee went 0 for 11 versus Speed Martin.


Dan Kantrovitz was not surprisingly bullish on Matt Shaw in the extensive interview he provided for Prospect Week. Not just did the 22-year-old shortstop set up boffo numbers after being chosen 13th total in 2015 by the Chicago Cubs, Kantrovitz is the VP of Scouting for the club that called his name. As point man in the draft-decision procedure, he was not surprisingly enamored of the University of Maryland item.

He’s far from the only critic to hold a high viewpoint of Shaw. Another current discussion I had about Chicago’s first-rounder generated a similarly passionate evaluation.

“When you’re going through your checklist, the first thing you do is see BP before the game, and with Matt it just really stood out,” an amateur scout (not Eric Kubota, who was similarly included throughout Prospect Week) stated of his pre-draft take a look at Shaw. “He’s driving the yard backside, he’s destroying the power alley. You’re like, ‘OK, something is different about this guy.’ And it’s not like the physicality jumps off the page. It’s more of a fit, athletic, build, so when you see the ball jump like that, it’s almost like an an optical illusion. You don’t expect it to come out of there as hot as it does. You realize there’s a possibly you’re looking at a special bat.”

The scout went on to state that Shaw shows a strong in-game technique at the plate, in addition to strong protective abilities. He did state that the University of Maryland item is “a little unconventional” with his tosses, however not in a manner that recommends a warning. As he put it, “I think we’ve learned over time, as scouts, to be like, ‘OK, it’s not exactly how we were taught, or how we might draw it up, but if a guy is able to convert ground balls into outs at an above-average rate, at the end of the day that’s what matters.’ With Shaw, there’s not a play he can’t make.”

Shaw slashed .347/.400/.618 with 8 crowning achievement in 170 plate looks in 2015 in between High-A South Bend and Double-A Tennessee.


A test:

Three gamers have actually struck 20 or more grand slams. Alex Rodriguez and Lou Gehrig are 2. Who is the 3rd?

The response can be discovered listed below.



Larry Gerlach, Leslie Heaphy, and Sarah Langs are the 2024 SABR Henry Chadwick Award receivers. More details can be discovered here.

José DeLeón, a right-hander who pitched for 5 groups from 1983-1995, passed away last Sunday at age 63. The Rancho Viejo, Dominican Republic native had among his finest seasons in 1989 when he went 16-12 with a 3.05 age with the St. Louis Cardinals. He’d gone 2-19 with a 4.70 age with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1985.

John Oldham, a left-handed pitcher whose big-league profession made up one video game with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956, passed away on February 24 at age 91. His only look was both short and irregular, as he never ever took the mound. Oldham pinch-ran for Ted Kluszewski, and one batter later on the inning was over.

A tip that the SABR Analytics Conference will be held this coming weekend, March 8-10 in Phoenix, and consists of an outstanding selection of highlighted speakers. The complete schedule can be discovered here.


The response to the test is Manny Ramirez, with 21 grand slams. A-Rod had 25, the Iron Horse 23.


Is Sonny Gray undervalued? He doesn’t have a Cy Young Award or a no-hitter on his résumé — as do Corey Kluber and Tim Lincecum — however he does have 3 All-Star looks. Moreover, he has numbers comparable to those of Kluber and Lincecum:

SG: 270 starts, 1,571 IP, 1,521 Ks, 98-85 W-L record, 3.57 FIP, 121 AGE+.
TL: 270 starts, 1,682 IP, 1,736 Ks, 110-89 W-L record, 3.45 FIP. 104 AGE+

CK: 260 starts, 1,641 IP, 1,725 Ks, 116-77 W-L record, 3.23 FIP, 122 AGE+.

Now a St. Louis Cardinal, Gray is coming off of perhaps his finest big-league season (2.79 AGE, 2.83 FIP, 5.3 fWAR). He hasn’t achieved rather as much as Kluber or Lincecum, however he’s still going strong at age 34. When all is stated and done, he might extremely well rank as the very best of the 3.


Is Kazuhiro Sasaki the most underrated more detailed — a minimum of on this side of the world — all-time? The right-hander made his MLB launching with the Seattle Mariners in 2000 and continued to typical 40 conserves over his very first 3 seasons stateside. In his 4th Seattle season, at age 35, he logged 10 more. His NPB profession was every bit as excellent. Sasaki had 252 conserves in Japan, providing him an overall of 381 in between the 2 leagues. He was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.



Milwaukee Brewers infield possibility Brock Wilken is 5-for-7 with 2 doubles and an .818 OBP in 11 plate looks.

Washington Nationals outfield possibility James Wood is 8-for-16 with 3 crowning achievement and a .636 OBP in 22 plate looks.

Washington Nationals outfield possibility Robert Hassell III is 5-for-11 with 2 doubles, a triple, a crowning achievement, and a .500 OBP in 14 plate looks.

Texas Rangers outfield possibility Wyatt Langford is 6-for-17 with 3 crowning achievement and a .450 OBP in 20 plate looks.

Chicago Cubs outfield possibility Owen Caissie is 8-for-14 with 2 doubles, a crowning achievement, and a .647 OBP in 17 plate looks.

Pittsburgh Pirates infield possibility Termarr Johnson is 6-for-12 with a double, 2 crowning achievement, and a .538 OBP in 13 plate looks.


That Jose Siri swiped simply 12 bases (in 15 efforts) last season isn’t a sign of his speed, however rather of a self-imposed shortage of chances. The free-swinging Tampa Bay Rays speed-burner logged an abysmal .267 on-base portion over 364 plate looks. A year previously, he’d gone 14-for-16 while logging an every-bit-as-abysmal .268 OBP over 325 PAs.

The 28-year-old outfielder pilfered a set of bags on Wednesday, after which he informed press reporters that he desires take 30 in the upcoming routine season. Count Kevin Cash amongst those who feels Siri is more than capable… presuming, obviously, that he can put himself in position to do so.

“That’s great,” the Tampa Bay supervisor stated when informed of Siri’s objective. “40, 50; it all depends on how much he can get on base. He’s confident when he gets on base. Instinctual. He wants to run. Elite base-stealers, the first thing you always hear them talk about is that they want to run, and he’s certainly one of those guys.”

Writers are getting themselves into regular-season shape simply as the gamers are, and when I continued to ask Cash if Siri has the thumbs-up to address whenever, I mistakenly stated “red light.”

“Green light,” Cash responded with a smile. “If I gave him a red light and told him not to go, I don’t know what the hell would happen. He’s got a green light even when he’s got a red light. He doesn’t care. He’s running.”


A random odd previous gamer photo:

Ike Brown, who bet the Detroit Tigers from 1969-1974, is thought to the last gamer to go from the Negro Leagues to Major League Baseball. An infielder/outfielder who was born and raised in Memphis, Brown had his agreement acquired by the Tigers from the Kansas City Monarchs in 1961 as the post-integration Negro Leagues were pertaining to an end. He set up a 119 wRC+ over 644 profession plate looks while seeing action at 7 various positions.


Pitcher-catcher relationships are very important, and for some hurlers, having the exact same battery mate has actually been vital. Clayton Kershaw fit together well with A.J. Ellis when the latter was a Dodger. Jon Lester constantly wished to toss to David Ross. Bruce Kimm captured all 29 of Mark Fidrych’s starts in The Bird’s wonderful 1976 novice season. From individual catchers to the strongly-preferred, it is a vibrant with a long history that reaches today day.

A.J. Hinch isn’t a fan.

“I stay away from the personal-catcher declaration as much as possible, because I can’t always control when they are going to be available,” the Detroit Tigers supervisor informed me previously today in Lakeland. “If you don’t do the personal-catcher thing from the very beginning, you don’t have to worry about something happening and having the pitcher’s world cave in. My goal is to have all of our pitchers comfortable with each catcher, and vice versa. Now, I’ve had a pitcher have a majority of starts with the same [catcher] — they catch a rhythm, or maybe he gets the most of out him — but I don’t know that there’s anything definitive I can grab that would make me want to do it.”

Following up, I asked the catcher-turned-manager about any efficiency problems he’s experienced when a pitcher didn’t have his favored receiver behind the meal. He declared not to have actually put a great deal of believed into it.

“Maybe part of that is I don’t want to believe it,” described Hinch. “More importantly, I don’t want the pitcher to believe it. I would never want to put it in the pitcher’s mind that he’s going to perform worse because one guy is behind the plate versus another.”

That’s not to state he wouldn’t have actually accepted the function he now shuns.

“I always thought I should have been a personal catcher,” stated Hinch, who was nearly solely a backup throughout his big-league playing days. “I just didn’t get paired up with a good enough guy to carry me through my career.”



Pitcher List’s Lucas Seehafer took a look at how Zack Wheeler leverages his fastballs to be among MLB’s finest.

Through The Fence Baseball’s Mark Brown discussed 3 franchises who are resolving a bewildering future,

At Twins Daily, Cody Christie discussed a possibility who might fill a Donovan Solano-type function in Minnesota.

Five years after being released in Toronto, John Gibbons is back in a big-league dugout as Carlos Mendoza’s bench coach with the New York Mets. Shi Davidi talked with the erstwhile Blue Jays supervisor for Sportsnet.

The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro discussed how Kristian Robinson is flashing prospective in Diamondbacks camp.



Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers had 41 pitch-timer offenses in 2015 (11 of them by Johan Oviedo), the most in the majors. Seattle Mariners pitchers had 6 pitch-timer offenses, the least in the majors.

Seattle Mariners batters had 39 pitch-timer offenses in 2015, connected for the most in the majors with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Minnesota Twins batters had 13 pitch-timer offenses, the least in the majors.

Arizona Diamondbacks players had actually a .250 batting average versus right-handed pitchers in 2015. They had actually a .251 batting average versus left-handed pitchers.

Matt Chapman, who turns 31 in April, has actually played 7 seasons and has 1,448 overall bases, a 118 wRC+, and 27.4 WAR. Doug DeCinces’s very first 7 seasons as a full-time gamer, which came at ages 25-31 from 1976-1982, saw the erstwhile 3rd baseman log 1,495 overall bases, a 121 wRC+, and 28.5 WAR.

Miguel Cabrera had 511 crowning achievement and a 139 wRC+.
Eddie Mathews had 512 crowning achievement and a 143 wRC+.

Tom Seaver tossed 61 nothings and caused 316 GIDPs.
Nolan Ryan tossed 61 nothings and caused 314 GIDPs.

The San Diego Padres signed Craig Breslow as a complimentary representative on today’s date in 2005. The Yale University item made his MLB launching that summer season and went on pitch 12 big-league seasons. The southpaw appeared in 576 video games, consisting of 202 each with the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics.

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Debs Garms from the Boston Bees on today’s date in 1940. The outfielder/third baseman from Bang, Texas continued to win that year’s NL batting title with a .355 average.

Players born upon today’s date consist of Josef Koukalik, a right-handed pitcher who appeared in one video game for the Brooklyn Superbas in 1904. One of simply 4 locals of the Czech Republic in MLB history — his household emigrated to Chicago when he was a young child — Koukalik enabled one made run over 8 innings in a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

Also born upon today’s date was Aubrey “Yo-Yo” Epps, a catcher who appeared in one video game for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1935. Playing in the 2nd video game of a double-header on the last day of the season, Epps went 3-for-4 with a triple and 3 RBIs. His .750 batting average is the greatest in franchise history amongst gamers with more than 2 plate looks.


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