“Chicks dig the long ball” – Greg Maddux, 1999 Nike Commercial
I’m not sure if Randy Ruiz has a significant other or not, but he’s certainly swinging for the fences hoping to impress the ladies. Unfortunately, just like sluggers such as Ryan Howard and Carlos Pena, Ruiz is going to strike out far more often than anything else.
That was especially evident during Friday night’s game against the Red Sox when he went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. Josh Beckett and Daniel Bard made him look silly, as Ruiz chased pitches outside of the zone and swung 9 out of 10 times. Thanks to Brooks Baseball once again for the Pitch F/X below.
I don’t mean to pick on a guy who only has 37 career games in Major League Baseball, but Ruiz had no business swinging at most of those pitches. As you’ll notice on the Pitch F/X from the first at bat, Ruiz took a big cut on a pitch that was very inside, which actually probably would have hit him had he not swung completely through it.
In his second strikeout of the night against Beckett, Ruiz was tempted once again with inside pitches and was finished off with a cutter which was a good foot off the plate. Finally, Daniel Bard baffled Ruiz with three blistering fastballs ranging between 97-99 MPH.
His third strikeout of the night was somewhat excusable because the Blue Jays as a whole had difficulty catching up to Bard’s fastball, but Ruiz needs to start developing some patience at the plate.
Looking at his advanced statistics, Ruiz tends to be aggressive early in the count swinging 51 % of the time at the first pitch. Ruiz also strikes out 31.8 percent of the time, which rivals other “Kings of K” such as Carlos Pena, Mark Reynolds, Adam Dunn and Ryan Howard.