Player #2, Center-Fielder
Player #2 demonstrates a trend we see often with uHIT: utility players can demonstrate major strides in offensive output, despite limited plate appearances by using uHIT. In the case of Player #2, uHIT Gameday was the tool of choice and it led him to greater offensive output when he was called upon to jump in.
Every player comes to uHIT’s array of tools on their own terms. And Player #2 was no different: in 2020, he only used uHIT Gameday a handful of times, accumulating only about 3-4 pitches on average per game. But in 2021, his usage of uHIT Gameday skyrocketed, and with it was his in-game hitting output. In 2021, Player #2 did 3200+ pitches on Gameday, doing more than +500% more pitches per game. The results on-field then followed.
In 2021, OPS went up by +216 points, nearly doubling (+93%) year-over-year from 2020. Sometimes we get the case that utility players just increase offensive output by having more plate appearances. But that’s not the case with Player #2: his only change in plate appearances was going from 1 out of every 4 games (2020) to 1 out of every 3 games (2021). So not a huge change in plate appearances that could account for a +93% increase in on-base plus slugging percentages.
The two biggest drivers of the OPS change were also in those metrics that hitting coaches regularly watch: Walk Rate and Strikeout Rate. Being more prepared for the pitchers he could face when called upon, Player #2 saw his Walk Rate go up +5.2% and his Strikeout Rate plummet -16.9% year-over-year.
Wrapping it all up, Player #2 is a great example of how hitters can come to uHIT’s array of tools on their own terms. Player #2 wasn’t ready in 2020 to make uHIT Gameday part of his routine. In 2021, he change his approach and, with it, he changed his offensive output.