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Breaking it Down: Our large adult son hits baseball a long way

Seattle Mariners’ 1B/DH Dan Vogelbach (aka our large adult son) hit a baseball over Safeco Field’s Hit it Here Cafe during the M’s 10-8 win on Saturday night over the Oakland Athletics. I haven’t seen a baseball hit in that far into right field since the home run derby prior to the 2001 All Star game.

Vogelbach came up with no one on and he was sitting on a 2-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the 7th. Seattle had 9-7 lead when our large adult son took advantage of a hanging breaking ball in the middle of the plate.

There are a couple of hilarious moments in the above video. First off, did you see how quickly the umpire was reaching for the ball after Vogelbach makes contact…and the new ball is out of its pouch before the follow through has been completed on the swing. Secondly, Nelson Cruz’s facial expression is the best thing everrrrrr.

As for Vogelbach, he’d started off the season slowly but he’s slowly turned it around. He’s currently hitting .258/.324/.516 with a wRC+ of 138 in 34 plate appearances.  Our large adult son has been finding a lot of his success on pitches that are hanging out over the middle of the plate or around his knees.

Vogelbach heatmap

That meatball that Vogelbach destroyed on Saturday night was where the brightest red square is on that heatmap. Which is why he crushed it over 433 feet into the suites in right field over the cafe.

Vogelbach is a dangerous hitter for pitchers to face because he doesn’t chase pitches outside of the zone a lot — his career o-swing% is 24.5%, in 2018 it’s at 21.7%. So they aren’t going to get him chasing at a bunch of pitches, which means they have to nibble around the edge of the strike zone; and when the pitcher is nibbling occasionally there gonna slip up and leave a meatball in the middle of the plate. Which our large adult son will then launch into orbit.

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