With his hood pulled up around his head, Ryan Mountcastle stood in the visiting clubhouse at Fantastic American Ball Park and searched for the responses he’s tried to uncover all through this month.
The Orioles 1st baseman had Saturday off, partly due to remaining “banged up,” as supervisor Brandon Hyde reported, but also for a possibility to reset towards the finish of a month in which he’s strike .191 with a .528 OPS. At this position in the season, these “bumps and bruises” start to insert up — but so do slumps, and Mountcastle finds himself dealing with both equally.
At this point, with two hits in his last 31 at-bats, Mountcastle is “pulling each and every trick out of the book” in the batting cage or the movie area to locate a remedy. He’s a sense-centered hitter, and “right now, it does not come to feel terrific.”
“But I’m seeking to locate it,” Mountcastle included.
As the Orioles’ offense struggles of late, Mountcastle is the biggest piece to go tranquil. Amongst May possibly 30 and July 3, the 25-12 months-previous strike 15 doubles, nine homers and drove in 21 operates with a 1.036 OPS. His additional-base strike output introduced him into the upper echelon of baseball ability hitters in June.
But as the months altered, so did his swing habits. His chase price in June was 35.5%, according to Statcast. In July, it has risen to 48.8%, indicating he’s swung at virtually 50 percent of the pitches delivered outside the house the zone. That has led to 22 strikeouts in 22 games this thirty day period, and just 1 homer.
On prime of those people misses, his common exit velocity has dropped from 96 mph in June to 88.2 mph in July — an ordinary quantity across the league, but nowhere around the 90-additionally velocities often wanted for extra-foundation hits.
“Just lacking pitches that he should really be barreling up, and then chasing a small little bit also much,” co-hitting coach Ryan Fuller stated. “Being a minor little bit way too intense, especially early in counts. Swinging at pitches exterior the zone, pitchers are commencing to understand that he’s going to go up there and be really intense. They’ll nibble a little little bit, swing at a ball, and then you are in a gap.”
With his off working day Saturday, Mountcastle wished to harmony two methods. In a perception, he needed a “mental break,” a breather from urgent at the plate. But he also planned to research video with Fuller and test to pinpoint some discrepancies with his benefits.
They go by means of that film every day, and Fuller desires Mountcastle to sluggish down at the plate and come to be additional selective.
“When you’re heading as a result of a hard time, you want to get out of it as rapid as attainable, and that at times will make you chase matters you ordinarily wouldn’t when you are going nicely,” Fuller stated. “Human nature, you start out to press and want it above as quickly as attainable, which often exacerbates a problem.”
Which is the place Mountcastle finds himself now, while he takes some solace in serving to the Orioles in other methods. His fielding at first foundation has not taken a dip for the duration of his slump at the plate, and he drove in a run with a sacrifice fly Friday to extend Baltimore’s lead in an eventual 6-2 gain.
Still, he’s “not content with the way I have been doing.”
But with a chuckle, Mountcastle pointed out that baseball is a complicated activity — and batting is the most complicated section. He’s been right here prior to, and he figures he’ll be right here all over again. He wants to increase the time in in between, though, as much as achievable.
“Just gotta get as a result of it,” Mountcastle stated. “Life goes on.”