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When is San Francisco Giants Shortstop Brandon Crawford’s Bat going to Heat up?

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 17: Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants reacts to a strike out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 17, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 17: Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants reacts to a strike out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 17, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford‘s glove is so smooth. How smooth is it you make ask? It is so smooth that we sometimes forget that Crawford has not been hitting much this season. His series against the Arizona Diamondbacks has been no different.

Crawford went hitless for the entire series against the Diamondbacks. That is three games. Without a hit. Part of this should not be surprising given that the San Francisco Giants were virtually hitless for the first game. On the year, Crawford is batting .228 with a .619 OPS. These are less-than-ideal statistics.

This is a concerning trend for Crawford. He was not meant to be focal point of this offense, but he was expected to carry his weight. That has not happened yet. So, what is going on with his bat?

Like many players on the Giants roster, Crawford is striking out at an unusually high rate. For his career, Crawford has a career strike out rate below 20%. However, in 2018, it is over 28%.

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This is a common theme among Giants hitters, so it makes one wonder what exactly their approach is at the plate. Or, if they even have an approach. Some games it looks like Giants hitters are the blindfolded kid at the party trying to hit the pinata with a plastic bat. Except, the Giants are making even less contact than that kid.

In addition to this, Crawford is pulling the ball much less than he has throughout his career. For a player whose power is to right and right-center, this is not a good trend. The problem with left-handed pull hitters is the shift.

Crawford appears to be trying to beat the shift by having a more up-the-middle approach. He is hitting the ball in the middle of the field in about half of his batted balls. This is way higher than his career norm. If it continues, Crawford may hit for less home run power. However, he may hit for more gap-to-gap power.

So, does this mean anything? He is striking out more, and driving the ball up-the-middle more. It is too early to tell if this will produce different results for Crawford. However, there is some good news. Crawford’s BABIP is .324, and this is higher than his career .298 BABIP.

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Players go through bad stretches every season. Except, with the Giants, nearly every player is going through a bad stretch right now. Hopefully, this changes. in regards to Crawford, it is too early to draw any conclusions, but it appears he has a different approach. And, this approach could lead to more hits, if he makes a little more contact. Only time will tell.

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