In the short look we’ve had at Chris Shaw since the San Francisco Giants called him up last week, one thing is clear: he is a modern ballplayer. What I mean by that is that he’s got a lot of power, but he’s also going to strike out a lot.
Of course, he’s only had seven at-bats with the San Francisco Giants. However, his minor-league numbers bear this out as well. In 422 plate appearances in Triple-A this year, he struck out 144 times. So we knew that if he was striking out at that rate in Triple-A, he’d likely strike out even more upon entering the big leagues.
Well, again it’s only been 7 at-bats, but he’s struck out 5 times in those seven at-bats. It’s obviously an extremely small sample size, but it’s really nothing to fear if you’re of the Giants fan ilk that has been clamoring for the Giants to modernize and get with the times.
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In the era of launch angles and over-shifts and whatnot, the “two strike approach” of old hardly registers with most players.
Because on the flip end of Shaw’s strikeouts, we all saw yesterday why he was called up. He blasted a home-run in an 0-2 count to give the Giants the lead.
Keep that in mind, in an 0-2 count. If you watch the video, it’s clear that there’s no choking up on that swing. There’s not a hint of the “shorten up and take it to the opposite field” approach which was taught for a long time if you got behind in the count.
But so goes the modern game. Today’s stars such as Kris Bryant and Aaron Judge were called up with these caveats in mind. Both the Cubs and Yankees respectively knew that they were going to get a ridiculous number of strikeouts from their stars in exchange for some incredible power as well.
That’s the deal with the devil that you have to make in today’s game. Purists can debate whether this is a good or bad development for years, but one thing is clear: Chris Shaw is made for today’s game.