Pittsburgh Pirates Wake Up call: Doing the opposite

In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pittsburgh Pirates fans are in the home stretch now.

Soon, there will be baseball that actually matters for those fans to fill their spring and summer days and nights.

Much has been made about the ball club loading up on left-handed power by inserting Colin Moran and Corey Dickerson into a lineup that already includes left-handed hitters Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell. All have 20+ home run potential. All are expected to take advantage of the “short porch” in right field. However, the quartet may in fact take advantage of doing the exact opposite.

The opposite field, that is. Sending a base hit to the opposite field is a hard thing for hitters to do with any regularity, much less for extra base hits. But doing just that is exactly what man of the Pirates’ left-handed hitters are capable of.

Dickerson (30.5 percent), Polanco (25.4 percent), Bell (31.8 percent) and Moran (29.6 percent over his last two minor league seasons) all carry opposite field hit rates above the MLB-wide rate of 25.3 seen last season. They join Adam Frazier, who goes oppo at a 35.4 percent rate for his career, as bats that can fight off getting jammed inside by right handers.

Southpaws still represent something of a struggle for Pittsburgh Pirates left handed bats, who only went to the opposite field 23.3 percent of the time against lefties.

Still, employing a better ability to go to the opposite field could be an unintended bonus from Neal Huntington’s merry band of lefty hitters.

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Jason Rollison

Jason Rollison has been analyzing baseball and the Pirates in one way or another for 4+ years. Jason's previous stops include rumbunter.com, Pittsburgh Sporting News, Call To The Pen and several print publications. He also covers the State College Spikes for the Centre County Gazette (State College, PA) When it comes to analyzing baseball, he likes to take a middle-of-the-road approach, with one foot on the analytics side of the fence and the other on the old-school side. Having said that, he is a sucker for pitchf/x. Jason has appeared as a phone-in and in-studio guests in numerous outlets, including Trib Live Radio and 93.7 The Fan (CBS Sports Radio)