Hitting coach Dave Hudgens told WFAN that the situation at Citi Field is making players press, do too much and perform worse than when on the road.
According to Hudgens, the team’s swing-and-miss rate was up at home compared to on the road, as was their fly-ball rate, line-drive rate, and other key statistics.
“I think it boils down to, when guys are home, they try too hard,” he said. “I mean, they really want to play well there. They work exceptionally hard. And, when you try to hard you over swing and it takes you off the game.”
He says fans have every right to boo Mets players at home, especially guys who are underperforming. However, he added, “Booing isn’t a big deal, it’s what it does to the player. Fans have a right to boo. The Mets have very loyal fans, they’re great and passionate, but it doesn’t help. The guys are trying hard, they don’t want to get booed. I’m not saying fans don’t have the right to boo, but when it happens guys have a tendency to try harder and we see that in the statistics.”
In regards to the organization’s hitting philosophy, he said it’s simple: “Go up to home plate, get a good pitch and hit it.”
The goal is to hit pitches in the strike zone. However, if the pitcher is throwing balls out of the strike zone, he wanted his hitters to work work the count and take a walk.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
The way I understand it, while there are guys who can naturally hit 30 home runs, that player is on the decline, whether because of better pitching, a shift in workouts, PEDs, etc. There are fewer raw power hitters available on the free agent market every winter. So, the Mets, among lots of other teams, are trying to rely on stats and structure to get guys, who may have limited power, to swing at better pitches, which in turn will increase their power potential. The A’s do this very well, obviously. The Mets are having success drafting hitters with this profile, and you see it with Brandon Nimmo and Kevin Plawecki. However, so far, it hasn’t translated in the big leagues, probably because it’s very difficult to teach an old dog new tricks.