A’s Home Run Leaders: 24th May Edition

Taking a look at Olson, Laureano, Canha and Brown

Oakland’s offence has been stereotypically A’s-like so far in the 2021 season. We live and die by the long ball: homers we tend to win, no homers we tend to lose.

That works for most teams (Matt’s Top Baseball Tip Of The Day: scoring runs helps you to win games), but it is more pronounced with the A’s, or at least it always seems that way as an A’s fan.

On a day-off from work, I was clicking through MLB.com’s incredible Baseball Savant site and thought I’d take a look at our top four home run hitters: Matt Olson (12), Ramón Laureano (11), Mark Canha (9) and Seth Brown (8).

Spray charts

Home run spray charts (as of games completed 23rd May 2021)

If you somehow don’t know already, the two guys on the left and left-handed hitters, the two on the right and right-handed hitters. The three main things that stand out to me from the spray charts are:

  1. Oly’s impressive power from centre to the right-field foul pole is on show as always.
  2. The three clusters of home runs by Ramón show that whilst he can pull the ball down the left-field line, he has power to left-centre and right-centre that shows a good overall approach.
  3. Two-thirds of Canha’s home runs so far have been down the left-field line, although the other three show that he’s far from a dead-pull hitter.

Strike zone and pitch types

Pitch location and type on balls hit for home runs (as of games completed 23rd May 2021)

As for the strike zone information, the “Canha cluster” really stands out. It’s always a challenge separating cause from effect when looking at this type of information, but from watching Mark at the plate I’m minded to think this is not just him running into pitches, more a sign of his excellent approach.

Give him a pitch on the inner or outer third and he’ll be patient or put a solid swing on it to get on base; throw him one down the central third and he will look to hit it with authority.

Anything else catch your eye? Let me know in the comments section below.

By Matt Smith

Matt has been writing about baseball and football (soccer) for many a year. He's one of the three Oakland A's UK crew and the one you'll most often see blogging at OaklandAUK.com and presenting videos on our YouTube channel. He also writes a blog about Norwich City Football club at CanaryInAGoalMine.uk

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