The sudden power surge of Tommy La Stella

Tbdress Exclusive Coupon: $4 OFF Over $59 for Wearable Technology, Code: Tech, Buy Now!
HealthmateForever, fda cleared, free domestic shipping, model, unit
O+ Biggi - Oxygen Plus
Mountain Warehouse
Classic Football Shirts
Tênis Oakley
Fitflop CA
SPRI.com
Thousands of Car Accessories@TOMTOP.com

How a 30 year-old utility infielder has more home runs than Mike Trout 

“Tommy is definitely showing more power. I couldn’t tell you if it’s a conscious effort to drive the ball more, if he’s just squaring up the ball better. I really couldn’t pin it down for you, but he’s been really good for us.” —Brad Ausmus, Angels manager


If you had to guess who would have the most home runs on the Los Angeles Angels by the end of April this season, the obvious answer would be Mike Trout. You might even guess Albert Pujols. Nope, it’s Tommy La Stella. He’s tied for the most home runs (seven) on the team along with Kole Calhoun and leads the team in RBIs (18). La Stella has hit seven home runs in only 74 at-bats compared to Calhoun’s 104 at-bats. He has never hit more than five home runs in a single season, but as of right now, has more homers than Mike Trout. Obviously this is a small sample size, but it’s still incredible. How is Tommy La Stella, a generous five-foot-eleven infielder per Baseball Reference, accomplishing this?!

Baukjen
Get Free Shipping on FUL Bags, Backpacks & Travel Gear - At FUL We Create Quality Bags With A Fashion Edge! Ful.com! Click Here!
James Perse Enterprises
The Edinburgh Woollen Mil
Tidebuy  Sexy Swimwear Shop Now!
Cotton On (AU)
Peter Millar - Luxurious Clothing for Men and Women
Isabella Oliver Maternity Sale

Did La Stella suddenly get stronger after he was traded from the Cubs in the offseason? Maybe a little, but the biggest different for La Stella has been, surprise surprise, an increase in his launch angle. According to The Athletic, La Stella increased his average launch angle from 8.1 degrees to 13.9 degrees.

SwimOutlet.com
HatCountry shop now!
Basic Outfitters
Save up to 75% on Flights
Mobvoi
Purium© SAVE - get $50 OFF orders $75 or more
Spring Flight Deals. Get $30 Off.
YogaOutlet.com
INOV-8 Nature will always be 728x90

He also worked with hitting coaches Paul Sorrento, Shawn Wooten, and Jeremy Reed on his bat path to barrel up the ball more consistently. In fact, the entire team has been changing their hitting approach to focus more on barreling up the ball and not striking out. In a league where strikeouts and home runs are rampant, the Angels are actually walking more than they’re striking out, which is benefiting La Stella. According to FanGraphs, his strike out rate in 2019 is 6.3% vs. his career strikeout rate which is 12.6%.

He also has benefited from more consistent playing time vs. his time in Chicago where Cubs manager, Joe Maddon liked to mix and match his lineups often depending on the pitching match-up. This affected La Stella at the plate because the majority of his plate appearances were as a pinch hitter. He worked on relaxing his hands more and not gripping the bat so tight.

Due to the consistent playing time that La Stella is getting with the Angels, he’s made an adjustment on being more aggressive with pitches in the zone. During his infrequent pinch-hitting appearances with the Cubs, his approach was more passive at the plate, as he was just trying to protect and slap the ball the opposite field. With the Angels, his new aggressive approach along with increased launch angle, has resulted in a significant increase in power.

Will this home run trend continue for Tommy La Stella? Probably not. I’ll go out on a very safe limb and say that Mike Trout will most likely have more home runs than him by the end of the 2019 season, but this is what makes baseball more unique than other sports. Many of us could’ve predicted who would be in the NBA Finals this year, but nobody could’ve predicted that a five-foot-eleven utility infielder would have more home runs in the first month of the season than possibly the greatest player to ever play baseball.


John LaLoggia writes about baseball at Beyond the Box Score, Banished to the Pen and Foul Territory Baseball. Please follow him on Twitter @JohnLaLoggia, email him at lalogjo@gmail.com.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*