Bulletin 2021: Alec Bohm

So many hopes rested on Alec Bohm in 2021. After finishing second as the National League Rookie of the Year in 2020, a lot was expected of the youngster. Then he fell flat on his stomach and lost the confidence of the technical staff. What can he do to gain this confidence not only from the coaching staff, but also from himself?

Statistics 2021

.247 / .302 / .342, 7 HR, 47 RBI, 111: 31 K: BB, 75 wRC +, -0.2 fWAR

Good

Watching Bohm’s final line isn’t that inspiring, but you have to consider how badly he was hitting to get a real feel for that line. On June 6, Bohm hit .209 / .254 / .301, the lowest of the batting averages and no base ability to speak of. He was left out of the roster for a few days, then returned to the game on June 10. From June 10 to August 20, the numbers were actually much better, a line of .285 / .358 / .392 in 176 home plate appearances. . Power was still non-existent, but at least he was hitting for a decent average and not hitting as hard as he had. He had a good series of attacks during this time.

The bad

It’s just that his season looks so underwhelming compared to his debut in 2020.

That roster at the top of the “good” section, where he had a decent batting average? What if I told you he had a .378 BABIP during that time, suggesting he was really lucky to even hit those numbers without a punch.

Fielding was never going to be worthy of a golden glove. It was clear from his days in the minor leagues. Almost to a man, the scout reports were telling how he might possibly reach average in the Hot Corner, but maybe it was the peak of his ability there. No one was going to challenge their work ethic, but sometimes you just have to come to terms with reality.

Where we find the most disappointment is in his attack and this is where we can begin to diagnose his problems. In 2020, we saw Bohm hit the majors and live up to the scouting reports on his bat. He had good power and good contact ability, only to see the two evaporate in his second season. Is it all his fault? Well yes and no. Yes, because ultimately it’s up to the player to produce when he’s on the plate. But also, it looks like Bohm was tinkered with a bit before the start of the season. I delved a bit into past scouting reports from publicly available assessors and almost everyone had the same thing to say. From Fangraphs in 2020:

Bohm’s swing now looks more Michael brantley‘s, not the uppercut hack of a heavy hitter. His hands start high and stay hidden before he simply guides them to where the ball is. If anything, this swing is quieter than its varsity iteration, and somehow a 6ft 5in long lever guy with great power only managed to get one. 14% strikeout rate at Double-A last year. Bohm has enough raw power to hit balls hard even with a low effort cut, and he’s been able to hit balls all over the area due to the direction of his swing.

Baseball Prospectus in 2020:

Bohm’s calling card is raw power that he hasn’t quite translated into play power yet, and a tool for potential success that’s far from locked in as more.

Basically the dude could punch, but he needed some good coaching to achieve the top rating on this tool.

Enter Joe Dillon.

Now, of course, we don’t know exactly what Dillon was saying to Bohm, but from the data available we can see that he changed something about Bohm and how he hit. We see this by looking at the spray charts. Below are spray heatmaps of Bohm’s 2020 and 2021.

Somehow, Bohm became a court hitting machine on the traction side, moving away from hitting the ball to the opposite field, the approach that worked so well in 2020. Why ? The pitchers approached him no differently, usually staying on the outside of the plate against him, so in theory Bohm was trying to shoot those bullets more, getting dragged into weak ground bullets.

Again, this is in theory. There was also a much larger sample of balls in play in 2021, which may also have skewed the heat maps a bit. But it certainly sounds like something the batting coach tried to get Bohm to do (shoot more) wasn’t working. When he’s doing well, Bohm has a very Jayson Werth feel to him, the tall, lanky guy with a lot of power on the opposite side. If the team can bring him back to that kind of approach, there’s a possibility that Bohm could continue his intended rise to the lifeblood of the franchise.

The future

Bohm is one of the most important players, if not LE, on the roster entering 2022. The team is (for now) forgoing the option of bringing in a third goal and moving Bohm to the outfield, instead of getting new voices as a batting coach and infielder. coach to help him improve his game. Kevin Long and Bobby Dickerson were brought on board to help the whole squad, but it also appears that these two coaches were brought in with a specific eye to help Bohm find his way back. , if not pass, his rookie of the year tops. from 2020. He has the pedigree and, by all accounts, the work ethic to do it, so hopefully something can be unlocked.

Final grade: C- / D +

With so many expectations placed on Bohm, it’s not hard to see how he failed. That he fell so short was probably the surprise of the season. He turned things around a bit, but almost non-existent power, it’s hard to give him a good mark over the year. Both of these ratings have merit, so let’s just share the difference and give it both.


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