Contacting Polanco

This is something that I actually started tracking a few days ago, but Placido Polanco is off to quite the start this year making contact. Polanco has always been a tough strike out, and for his career he’s made contact with 91% of his swings. For some context, the average is 80%. But this year has been different for Polanco. Going into Monday’s game, Polanco was at 98% with only 3 swings and misses.

Sean Forman, who has loads of data available at Baseball Reference provided a list of the top seasonal contact percentages for which there is data available.

Wade Boggs and Marty Barrett are the only players to sustain that kind of contact rate over an entire season. But given Polanco’s history and approach it seems that he could hang with this group for awhile.

Looking at the names on the list, a super high contact rate doesn’t really spell success, but these are pretty incredible regardless.

Now as I was typing this up tonight, Polanco picked up just his 4th whiff of the season. That swing-and-miss broke a streak that, by my count, totaled 113 consecutive swings with contact. That dated back to an April 11th game, also with the Orioles. It’s a streak that was pretty much meaningless, yet amazing at the same time.

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