In a weekend report for Newsday, beat reporter Marc Carig writes the definitive look at Sandy Alderson's organizational approach to hitting, as told to him by Alderson and his lieutenants, Terry Collins, Dick Scott and Paul DePodesta, as well as top soldiers David Wright and Brandon Nimmo.
In short, Carig explains:
- The goal is to only swing at strikes and hit the ball with authority. It doesn't matter if this happens on the first, 10th or 20th pitch, "so long as hitters swing only at pitches they can crush."
- "Taking a good pitch to hit and chasing a bad pitch out of the strike zone are equal sins."
- Taking pitches, running up pitch counts and drawing walks are simply a beneficial byproduct of 'hunting strikes,' they're not the ultimate goal.
- Strikeouts are a conspicuous byproduct of Alderson's approach, which, when not executed properly, can make a hitter look helpless, passive and lost at the plate.
- The hitter can only control what he does in the batter's box, he has no control over what happens when he puts a ball in play, according to Alderson. However, a refined, disciplined approach at the plate will lead to more hard-hit balls, which have a better chance of falling for hits.
- The Mets use plate discipline statistics to formulate salary bonuses for players who have yet to reach arbitration.
- Alderson and DePodesta aim to draft players predisposed to their strategy, such as C Kevin Plawecki and OF Brandon Nimmo.
- The Mets monitor their minor league hitters to make sure the approach is being learned and executed properly.