Domonic Brown is not taking walks. Nobody seems to mind. Brown’s power has been off the charts, obviously, as he leads the National League in home runs. How is he doing it? A few ways.
According to Fangraphs, Brown is getting balls inside the zone at a rate two percent less than the average major leaguer. However, the percentage of pitches inside the strike zone that he’s swinging at is more than 11 percent better than average. What’s that say? Well, that Brown’s got a solid eye and is whaling on his pitches.
Outside of the strike zone, Brown is swinging at more pitches than the mean. The average MLB’er hacks at 29.9 percent of pitches outside the strike zone, while Dom swings at 33.6 However, with the keen eye he has shown this year, he actually has connected on 70.2 percent of those balls, whereas the rest of the league makes contact at 66.3 percent.
So, not only is Domonic Brown burying mistakes left out over the plate, but he’s using his confidence and plate coverage ability to destroy pitches out of the zone too. He’s seeing less than usual inside the zone, but is making just about everyone pay when it the baseball is in that area.
This is the evolution of Domonic Brown. He’s always had solid plate discipline, which previously meant a good amount of walks and solid OBP without tearing the cover off the ball. Now, the difference is his plate discipline is still present, despite the lower walk rate and OBP. Dom’s discipline has morphed into solid plate coverage, and he’s benefiting greatly from it.