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The Emergence of Tyler Goeddel

goeddelBack on May 6th, in a game against the Miami Marlins, Tyler Goeddel went 0-3, once again, and his average dipped to .143 on season.  After belting his first career HR to cap off a 3-for-4 day against Miami on Wednesday afternoon, Goeddel had raised his average 119 points and now sits at .262.  Goeddel has played in 10 of the Phillies’ last 12 games and the past 7 straight games.   He appears to have found his rhythm, now that he knows he’ll be getting three or four at bats a game.

Born in Hillsborough, CA, the rookie was originally taken in the first round of the 2011 amateur draft by the Tampa Bay Rays out of St. Francis High School (Mountain View, CA).  He was then selected by the Phillies in the 2015 Rule 5 draft.  Goeddel never played above AA ball before making the Phils roster this season.  Goeddel’s best performance in minors came last year while playing for AA Montgomery.  He hit .279 with 12 HRs and 72 RBIs in 123 games – good enough numbers to catch the Phillies eye.  Something we haven’t seen yet this season from Goeddel is stolen bases, swiping only 1 bag so far in the young season.  In Goeddel’s four seasons in the minors, he stole 111 bases and was caught just 28 times.  That is certainly something Phillies fans have to look forward to once his all-around game starts to develop.

Over the last 14 days, Goeddel is hitting .353 and has knocked in six of his seven RBI’s during that span.  He seems comfortable batting in the 7-spot; and in the Phillies case, he turns the line-up over because of the pitcher batting eighth.  Out of the 25 games he has appeared, he’s started 13 games in the 7-slot.  Of those 13 games he has recorded at least one hit in 10 of those games.  In total, he is hitting .356 when batting seventh.  For now, Goeddel has seemed to find his groove playing everyday and batting in the 7-hole.

One thing that is noticeable when you watch games and is supported by the numbers, is that he doesn’t hit the ball in the air all that often.  Of his 65 ABs, he has only hit 11 fly balls.  That could be looked at in many different ways.  I view it as a hitter that stays level throughout the swing to the baseball.  He doesn’t have an upper-cut swing like Maikel Franco and in a lot of cases those upper-cut swings can lead to bad habits causing prolonged slumps.  Once Goeddel has received his first true opportunity, you are seeing what he’s doing with it.

Goeddel does most of his damage on the ground or with line drives.  Combined, he has 42 ground balls and line drives (65 ABs).  You know Goeddel is going good when he keeps the ball up the middle or goes to right field.  When he pulls the ball, he is only hitting .091 – compared to an astounding .526 up the middle.  Goeddel isn’t too shabby when takes pitches to right field as well, hitting .417.  Over 58% of Goeddel’s ABs to right field are grounders or liners and 83% of the balls are hit either medium or hard.  Goeddel has to stay in the middle of the field or go the opposite way to stay hot.

Goeddel has played a pivotal role in the last week or so.  He has been directly involved in two of the Phillies wins this homestand with his “make-up” 2-RBI triple against the Reds after allowing two runs on a dropped fly ball in left and rifling a perfect strike to Cameron Rupp at home plate for the epic double play that won the game last Saturday night.  Goeddel went 3-4 and provided Jeanmar Gomez with an insurance run after blasting his first career big league HR on Wednesday afternoon.  Let’s hope this is just a start for the up-and-coming 23-year old.

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