That doesn’t mean just hitting the ball: to excel at batting in MLB some excellent plate discipline is required.
Kwan has it: he is extremely patient without falling in the “passive” category, which is important.
But umpires often don’t help him.
“No left-handed hitter this year has had more off-the-plate pitches called strikes against him than Steven Kwan,” Codify Baseball tweeted, with a short clip of one of Kwan’s at-bats.
No left-handed hitter this year has had more off-the-plate pitches called strikes against him than Steven Kwan. pic.twitter.com/UW4Ahtjytn
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) May 10, 2022
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jose Berrios is shown throwing a ball outside the strike zone, but the home plate umpire called it a strike.
That ball was several inches off the plate, but it didn’t matter: and it hasn’t been the only time in which Kwan is a victim of some bad umpire calls.
Umpires Need To Do A Better Job
One would think he is getting the rookie treatment, which of course wouldn’t be fair.
Umpires should call a game without caring about a player’s service time status.
Fortunately, Kwan has mostly survived these calls and posted some really good numbers.
In 2022, he is slashing .309/.402/.444 with a home run, a stolen base, 19 runs, and 13 RBI.
That on-base percentage is particularly impressive, as is his plate discipline as a whole: for example, he has struck out in just 9.3 percent of his at-bats, which is absolutely elite.
Kwan actually started off the season on a scintillating pace, but has cooled off some as of late.
The fact he remains over .300 talks about his ability to make adjustments, and that’s crucial for a future in the big leagues.
Let’s hope umpires don’t keep up glaring mistakes like the one in the video.