Felix Pie Likes Felix Pie T-Shirt Day

MLB’s Orioles’ beat writer Britt Ghiroli has commented on Twitter recently that ever since his T-shirt day at the Yard, Felix Pie has been on a tear. Thought it might be fun to check it out.

For ease, the dates I’m using are; 4/6 as the start of the season, 4/15 as the last game before Pie went on the DL, 6/6 as his first game back, 8/3 as his T-shirt day, and 8/11 as his most recent game.

Games PA Batting BABIP BB% K%
4/6 – 4/15 22 .400/.455/.650 .500 9.1% 25.0%
6/6 – 8/2 82 .224/.259/.329 .246 3.7% 14.5%
4/6 – 8/2 104 .260/.301/.396 .291 4.8% 16.7%
8/3 – 8/11 37 .361/.361/.639 .324 0.0% 0.0%

The third line is everything pre T-shirt day and the last line everything post. Felix is indeed raking since the 3rd of August, putting the ball in play in every single plate appearance – and with some authority. He’s going to need to take some walks eventually, but he does seem pretty locked-in at the plate. (And just as bonus, he’s 2-2 on stolen bases after being 0-2 to start the year.) Looking at his plate discipline stats by month (which approximates the pre-DL, post-DL pre-T, and post-T periods):

Month O-Swing% Z-Swing% Contact%
April 30.2% 67.7% 85.7%
July 35.5% 70.5% 88.9%
August 30.6% 79.3% 92.7%

Pie was already swinging at a lot more pitches out of the strike-zone than last year, but when he came off the DL that rate went even higher. Lately it’s come back down a little, but he’s really going after hittable pitches now – and putting the bat on them consistently (his contact rate on pitches in the zone is 100%). The chasing explains the lack of walks, and the contact explains the lack of K’s. If he could keep the latter while improving on the former, that would really be something. In any case, it’s working for now.