I’m a bit concerned with the way Kelly Johnson has started the season. Yes, it’s early, and sample size is an issue, but Johnson appears to have changed his hitting approach. His batting line is an un-Kelly-like .263/.282/.368: the power is gone, but the disappearance of walks is more disturbing. Last season, Johnson walked 79 times; and after drawing his first walk of the season in yesterday’s game, he is on pace for a Francoeur-esque 16. Even Jeff Francoeur has more walks (2), so far.
But, my concern grows when I look at the more-granular Pitch Data Summary numbers from Baseball-Reference. Last season, KJ averaged 4.12 pitches per plate appearance compared to this year’s 3.59. He’s swinging at 72% of strikes (compared to 67% in 2007), 49% of all pitches (compared to 39% in 2007), 26% of first pitches (compared to 20% in 2007).
Hey, it’s early, and a balky knee may be throwing him off his game. But, I’m a bit worried that Terry Pendleton has had one of his “you need to be more aggressive” chats with him.