.343 to be exact (.210 batting as a lefty):
The Milt is putting up a line of .283/.472
/.415 over the last 28 days. Unfortunately that's a mere 72 plate appearances. Lou needs to start getting him out there a bit more and against lefties as many on this board have said.
His home (.310/.441/.509) and away (.186/.324/.263
) are dramatic too (.263 SLG !!! ).
Milton strikes me (just looking at the stats) as a classic patient hitter who waits out the pitcher (and must
wait the pitcher out-see below) until he gets his pitch and hits line drives with "pop". This requires concentration and patience which Milty may not have dedicated to his job after his big contract (until recently). (There are other elements in the stats that tell me hasn't been completely in the game mentally.)
He hits "finesse" pitchers much better than "power" types (as defined by Baseball Prospectus). He should never
hit the ball on the ground; hitting .180 when he does and .274 (fly balls) and .703 when he gets a nice hard line drive. He should also avoid trying to go back up the middle and should instead pull or try go to the opposite field.
My guess is he came to the game out of Spring Training not mentally ready to go and hit a lot
of ground balls in April/May (for a pathetic .118). His OBP wasn't terrible in the early days but apparently he wasn't getting the loft he needed; he must get good solid contact. He snapped back with .268 and .273 in June and July Lou was probably already frustrated with him and then he got frustrated. Maybe he's decided it's time to get serious. He went from a 10BB/17K June to a 18BB/13K July: good sign.
He needs to play and concentrate and bat against lefties and the Cubs desperately need his quality line drive bat. I think he could be more important for the Cubs than Holliday will be for the Birds, more than off-setting their acquisition. It is frequently true for a struggling team (and the first-place Cubs are exactly struggling
) that getting the players already on the roster playing right can do more than bringing in a new guy. Although we all know how much a new guy can help - but just how much more will Holliday give the Cardinals over the guys who will now sit a lot more? What does this mean for Rasmus' development and career; is he a CF? (Yes, unfortunately, he does play a lot of Center for them and has the arm for Right as well. 94 mph as a pitcher in high school.)
The Cubs badly need Soto to get healthy and back to the form of his last couple of years as well. He was becoming another A. Ramirez and that's tough to lose.
What the heck is Miles problem? He's a career .285 hitter coming off something like .320 or .325. Another chump? Or was he another Ernie Broglio: damaged goods when shipped?