White Sox rookie outfielder struggling in final month of season. What is causing the left-handed hitter to struggle at the plate in September?
During the month of August, Nicky Delmonico’s bat was a lightning rod pitchers failed to stop. However, now that the calendar flipped to September the White Sox outfielder is struggling mightily. What is the cause for his swoon? Is there a way to identify it? Let’s delve into these questions and more in this article.
First of all, in a prior article I wrote there was a distinct statement about Delmonico’s high strikeout rate. Even when he was hitting well (August), Delmonico had one major red flag, which is the aforementioned K-rate. While he may have put up a very respectable batting average of .307 (.429 on-base percentage), that ratio sat at one per 5.36, nowhere near the level of a quality contact hitter.
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On top of that, his ratio has worsened in September. As a matter of fact, so much so that Delmonico is fanning virtually one out of every three at bats (1 per 3.31 AB to be exact with a .186 BA/.300 OBP). Both of these strikeout rates equate to 18.7 percent in August and 30 percent in September, and anyone who has a competent mind knows the latter is much worse in regards to failing to put the bat on the ball.
Another major issue of Delmonico’s is his inability to reach via the base on balls. Looking at August, he actually walked more times that he struck out (15 to 14). On the flip side, September has seen a dramatic decrease in this area of his game. With only six free passes, it makes sense that Delmonico is not hitting the way he did last month.
Moving to an even bigger problem with the prior paragraph is the BB/K ratio. Delmonico had a 1.07 to 1 walk to strikeout rate last month, however those terms must be flipped for September. He has fanned 2.2 times per every free pass, meaning the total exceeds two to one.
Before we wrap up, it is quite simple to see what the problem is with Delmonico. Strikeouts. However, in reality a lot of it has to do with pitcher adjustments which were coming, and now the onus is on Delmonico to adjust back. Will the latter occur? Who knows, but if it doesn’t Delmonico will cease to be a major leaguer for a long period of time.
Overall, many presumed that Delmonico would not have a long career at the big league level when he was called up at the start of August. Nevertheless, he was able to prove many wrong by getting off on the right foot, but failed to continue his success much longer than four weeks. Will he turn it around? White Sox fans hope so, because he was an pleasant surprise most of us didn’t expect.
Enjoy the final weekend series of the year, Sox fans. Going to be a hot one!