MLB: Why didn’t Josh Bell hit as many HRs in his Washington Nationals debut?

The only alarming aspect of the batted ball profile of Josh bell that carried over from 2020 was a spike in ground balls. While he had only put 44% of his batted balls on the ground in his 2019 peak season, that shot up to 55.7% in 2020 and was down to 53.5% this year 2021 already with the Washinton Nationals.

So Bell returned some of the impact of his strong contact by hitting the ball on the grass, explaining why his power numbers (27 HRs) didn’t rebound until the 2019 form (37 HRs) where he went. All-Star Game with the Pittsburgh Pirates:

Still, Bell had a decent season. Their numbers were slightly better than the league-wide .257 / .338 / .454 mark for first basemen. His 2019 campaign offers a hint of increased offensive potential, and Bell had a quietly strong second half. From the All-Star Break onward, he hit .277 / .381 / .506 with more walks than strikeouts (albeit with a still concerning 55.9% grounding percentage).

However, that went largely unnoticed because Washington had since emerged from the fray. While the Nats hoped a Bell resurgence would be part of a team-wide rebound that would keep them competitive in the NL East, things didn’t turn out that way.

Washington was on the fringes of contention for the first few months of the season, but a swoon in mid-July kicked off the removal of the deadline and the reboot of the organization.

Bell wasn’t part of that midseason sell-off, but there seems to be a bit more interest in the league after his strong play down the stretch. He is now entering his final year of control of the club, and the Nationals do not appear to have a plausible path to contention next season.

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It’s not clear that Washington wants to entertain a multi-year rebuild – with Juan Soto in control of the club for three more seasons, there’s not much time to waste time – but Bell has a free agency ticket next winter anyway. . Changing it after the lockout would not be a sign of a long-term rebuilding, but rather an acknowledgment of its unlikely state of containment in 2022.

Rafael Martinez

I am fond of the King of Sports, especially the Boston Red Sox in MLB and in general all of Mexican baseball. This profession has given me the opportunity to cover major events such as the Caribbean Series, the LMB All Star, LMP (uninterrupted since 2009), signings of important players. I had the chance to attend the 2013 World Classic in Arizona, USA, albeit as a fan. Apart from this beautiful sport, I love basketball, where I have also narrated games and even an NBA friendly 10 years ago, but I carry baseball in my veins. Graduated in Communication Sciences from the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS) , from which I graduated in 2011. I was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa and started in the world of sports journalism in 2004 in the newspaper El Sol de Mazatlán, where I was a baseball columnist and reporter at the same time. In January 2009 I came to El Debate as a journalist reporter and it was almost six years (in the first stage), until in November 2014 I emigrated to the radio providing my services in Línea Directa-Grupo RSN. My cycle there ended in July 2019 and within days, El Debate gave me another opportunity to work and opened the doors for me again. That is how I came to Al Bat, where I have been since 2019 as a web journalist.

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MLB: Why didn’t Josh Bell hit as many HRs in his Washington Nationals debut?