MLB: Will Josh Bell get back to the Nationals’ form that led him to being an All Star in 2019?

Last winter, Josh bell got into motion. The Pittsburgh Pirates, the only team he had played for in his eight-year career, were in the middle of a complete rebuild. Bell was in his last two seasons of umpire control, and his rising salaries accounted for a larger percentage of the Bucs’ annual low payrolls.

Bell’s value last winter was compounded by a poor performance in 2020. While he seemed to explode as a mid-range slugger with a .277 / .367 / .569 showing the year before, the switch hitter stumbled during the short season:

Bell appeared in 57 of the Bucs’ 60 games, but hit just .226 / .305 / .364 in 223 plate appearances. Perhaps even more concerning, his strikeout rate soared from 19.2% to 26.5%, the highest of his career.

Needing a first baseman, the Nationals fired off a rebound from Bell. Washington acquired the Texas native for a pair of potential pitchers, Eddy Yean and Wil Crowe. While Bell didn’t make a full recovery to his 2019 numbers, that move paid off largely for him. Nats general manager Mike Rizzo and his staff.

The 29-year-old appeared in 144 games and scored 568 plate trips last season. His 27 home runs were the second-longest of his career, behind only his 37 long hits in 2019. Overall, Bell hit .261 / .347 / .476, an offensive showing that was 18 percentage points above average. the league as measured by wRC +.

In addition to the improved results, Bell apparently rediscovered his best process at the plate. He cut his strikeouts to his typical range, striking out only 17.8% of his plate appearances (about five points less than average). His contact rate on swings rebounded to 77.4% after it dropped to 69% during his year off in 2020.

It may interest you: MLB Yankees Interested In Pirates’ Jameson Taillon and Josh Bell

Those better bat-to-ball skills came without sacrificing contact authority. Bell’s average exit speed (92.5 MPH) and hard contact rate (52%) in 2021 were the best of his career.

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.

see more


We wish to give thanks to the writer of this post for this awesome material

MLB: Will Josh Bell get back to the Nationals’ form that led him to being an All Star in 2019?