Here's a line in a boxscore you don't see every day. Tuesday Denard Span of the Twins went 4-for-4, with 3 3B, BB, 5 RBI as Minnesota beats the Tigers 11-4. Span's three triples tie the modern MLB record last accomplished by Rafael Furcal in 2002. Span now has 7 triples to lead the American League. We take a look at Span's success this season in this edition of The Closer.
Span's patient eye paid off, as all four of his hits came on pitches that were in the strike zone - albeit in very different sectors. His triples came over the 3, 7 and 8 on your phone. The single was middle/away (over the 6).
Denard has been improving his "down and in" batting recently (that's the 7), jumping from an average of .225 last year to .333 this year. He also misses with only 6.9% of his swings in that area, versus 18% last season.
As for the opposite corner (the 3), that's really taken off this season. Span already has eight hits including two triples in that zone - after having only three singles all of last year. His batting average has rocketed from .143 to .320. Denard is chasing less than 5% of bad balls up and away, and missing with less than 7% of his swings.
Overall, Denard boasts the sixth-highest contact percentage in the majors this season, missing on only 7.9% of his total swings. His chase percentage of 16.9 is also one of the lowest in the American League (sixth among players with 300 or more PA this season).