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2010's Best Hitters Around the Strike Zone

If you head over to the Wall Street Journal, you can find out the best hitters in each region of the zone. Just a little something we here at Beyond the Boxscore cooked up for our friends over there. While the season-and-a-half snapshot we took for the WSJ came up with a list of established players, when we restrict ourselves to 2010 a few less familiar names float to the top.

The stat we're using is pwOBA, check-out the original article for how that's figured out (basically rv100a converted to wOBA). We'll use the same regions but we'll go beyond the top player in each.

2010 First Half Leaders --- pwOBA by Strikezone Region

Without further ado, except for saying "without further ado", here are the leaders for the current season.

Outer Third (min. 100 pitches)

Albert Pujols leads the majors if you go back to 2009, but he has dropped to 28th position with a .339 pwOBA on balls on the outer third in 2010. The lead is now held by a rookie catcher. His runners-up include a veteran catcher, a rookie outfielder, a veteran basher and, well, I'm not sure what to say about #5.

  1. Carlos Santana .410
  2. Jason Varitek .399
  3. Tyler Colvin .383
  4. Russell Branyan .378
  5. Jason Donald .377

Inner Third (min. 100 pitches)

The 2009-2010 leader drops to third, but he's surrounded by some big names.And he's still an All-Star.

  1. Josh Hamilton .447
  2. Corey Hart .439
  3. Martin Prado .421
  4. James Loney .395
  5. Chase Utley .395

Down the Middle (min. 50 pitches)

No change at the top of this list, and an interesting set of also-rans with another mix of young and old.

  1. Nick Markakis .437
  2. Adam Lind .437
  3. Rafael Furcal .433
  4. Johnny Damon .424
  5. Colby Rasmus .422

Upper Third (min. 100 pitches)

Prince Fielder disappears from the top third ratings, falling from 1st to 27th with a .364 pwOBA. Much like Albert. 

  1. Miguel Olivo .409
  2. Miguel Cabrera .405
  3. Corey Hart .385
  4. Brian McCann .384
  5. Nick Swisher .384

Lower Third (min. 100 pitches)

Another rookie, and then another! Miggy makes the ranking, losing his top spot but, as seen above, is close to taking another region over.

  1. Brennan Boesch .441
  2. Buster Posey .416
  3. Andre Ethier .411
  4. Miguel Cabrera .400
  5. Joey Votto .399
Cabrera and Hart show-up twice, which is impressive. The youngsters in our top 5s include Santana, Colvin, Boesch and Posey. We'll see how they hold up over the rest of the season.