Something pretty amusing happened to me this week. Without trying, or even realizing it until it was too late, I had picked yet another Diamondbacks player to write about for BtBS. This is Diamondback number four for me. I started off with Brad Ziegler, moved on to Paul Goldschmidt, and then wrote a little something about Zack Greinke. Now, here I am focusing my attention on Brandon Drury. The reason why? He's doing pretty well so far this season, only his second in the majors. As of May 4th, he was batting .321/.333/.615 with five home runs and 11 RBI in 81 plate appearances. He also has a .400 wOBA, 143 wRC+, .295 ISO, and makes a lot of contact.
Drury, a 23-year-old infielder from Oregon, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2010, made his major league debut last season with Diamondbacks, and batted .214/.254/.375 in 20 games. This season, he has been given a chance to play more, and he is taking advantage of that chance. So far, Drury's had nine multi-hit games and this past weekend went 3-5 with a home run and an RBI against the Rockies.
Drury's also played all over the place in the field because he doesn't have a regular position. It seems the Diamondbacks are finding ways to get his hot bat into the lineup. Since starting the season as more of a pinch hitter, he has started games in right field, left field, second, and third base. And in a odd twist, he seems to hit better when he's playing in the infield—most of his hits have occurred in games in which he's played second or third. In fact, the majority of his multi-hit games have come when he's playing third base.
|O-Swing %||Z-Swing %||Swing %||O Contact %||Z Contact %||Contact %|
As you can see his plate discipline numbers are not hugely different from last season to this season. He makes a lot of contact with pitches that are thrown in the strike zone and swings more at pitches that are in the strike zone than are out of it.
And he swings a lot.
He swings so much that he does not walk. That's not even an exaggeration. Drury has one walk all season, and his walk rate is a minuscule 1.2 percent while his strikeout rate is 19.8 percent.
Drury performs well against harder pitches, batting .321 with a .566 slugging percentage against four seamers, cutters, and sinkers. Even better, but in a much smaller sample size (six at bats), he's batting .500 against off-speed pitches. His batting average dips against breaking pitches at .222 batting average, but his slugging percentage is still high at .556.
Right now, Brandon Drury is on fire and the Diamondbacks are playing him as much as they can. If he keeps this up, the Diamondbacks will have an abundance of hot bats in their dugout this season.
. . .
Stacey Gotsulias is a contributing writer of Beyond the Box Score. She also contributes to The Hardball Times and writes about the New York Yankees for It's About The Money and BP Bronx. You can follow her on Twitter at @StaceGots.