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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 6/19/19

Ian Desmond’s improvement; Nolan Arenado’s aggressiveness; why it’s OK the Padres aren’t in contention

Milwaukee Brewers v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Devan Fink: For two years Ian Desmond was hitting more groundballs than any other hitter, and now an improved swing is finally showing results on the stat sheet. It may be in a platoon fashion against left-handers, but the Rockies are happy he’s now a competent big league hitter again.

Baseball Prospectus | Lance Brozdowski ($): Nolan Arenado is being more aggressive, and while that often is a bad sign for some players, it’s an incredibly good sign for him. He now has better pitch recognition for balls and strikes, and he feels more confident attacking pitches on the inner half. Somehow, the best third baseman is getting better.

The Ringer | Michael Baumann: The Padres likely aren’t going to win the NL West, or even a wild card spot, but that doesn’t mean their experiment has been a failure. In fact, they find themselves on the cusp of contending, just a few pieces away from a bona fide super team. With Manny Machado, a boatload of prospects, and wonders like Chris Paddack and Franmil Reyes, this is a team one good trade away from being a playoff one.