Pittsburgh Pirates: Colin Moran Finding Success Against Left-Handed Pitching
By Marty Leap
The 2020 season has been a breakout campaign for Colin Moran. Part of the breakout season for the Pittsburgh Pirates infielder has been success against LHP.
As a whole, the 2020 season has been a painful one for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans. One of the success stories, however, has been Colin Moran. The third baseman turned first baseman/designated hitter, has had a breakout season for the Pirates in 2020.
A driving force behind Moran’s breakout season has been improved success agaisnt left-handed pitchers. If Moran can continue this, he will hit his way into being an every day player for the Pittsburgh Pirates moving forward.
Entering play on Saturday, Moran owned an overall slash line of .259/.348/.500. This included a 126 wRC+, .362 wOBA, a team-leading 7 home runs, and a 10.6% walk rate. The on-base percentage, slugging percentage, wRC+, wOBA, and walk rate are all career highs for Moran.
A driving forced behind Moran’s success has been his ability to hit the ball with authority. Moran owns a 92.0 MPH exit velocity this season and a 48.3% hard contact rate. His exit velocity ranks 89th percentile in baseball and his hard contact rate is in the 87th percentile.
Moran has also found success against left-handed pitching. This is something new for Moran. Additionally, this success is why it appears Moran could be hitting his way into solidifying a spot as an every day player with the Pittsburgh Pirates moving forward.
Another reason Moran could be an every day player moving forward is his success against left-handed pitching. Moran owns a .281/.343/.500 slash line agaisnt LHP this season, to go with a 8.6% walk rate and a 123 wRC+. In fact, so far in 2020, Moran has hit left-handed pitching better than he has right-handed pitching.
Aditionally, Moran is making more contact than ever against left-handed pitching. His 20.0% strikeout rate against LHP is a very low for Moran. As crazy as it may sound, putting the ball in play more leads to more success.
So far, the 2020 season has been a great one for Moran. He has flahsed a new found power surger, and has hit LHP better than ever before. It appears that Moran is solidifying himself as a regular for the Pittsburgh Pirates moving forward.