Pittsburgh Pirates: 3 Key Factors for Rowdy Tellez's Success

Will the first baseman be able to find the form that produced 35 homers in 2022?

Milwaukee Brewers v Minnesota Twins
Milwaukee Brewers v Minnesota Twins / Nick Wosika/GettyImages
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2. Streakiness

Not only are Tellez’s seasons up and down affairs, he also falls into significant slumps. Even during Tellez’s standout 2022 campaign, he went homer-less for 20 games in late May/early June. In 2023, he stumbled through 30 straight games without a home run. The major difference between these two spells was his overall effectiveness at the plate. 

In 2022, on the other hand, Tellez maintained consistent production despite the lack of pop; his batting average on balls in play over those 20 games was .317. During the stretch in 2023, just before Tellez hit the injured list with right forearm inflammation, yielded a BAbip of .215 and cost the Brewers 1.24 wins according to Baseball-Reference’s Win Probability Added metric.

Many of Tellez’s cold snaps can be directly related to injuries. Early in his career, he battled a nagging patella strain in his right knee, and on his way back from the forearm strain, he injured his left ring finger in a “freak accident,” which resulted in 17 stitches, a surgery, and a significant reduction in his abilities at the plate.