30 Zuumballs in 2017?
where are you, Denizen, on high-risk high-reward players?


Ryan Divish has a long, comprehensive article up with many Servais quotes.  A few of the ideas offered:

1  The Mariners like Carlos Ruiz and won't ask Zunino to play 120-130 games.  So, probably a 2:1 split.

2  The Times expects a big leap in WAR, but the position did score +2.4 last season.  Jesus Sucre was at +0.5, Iannetta +0.9, Zunino +1.2.  Doesn't count pitch framing, global effect on pitching, etc.

3  Servais said the status of Zunino's scouting book is:  He solved the issue of chasing breaking stuff off the plate.  Pitchers came hard inside, and Zunino hasn't solved that yet.

4  Ruiz is a nice stylistic fit with Zunino - Ruiz a "control the zone" hitter without a lot of power, meaning that Servais can take his pick on a given night, find the antidote for a given pitcher.

5  All the M's want from Zunino, long term, is .220 / .320 / .420.  Very "achievable."

6  Zunino has a lot of rope; he'll be one of those guys the Royals invested time in, a "patience project" as James says is indispensible in today's game.

A good article.


Ron Shandler sez, 

"Prodigious" combo of Power Index plus Fly Ball percentage.  (Goody gumdrops!)

"Dreadful" CT%, contact percentage that is, balls in play as opposed to strikeouts.

Is indeed showing real progress in chase percentage, which overlaps his rising BB's.

30 homers quite possible in 2017.

Pay $8 roto for .230 / .325 / .425 in 410 at-bats.


Dr. D likes Shandler's analysis.  Zuumball is anything but a lock; hence Ruiz.  But his big weakness, K's, is indeed showing signs of healing up.  His big strength, power ... I wasn't consciously aware of his knack for pulling the ball in the air, as Seager does.  The 30-homer UPside ... you remember that he hit 12 last year in 30% of a season.  Here's an off-field homer from August.






Interesting that the player development folks are impressed with Littlewood. 


Because of your point #3 above.  Pitchers stopped trying to fool him, because they found out they could just blow the fastball by him.

What's the cure for that?

Hope he finds it.                                           


I've always thought that Zunino brought so much to the lineup in terms of the way he controls a staff and his framing that we tend to over-bash his K-rate deficiency.

All the same, I've also thought (from a layman's view) that he's one of those guys who swings a bat that is too long.  Length increases swingweight which means you have to start a bit earlier.  It also makes it harder to get the head around on inside heat.

Shorten up Mike.  Or choke up.  


No matter what the power, 41% K rate (last 91 AB) is not sustainable if he's going to start.

I wonder if he fullly accepts that 380' over the left field wall counts just as much as 480'.  (I'm sure he accepts that in theory...but does a tendency just take over?)


In boxing, for example, in order to be quick you have to be explosive; the acceleration creates the "hardness" of the blow as an aftereffect.  Actually the attempt to be quick can create the appearance of swinging too hard ...

Of course what you can do is remove load, get the lower body out of the equation, start from a more compact firing position.  Seems to me that Zuumball has done that.  Personally suspect pitch recognition as the culprit.

My $0.02.  Good stuff.

Anonymous's picture

Zunino's got SO much talent. It's like his talent is a metaphor for his swing. Because of his long swing he whiffs. Is his talent going to whiff, at least as a hitter?



IN THIS VIDEO, for example, notice how he picks up the left foot lightly and gets it back down early - never sliding much weight on to it in any case.  Also monitor the degree to which he "cocks" the bat to load it.  (Only an inch or two.)

A 96 MPH fastball in on the hands, whipsawed against a floating low-away slider ... it's tough for even the best to cover both, because EVERYBODY cheats to get to a great fastball inside.  (Notice Paxton's success.)  It takes anticipation, a subliminal read of what's going to happen.  Mikey is young yet.  :- )

Seattle Sports Insider's picture

If Zunino is an Ozzie Smith at catcher, but hits 30 HR, that is an all star. Sign me up.


I think he needs to get even more compact to cover the fastball, and I also think he needs to get more weight in the bat (while reducing the drag by shortening the wood) so that he doesn't have to swing as hard to drive it.  He has so much raw strength that he can pepper swing and hit a double and short-arm swing and homer if the bat is up to it.  That is also the only way he's ever getting around the fastball inside.

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