In 2017, lefties are hitting Johnny Cueto better than they ever have before. Now, it’s not much overall (.306 wOBA (2017) v. .297 wOBA (career)), but there is one really big difference: the slugging.
Career Slugging Against v. LHP: .370
2017 Slugging Against v. LHP: .415
Left-handed hitters are slugging forty-five points better off the Giants’ second ace in 2017 than they have in the rest of his career. Which is why we probably shouldn’t have been surprised to see Kyle Schwarber take him deep in the first inning of the game.
And just one inning later, Jason Heyward did the same thing (only not quite as hilariously far). You can watch the full MLB video on Cubs.com, or check it out below:
Jhey dinger!! pic.twitter.com/YH5IdQGWxJ
— Brett (@Cubbieblue97) May 24, 2017
That was Heyward’s fourth homer of the season – which is something he didn’t accomplish until June 11th last season (although this is even more impressive, considering the time he missed on the disabled list).
And hey, it wasn’t as deep as Schwarber’s, but it was still a rocket:
— Cubs Exit Velocity (@cubsexitvelo) May 24, 2017
374 feet isn’t a monster shot by any stretch of the imagination, but if you keep hitting balls over 20 degrees and more than 100 MPH, you’re going to be in really good shape.
For the season, Heyward is now slashing .262/.347/.402 which is good for a 101 wRC+ (meaning he’s an above average hitter so far). After last year, and before the weather warms up, you’d definitely take that!