James Loney has been a Major Leaguer for the past eleven years, spending time at first base with each of the Dodgers, Red Sox, Rays, and, most recently, the Mets.
And although he’s never quite been an All-Star, he has had more than his fair share of success at the plate. Put simply, Loney has been a statistically above average hitter in seven out of his eleven Major League seasons, and that’s hardly something to be ashamed of.
His real claim to fame, however, is his ridiculously low strikeout rate. Since his debut, Loney has never once struck out at a rate greater than 14.7%, averaging a silly 11.9% strikeout rate in just under 1,500 MLB games – for reference, the Major League average is typically around 20%.
In other words, this guy has been stepping up to the plate against the world’s best pitchers for years, rarely ever missing when he swings …. Which is why I was quite surprised to learn that he couldn’t put his bat on the ball against this guy:
Back in 2012, James Loney stepped up to the plate against one of the world’s best wiffle ball pitchers in and flailed miserably. Check it out:
Ya baby, you can’t hang …
According to the video – from the distance of 42 feet – the pitchers’ 75 MPH throw comes in at the equivalent of a 105 MPH fastball from the mound. You’ve seen what Aroldis Chapman can do with that sort of velocity at the Major League level, so maybe this makes a lot of sense.
Even still, my brain struggles to understand why he can’t hit it, until switching to the non-traditional, and clearly bigger bat. If Loney can’t hit this guy, how does anyone else?