Last night, Russell went 4-4 with a walk and a stolen base, just for good measure. What was especially enjoyable about the outing is that, although he did not hit for power, he did an excellent job of simply hitting the pitch where it was:
Three of those four hits were 96+ MPH off the bat, and only the last one was kind of a flukey hit.
Coming into the game, Russell was hitting .250/.336/.367 with a 93 wRC+. After the game? He’s up to .273/.358/.386 with a 105 wRC+.
In Russell’s last 15 games, he’s hit .358/.435/.547, and although his strikeout rate has been 25.8% in that stretch, he’s also dropped his soft contact to just 15.8% – maybe he’s now sacrificing a little contact in order to hit the ball harder. Before that 15-game stretch, his strikeout rate was an ostensibly pristine 14.6%, but he was hitting just .215/.303/.278 with a whopping 25.8% soft contact rate. Just sayin’.