Colorado Rockies: How Raimel Tapia can learn from Ryan McMahon’s offseason adjustments

Apr 21, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia (15) celebrates as he and third baseman Ryan McMahon (24) score on a play in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 21, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia (15) celebrates as he and third baseman Ryan McMahon (24) score on a play in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Colorado Rockies outfielder Raimel Tapia
May 2, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia (15) hits an RBI single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The answer to that question is fairly simply for the Colorado Rockies left fielder.

While he’s been really good at limiting his strikeouts by putting balls in play, he’s not doing so in effective ways. Most noticeably, he’s hitting ground balls at a 61.5 percent clip.

That ranks as 2nd most in the majors among qualified hitters behind only Pittsburgh’s Erik Gonzalez, who’s hitting for a wRC+ of a lowly 47. It doesn’t mean you can’t succeed this way, you just need to be excellent in other areas.

Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox has the 3rd highest GB% at 61.4 percent, but he’s excelling in many other ways with his bat and is hitting for a wRC+ of 117.

Tapia simply hasn’t yet.

For Tapia, that GB% would be a career-high if it sticks.

It’s nearly six percent higher than his 2020 number. It’s even gotten so high that Tapia now has a negative Launch Angle (-0.5). Now, a successful Launch Angle is going to differ for every hitter dependent on their strengths, and no one launch angle is the best, but it’s getting to a concerning point here.

In fact, when you consider Tapia’s launch angle (-0.5), his GB% (61.5 percent) his HR/FB% (14.7 percent) and his Hard Hit% (31.4 percent), it actually reads incredibly similarly to a former teammate of his.

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