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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Ian Desmond of the Colorado Rockies
Sep 11, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies center fielder Ian Desmond (20) runs off his solo home run in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Ian Desmond’s 2017 season (0.0 Launch Angle, 62.7 GB%, 13.2 HR/FB%, 30.6 Hard Hit%).

People always ragged on Desmond for his deficiencies hitting with the Rockies but Tapia’s profile so far this season is very similar to that dreadful 2017 season that Desmond had.

Now, let’s go back to one of those stats: HR/FB%. Tapia’s number stands at 14.7 percent. That would be a career-high for him and it signifies one very important thing: When he hits the ball in the air, he hits it well.

The 14.7% number isn’t phenomenal, but it puts him in the company of other decent hitters so far this season: Randy Arozarena of Tampa Bay (115 wRC+), Yoan Moncada of the Chicago White Sox (153 wRC+), Pete Alonso of the New York Mets (122 wRC+) and Josh Donaldson of the Minnesota Twins (126 wRC+).

Now, all of those hitters are different types of hitters than Tapia so the comparison isn’t quite apples to apples. Tim Anderson is the best current comparison for Tapia’s batting profile and Anderson has a HR/FB% of 24%. But each of those hitters have a wRC+ above 100 and none of that is a mistake. When they put the ball in the air, they punish it. Tapia has room for improvement.

In fact, this is why I believe Ryan McMahon’s adjustments that he made are the key to making Tapia a better and more valuable overall hitter.

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