Connor Joe is in a funk at the plate, and that rough patch has dropped one of the top leadoff options for the Colorado Rockies down in the lineup while he is trying to figure out what adjustments need to be made.
Over his last seven games, Joe is 2-for-27 at the plate with eight strikeouts (slashing .074/.107/.148). Spread that out to his last 30 games and Joe is 21-for-106 with 30 strikeouts (slashing .198/.328/.292). It’s easily the toughest stretch that the 29-year-old Joe has been through since he made his Colorado Rockies debut last May 7, and it’s one that has the versatile Joe and the Rockies working to correct.
Despite the tough recent stretch, plenty of optimism for Connor Joe to return to his ways with the Colorado Rockies
Since posting back-to-back two-hit days on June 26 and 27, Joe has had just one multiple-hit game since, going 2-for-4 in a July 15 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. During that stretch, Joe’s batting average has dropped from .281 to .247 entering Thursday’s game in San Diego.
Colorado manager Bud Black sees Joe’s struggles as more of an adjustment on the part of MLB pitchers now that there are plenty of scouting resources on Joe as a hitter.
“That happens,” Black said of the downturn in Joe’s production. “There’s an adjustment going on in the league. I’ve noticed around the league, how they’re pitching him a little bit different.”
Black was also quick to point out that Joe has seen action in 92 games this season for the Rockies, more than he had seen in his previous two big league seasons combined (71).
“Connor is in a territory where he hasn’t been before as far as big league at-bats and games,” Black said. “The major league season is different than the minor league season with the intensity and the magnification and the emotion. He’s going through that for the first time, from the start to where we are now, but he’ll adjust back.”
Joe’s recent decline can be seen in a few statistics. Year over year, his hard-hit percentage is down from 39.0 percent to 33.6 percent while his strikeout rate has climbed from 19.4 percent to 20.8 percent. Additionally, his ground ball rate has skyrocketed (45.1 percent from 33.3 percent) and his line drive percentage has dipped (29.8 percent to 28.4 percent).
The numbers are no surprise to Joe, who said he isn’t losing faith in himself at the plate.
“Believe me, I put my at-bats side by side on video and looked at my swing, but it’s not much different,” Joe told MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. “It’s not my swing. I haven’t been getting on base as much as I’d like lately. But it’s staying consistent. I know how good I am. I know how good my skills are at getting on base, whether it’s getting a hit or drawing a walk. I believe in myself.”
Both Joe and Black believe that things will turn at the plate, but the clock is ticking as both Joe and the Rockies as a whole are looking for positives out of the final 55 games of the 2022 campaign.