The more Daniel Vogelbach learns, the less he swings.
In each season since 2017, the Mets’ newest slugger has swung at pitches less frequently than during the previous year. The better he understands the strike zone and the way pitchers want to throw to him, the more focused he has become on only swinging at offerings he can hurt.
The approach and its results helped entice the Mets, who acquired Vogelbach from the Pirates in July, and has made him a truly unique batter — one who uses his bat less often than anyone else.
“That’s not my goal,” Vogelbach said about the odd batting title. “I just try to have a plan when I go to the plate and stick to my plan, whatever that plan may be. I try not to swing at what I didn’t want to swing at going up there.”
The 29-year-old is also among the league’s best at laying off balls, which helps explain the mindset: Vogelbach does not chase pitches often and tries to make the opposing pitcher enter the strike zone before he lifts the bat from his shoulder.