Eno Sarris is putting out some of the best writing on baseball anywhere. He is talking to players about their craft and framing his interviews with advanced stats. Sarris has written a lot of very interesting posts at Fangraphs using this formula.
One of his best subjects is St. Louis Cardinals outfielder/first baseman Brandon Moss.
Sarris first wrote a post based on an interview with Moss in September of last year on the anatomy of a slump. It contains this gem (and more):
Eno Sarris: Have you ever heard of FanGraphs?Brandon Moss: Yeah!
Sarris: Because we have you down as a top-ten hitter since 2012 by Isolated Slugging. So I wanted to say to you here, fuck batting average.
Moss: I agree. I 100% agree with that.
Sarris: So I can quote you on that.
Moss: You can quote me that way if you want to. I’m not kidding, you can. I’m a 100% believer that it is one of the worst statistics to judge a hitter, it’s based entirely on luck.
That post serves as a nice appetizer to this week's at Fangraphs. Sarris chatted with Moss when the Cardinals were in San Francisco. Moss was candid, sharing his struggles after surgery—how he lost weight, that sapped his power, and he got in a mechanical funk. Here's a tidbit:
In the third at-bat, Moss felt like he was truly seeing de la Rosa well, and his open stance was letting him see the ball longer. Together, that set him up for success: "Wonger got a hit, and we were down a run, and there were two outs, and it was the top of the fifth, and he’s going to try and get a quick out, he’s probably going to throw that changeup. Don’t worry about it, I said to myself, just see the ball up. And he hung a changeup and I hit a homer. If I had told myself to sit on the changeup, I might have been looking down."
Here's the homer in question:
To get the full context of the Moss homer of Rubby De La Rosa, you need to read the whole post. Sarris provides Moss's dissection of each of his plate appearances against the Arizona pitcher and includes some illustrative gifs. It's quite good.