Behind the Breakout: Yuli Gurriel
Greg Jewett dissects breakout candidates during the 2019 MLB campaign.
It’s a family affair in the Behind the Breakout series with Yuli Gurriel joining his younger brother Lourdes as a highlighted player within the series. For those living under a rock, Gurriel’s been on fire over his last 17 games hitting 11 home runs and driving in 23 with a robust .366/.416/.873 slash line. Within this sample dating back to June 22nd, Gurriel leads the majors in home runs, isolated power (.507) and weighted on-base average (.515). Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger each launched eight home runs in this time frame, but lag behind Gurriel in the other two categories.
Prior to this hot streak, Gurriel owned a .681 on-base plus slugging percentage with only five home runs in 70 games. So, what happened? For starters, Gurriel’s pulled the ball more (49.3 percent) in the last 17 contests while producing fly balls 50.7 percent of the time and an unsustainable 32.4 home run per fly ball percentage with a 41.8 hard hit rate. It’s tough to wrap one’s head around Gurriel...