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The Brewer Advent Calender #13: Corey Hart

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Open up door number thirteen and you find Brewers starting Right Fielder Corey Hart!

Where to start with Hart?  Well, to begin with, a lot of fans don't like the former 11th round draft pick.  That might be because Milwaukee fans have seen the potential that he has and what he can bring to the lineup when in 2007 he had a slash line of .295/.353/.539 with 24 HR and 23 SB.  Obviously that would look fantastic in the 5 spot in the Brewers lineup behind Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, however since that year his numbers have been dropping off to .260/.335./.418 with 12 HR and 11 SB in 2009, after posting a .300 OBP in 2008.

Now, Corey Hart is in his second year of arbitration and is seeking a $1.55M raise over last season, which is $650,000 more than the Brewers are willing to give him.  Now, it appears as though Doug Melvin might take a player to arbitration for the first time in his Brewers career as Hart rejected the Brewers final offer.

Corey Harts struggles hitting the low and away breaking ball have been well documented, but perusing Fangraphs plate discipline stats for Hart reveal a couple of interesting statistics.  Though he has had close to an average first pitch strike percentage most of his career, in 2008 he had 10% more first pitch strikes than the MLB average--perhaps contributing to his .300 OBP. And in 2009, increasing the perception that he is a free-swinger, he led all Brewers with at least 200 PA in Swing%.