Isaac Paredes seems to like leftfield, that's where he hits his home runs

Paredes has hit every home run in the Major Leagues to leftfield. He believes that the shortest distance between two points is down the left field line. He is capable of putting the ball anywhere he wants, but when it comes to going over the fence, Paredes is going to left field.
Isaac Paredes has made a living pulling the ball to leftfield and making sure that it goes into the stands for a homerun.
Isaac Paredes has made a living pulling the ball to leftfield and making sure that it goes into the stands for a homerun. / Elsa/GettyImages

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times recalls a story about a conversation that Isaac Paredes had with a member of the Tampa Bay front office who studies analystics and data. Paredes tells the staff member the real reason why the chooses to hit the ball to left field.

The reason he gave was very simple. It's the closest way to get the ball out of the park.

His average home run distance last season was only 378 feet, which was the shortest of those players that hit more than 30 home runs.

Paredes has hit more than 50 home runs in his young career and every ball that has left the yard, went to left field. He might sprinkle in some fly outs or drop a ball in to center field or hit some ground balls to give the infielders some work, but he loves going down that left field line.

""It's common sense. But he has the ability to do it better than most.""

Rays hitting coach Chad Mottola

Paredes is not a power hitter by any stretch of the imagination. He does not have a powerful bat. Perhaps that is why he likes to go the left field route, as its dimensions down the line at Tropicana Park are shorter than the right field line.

The 25-year old entered Tuesday's game with the Los Angeles Angels having hit every home run to the left side of the field. He has never hit an opposite field home run, and never had a blast go over the center field wall.

""It's insane. It doesn't matter if it's a pitch in or a pitch away, he finds a way to get a barrel on it. He's a lot of fun to watch.""

Rays pitcher Zach Eflin

The Rays picked up Paredes at the end of Spring Training in 2022 via a trade with the Detroit Tigers. The Rays scouting department thought that Paredes would be able to spray the ball down the left field line with some power and that he had a good plate presence.

That was not enough to keep him with the big club after Spring Training as he was sent down to Triple-A Durham. He had a cup of coffee with the Rays in May of that year and then came back a month later for good. They have not been able to get him out of the lineup since he came back.

Incidentally, he hit two homers in his first series after coming back, which was against the same Tigers organization that disposed of him. He hit both of them to, obviously, left field.

""I think that's when I first realized that I should be able to pull the ball more." "

Isaac Paredes, through his interpreter

He played 111 games during that 2022 season and hit 20 home runs. He belted 31 last season and has three so far this season.

"“I’d love to tell you we predicted that he was going to be a 30-home-run hitter. I don’t think any of us anticipated the way it just immediately took off. So, I think he deserves a lot of credit both for trying it and it working out.”"

Rays hitting coach Chad Mottola

Mottola said that Paredes is a pure hitter and can change direction when the situation calls for it. He picks the right spots. He will hit the ball up the middle or to right field to move runners along. He changes it up so much, that opposing pitchers cannot just pitch him outside because he is capable of spraying the ball all over the yard.

If he ever hit one to right field, the Rays do not know how they would react or what they would do to celebrate the occcasion. Second baseman Brandon Lowe said that "it'd be the craziest thing in the world."