Tool Time: Top Bad Ball Hitters

Making the most of a bad situation can help turn a slump into a streak. Behind in the count, swinging at bad pitches, and doing it continuously aren't necessarily winning traits but these San Diego Padres' prospects find a way to push through as the best "bad ball" hitters in the land.

1. Luis Cruz

When the ball is grazing his shoelaces, Cruz finds a way to not only put it in play but also shoot it where fielders aren't.

The infielder isn't a particularly patient hitter and makes sure he gets in his hacks, even if that means he must swing at a ball out of the strike zone.

2. Javis Diaz

Blessed with impeccable bat control can be a curse as much as it is a boon. Diaz has an affinity for swinging at balls out of the strike zone but finds a way to keep the ball between the foul poles.

While he will draw a walk, Diaz prefers to put bat to ball to make his money and does it quite well. He has a knack for hitting those balls low and away – shooting them opposite field for hits.

3. Luis Durango

Perhaps it is his swing that has him feeling on top of the world – whatever it is, Durango makes do with a high average despite swinging at balls out of the zone.

He is particular to those balls down and in and finds a way to inside out the ball. His theory is if he can put it on the ground and in play, his speed will give him a chance to reach base.

4. Nic Crosta

He may not look pretty but Crosta can mash anything that is within his reach. While it leads to some of those unwanted pop ups, it can also lead to much more.

Crosta has been partial to those balls that seek the dirt – using his massive strength to put the barrel of the bat on the ball and send it towards the moon.

5. Will Venable

There may be no player with more plate coverage than Venable. The outfielder doesn't much care if the ball is in or out, up or down – the job gets done.

Venable is a meat and potatoes kind of guy – he wants to drive the ball at every turn and is more willing to take a chance with men on base. He is even cognizant of his bad ball hitting skills but more often than not he connects.

Also in consideration (alphabetical):

Josh Howard
Ironically, one of the more patient hitters but he also finds a way to put bat to ball even when it is a pitchers' pitch.

Tom King
An aggressive hitter who is so anxious to hit he will take his hacks at anything thrown his way.


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