Corbin Carroll

What’s Happened to Corbin Carroll?

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A year ago, he was an all-star and a postseason hero, but Corbin Carroll’s stats in 2024 don’t reflect that at all. We’re not saying he was already one of the best outfielders of all time, but the early returns were promising with Carroll winning Rookie of the Year.

Alas, the Corbin Carroll of this year is nothing like the 2023 version. To make matters worse, the Arizona Diamondbacks record thus far reflects Carroll’s struggles. So what happened to him?

What’s Gone Wrong with Corbin Carroll in 2024?

It’s common to see players go through a sophomore slump after excelling during their rookie campaign. But Carroll’s struggles go beyond that. He could be in danger of becoming a former Rookie of the Year who ends up being a complete bust.

As Carroll tries to get himself right, let’s take a closer look at his poor start to 2024 and some of the possible causes.

By the Numbers

As mentioned, Corbin Carroll’s stats in 2024 are a far cry from last season. He finished last year with a .285 average and an OPS of .868. But two months into the 2024 campaign, he’s still hitting below .200 with an OPS roughly 300 points lower than last season. His slugging percentage, in particular, has fallen off by more than 200 points, as Carroll is on pace for six home runs and 18 doubles after hitting 25 home runs and 30 doubles in 2023.


Oddly enough, Carroll’s exit velocity hasn’t been the issue. He’s only experienced a modest drop from 90 mph to 87.1 mph in average exit velocity from last year to this year. Carroll’s exit velocity on off-speed pitches has actually improved from 2023. That indicates that this is not an issue of bat speed, which would obviously be unusual for a 23-year-old.

Trouble Going High

In 2024, the four-seam fastball has been the pitch giving Carroll the most trouble, specifically high in the zone. Since he’s listed at 5’10’’, nobody expects Carroll an elite hitter against high pitches. However, he’s getting consistently burned by the high fastball, which wasn’t happening last year. In 2023, against four-seam fastballs at least 30 inches high, Carroll posted an OPS over 1.000.

On that same pitch this year, his OPS is closer to .400. His run value on the four-seam fastball overall last year was 13, only to fall to -5 this year, a drastic decline to say the least.

Let’s Get Mechanical

Since bat speed isn’t the issue, Carroll’s issues could be related to a mechanical flaw that has hindered his path to the ball. While loading his swing, Carroll has been turning too far inward toward the catcher before the bat entered the zone.

This is called “counter-rotating” and it led to a flatter swing rather than trying to make contact from a vertical angle. As a result, Carroll was popping up a lot of balls rather than hitting long drives. This issue also explains why four-seam fastballs, especially high in the zone, have proven particularly difficult for Carroll this season.


Too Good Too Soon

If Carroll’s biggest mechanical flaw has been identified, why can’t he fix it? Well, it’s not always easy for hitters to make adjustments like that on the fly. They need to work hard so that they naturally make the adjustment rather than think about needing to adjust.

This can sometimes lead to paralysis by analysis. Keep in mind that Carroll is just 23 years old and already an all-star and a former Rookie of the Year. He’s had success at every level of baseball he’s ever played and has never faced a challenge like this in his career. It could take time for him to figure things out and get back on track. Fortunately for the D’Backs, he’s too good of a hitter not to get back to his old self at some point.

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