DENVER -- Third baseman Nolan Arenado has always had the ability to make consistent contact. And while they have never been high, his strikeout totals have been minimal this season.
Entering Friday, Arenado had three strikeouts in 58 plate appearances, an average of one every 19.3 times he stepped in the batters' box. As a rookie in 2013, Arenado averaged one strikeout every 7.1 plate appearances, and last year, he averaged one strikeout every 8.1 plate appearances.
"Having the experience, seeing some of these pitchers over and over, you kind of get a little feel about what they're going to do," Arenado said. "I think that helps. There's some times where I wish I would strike out instead of hitting a little dribbler. I wish sometimes I gave myself a true swing, a true whack at it, instead of going in the dugout like, 'I didn't give my best effort.'"
Entering Friday, Arenado was hitting .340 with seven doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs. He had a .397 on-base percentage and a .642 slugging percentage -- and that negligible number of strikeouts.
"I'm slowing the game down more," Arenado said. "I think that's what's helping me. Being able to slow the game down, see the ball, let it get deep -- those are the different things I'm working on, and I feel like they're helping me.
"My first year [in the Majors], whenever guys threw me inside, I'd swing at it, foul it off or whatever. But they're balls. Now I'm seeing them a little bit better. Sometimes they're balls, sometimes they're strikes. But for the most part, if they throw inside and I'm backing out, I feel like it's going to be a ball. I'm giving myself better chances to hit."
Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.