We won't need to stage any impassioned debates over whether Reyes is "shift-proof." He hasn't been shifted on in even one plate appearance this season. Not from the right side. Not from the left side.
His pull percentage is higher when hitting right-handed (77 percent) than it is when he bats left-handed (67 percent). But if you include all plate appearances, you find a hitter who has an incredibly even distribution of balls on the ground, balls in the air and balls sprayed to all sections of the field. No wonder no one bothers shifting.
"He's a guy who's very tough to shift against," said the same AL front-office man. "One, he can bunt very successfully. And two, he's very good at slapping the ball the other way. So guys like him -- who can bunt and have that sort of bat control -- are very hard to shift on."
There are many ways to measure the ascension of Molina as an offensive force. Here's one more: He, too, is now practically shift-proof.
The only team that has even tried a partial shift on him this year is the Brewers. They tried it in three at-bats. He got two hits. So what's the use?
"You can't do it. He stays inside the ball too much and he guesses so well," said the NL scout quoted earlier. "He knows what you're trying to do to him. So I've seen him get a pitch middle-in and drive it out the other way, or he'll stay inside that ball and shoot it to center field. We're talking about big-time, big-game bat control."
How do you convince those teams you play to save their shifts for somebody else? Big-time, big-game bat control ought to do it. What a concept.
And now 10 more names who are foiling the shifting plans of managers and data-crunchers from coast to coast: