It appears that this newfound success is being driven by a more aggressive approach.
That's with a fairly lenient 300 plate appearance minimum. First, four out of the 14 seasons are currently happening in 2015.There are still a few weeks of games left to change that, so that's something to be looked at at the conclusion of the season.The net negative of this swing-heavy approach is his higher ground ball rate, which has jumped to 51.3 percent after having a cumulative 43.9 percent rate from 2010-2014.By swinging more at everything, he's also swinging more at breaking pitches, a career weakness, and potentially generating weak contact on more balls that he is chasing.Per Baseball Savant, he actually ranks third in average exit velocity (93.6 MPH) among all major league hitters with at least 100 balled balls.
He's hitting with power to all fields as well, with a .324 pull-hit ISO and a .318 ISO to the opposite-field (data per Fangraphs).
He has holes, and pitchers are beginning to adapt to him.
He'll have to demonstrate that he can make a change right back at them.
If Valencia maintains the same aggressive approach, he'll probably still run into a lot of mistake high fastballs or hanging sliders, but with less total value.
There's a reason that not a lot of hitters hit that many ground balls while still hitting for power.
Danny Valencia, the Oakland Athletics' recent third base addition, had a strong night at the plate on Friday.