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Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 05:38 PM
In his 1988 Baseball Abstract, Bill James wrote that “The strike zone is the very heart of a baseball game. An inch in the strike zone means far more than ten yards in the outfield.” It seems to be such a simple concept, but few seem to grasp just how important the strike zone really is. It’s a 17 x 30-inch vertical space on a baseball field, and occupies only 510 square inches, but its magnitude of importance generally determines who wins and who doesn’t. For hitters, those guys who control the strike zone better than their peers – hitters who have what is known as plate discipline – are much better at setting them up in situations that allows them to tear the cover off the ball.

Most people seem to place a sort of loose definition on plate discipline as it pertains to walks. Hitters who walk often get the label of having good plate discipline while hitters who do not walk get tagged as having poor plate discipline. For starters, this is a decent quick’n dirty way to analyze plate discipline, but if we want to really find out which hitters are more disciplined than others we need to take a look at other factors, primarily the following:

Hitters being able to work the count into a hitter’s count.
Hitters being able to avoid allowing the pitcher working the count into a pitcher’s count.
Hitters being able to avoid getting stuck in a two-strike count.

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Let’s first analyze hitters’ counts by looking at team and league totals for the 2005 season. The acronym HCPA stands for Hitters’ Counts Plate Appearances and HCPA% is the percentage of all plate appearances that ended in a hitters’ count.




Teams HCPA OPS Total PA HCPA %

San Diego 2405 .920 6271 38.351%
New York (A) 2455 1.020 6406 38.323%
Philadelphia 2426 .966 6345 38.235%
Boston 2403 1.023 6403 37.529%
Cincinnati 2344 1.055 6321 37.083%
Arizona 2335 1.009 6327 36.905%
Los Angeles (N) 2233 .913 6134 36.404%
Texas 2277 1.054 6301 36.137%
Oakland 2247 .960 6275 35.809%
Toronto 2224 .963 6233 35.681%
Atlanta 2207 1.060 6186 35.677%
Cleveland 2225 1.032 6255 35.572%
Seattle 2162 .954 6095 35.472%
----------------------------------------------------
Milwaukee 2143 1.017 6156 34.812%
Los Angeles (A) 2126 .952 6186 34.368%
Minnesota 2120 .953 6192 34.238%
Baltimore 2090 .993 6134 34.072%
New York (N) 2087 1.006 6146 33.957%
St. Louis 2115 .999 6246 33.862%
Colorado 2110 1.011 6238 33.825%
Washington 2073 .946 6142 33.751%
San Francisco 2020 .917 6077 33.240%
Chicago (N) 2031 .982 6161 32.965%
Tampa Bay 2016 .937 6120 32.941%
Pittsburgh 2049 .979 6221 32.937%
Florida 2041 .928 6214 32.845%
Houston 2005 .982 6139 32.660%
Chicago (A) 2006 .930 6146 32.639%
Detroit 1970 .962 6136 32.106%
Kansas City 1948 .931 6086 32.008%

League 64893 .979 186292 34.834%


Check out the league average OPS for all plate appearances that ended in a hitter’s count, an amazing .979. In fact, the line as a whole is .305/.470/.509, which is quite literally a Hall of Fame caliber offensive machine.

Another key column in the above chart, and one I’d like to concentrate on, is HCPA%, or the percentage of all plate appearances that ended in a hitter’s counts. Consider that if the average hitter is able to put up a .979 OPS while in a hitter’s counts, then it makes sense that individual hitters (and teams) who work themselves into more hitting counts than their peers will enjoy a significant offensive advantage.

The league average percentage in 2005 for plate appearances that ended in a hitter’s count is 34.834 percent. Teams such as the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees and Philadephia Phillies enjoyed the most plate appearances ending in hitter’s counts, with each team crossing over the 38 percent barrier. The Cincinnati Reds were fifth in the majors at 37.083 percent. Another way to look at it: if the Kansas City Royals enjoyed the same percentage of plate appearances in hitting counts as the San Diego Padres, they would have had 386 more plate appearances in a hitting count than they actually had. That would have been an additional 386 plate appearances where they would have enjoyed offense at well over a .900 OPS clip instead of offense at an average (or worse) OPS. In short, they would have scored quite a few more runs – and won quite a few more games – if their hitters simply worked the count better.

When we dig deeper into the numbers on an individual basis, it gets even more interesting. I’ll simply use the 2005 league average mark as an overall league average mark for all comparisons. The figure likely fluctuates slightly season by season, but it should resemble a stable enough mark to use in all comparisons.

First, here is what I will call the Fab Five, five of the best hitters from this generation and how they’ve fared in setting up their plate appearances in hitting counts:




Player HCPA OPS Total PA HCPA % HCPA+

Barry Bonds 5276 1.287 10519 50.157% 144
Frank Thomas 4304 1.198 8602 50.035% 144
Jeff Bagwell 4161 1.174 9428 44.134% 127
Albert Pujols 1404 1.283 3427 40.969% 118
Alex Rodriguez 2718 1.200 7084 38.368% 110

For HCPA+, think of it like OPS+ as I’m merely comparing each hitters’ HCPA% to the league average mark of 34.834 percent. A 100 mark for HCPA+ is league average, above 100 is above average and below 100 is below average.

Those are career figures for all five guys, and check out those career OPS marks for each of them when they’ve been ahead in the count. Great hitters who hit in hitting counts will hit greater than – or sometimes better than – Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. The more often you place yourself in a hitting count, the more often you will enjoy the advantage to hit like legends.

Barry Bonds during his run from 2001-2004 hit in a hitting count nearly 60 percent of the time. For his career as a total, his mark of hitting in a hitting count is still amazingly more than half of his total plate appearances. Frank Thomas has nearly matched him, and others such as Pujols, Rodriguez and Bagwell have been well above the league average at getting into hitting counts.

The key question for Reds fans is how to our current (and notable past) Reds hitters shape up?




Player HCPA OPS Total PA HCPA % HCPA+

Adam Dunn 1244 1.186 2782 44.716% 128
Scott Hatteberg 1674 1.003 3847 43.514% 125
Austin Kearns 609 1.061 1467 41.513% 119
Edwin Encarnacion 95 1.034 234 40.598% 117
Ken Griffey, Jr 3573 1.132 9053 39.468% 113
Ryan Freel 446 .882 1187 37.574% 108
Rich Aurilia* 173 .991 467 37.045% 106
Sean Casey 1627 1.030 4490 36.236% 104
Felipe Lopez 588 1.065 1663 35.358% 102
Javier Valentin 364 .961 1049 34.700% 100
Jason LaRue 729 .961 2303 31.654% 91
Wily Mo Pena 268 .942 897 29.877% 86
Tony Womack 1556 .881 5256 29.604% 85

* Due to site errors, I only had access to Aurilia's 2005 splits

Taking a glance at these figures, is this what you would expect? Adam Dunn is the leader in getting himself into more hitting counts, with the Pickin’ Machine right behind him. Kearns has fared very well, and in Encarnacion’s small sample thus far he has also done very well at getting himself into a hitting count.

How about Sean Casey, however? For all the hoopla over Casey being a supposed situational hitter, not striking out and making contact, he’s been essentially a league average hitter when it comes to actually getting himself in a hitting count. Not only that, but while he’s a good hitter once he is in a hitting count, he still trails Adam Dunn by over 150 points in OPS as a hitter in a hitting count. Also to note, not surprisingly, Wily Mo Pena and Tony Womack are the trailers as they each really have no clue how to work the strike zone.

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Next, let’s use the same process to track how well teams and hitters are able to avoid getting caught in a pitcher’s count, with PCPA being pitchers' count PA:




Team PCPA OPS Total PA PCPA %

New York (A) 1802 .616 6406 28.130%
Boston 1832 .594 6403 28.612%
San Diego 1826 .527 6271 29.118%
Cleveland 1844 .586 6255 29.480%
Atlanta 1828 .511 6186 29.551%
Cincinnati 1882 .537 6321 29.774%
Philadelphia 1902 .561 6345 29.976%
Texas Rangers 1894 .564 6301 30.059%
Arizona 1909 .514 6327 30.172%
Los Angeles (N) 1851 .511 6134 30.176%
San Francisco 1851 .490 6077 30.459%
Oakland 1917 .548 6275 30.550%
Seattle 1877 .518 6095 30.796%
Los Angeles (A) 1914 .547 6186 30.941%
----------------------------------------------------
Milwaukee 1914 .515 6156 31.092%
Houston 1910 .517 6139 31.113%
St. Louis 1949 .580 6246 31.204%
Toronto 1950 .569 6233 31.285%
Chicago (N) 1933 .573 6161 31.375%
Baltimore 1938 .575 6134 31.594%
Colorado 1978 .527 6238 31.709%
Minnesota 1969 .564 6192 31.799%
Chicago (A) 1966 .549 6146 31.988%
Washington 1980 .529 6142 32.237%
New York (N) 1987 .512 6146 32.330%
Kansas City 1994 .529 6086 32.764%
Pittsburgh 2039 .522 6221 32.776%
Tampa Bay 2007 .584 6120 32.794%
Florida 2047 .575 6214 32.942%
Detroit 2048 .569 6136 33.377%

League 57738 .547 186292 30.993%


Yep, that’s right, when a plate appearances ends with the count in the pitcher’s favor, the average hitter has a whopping .547 OPS. The straight line across is .216/.226/.322. What’s amazing to note is that the league average slugging percentage is nearly 200 points lower when the count ends in a pitchers’ count instead of in a hitters’ count. If you’re at the plate and have two strikes on you, you’re rarely going to get anything worthwhile to hit, and the numbers really bear that out.

Likewise, when teams and individual hitters get stuck in pitchers’ counts more often than their peers, they really struggle at the plate. The Tigers were dead last, getting caught in a pitchers’ count in over 33 percent of their total plate appearances. The New York Yankees led the majors as their total plate appearances ending in a pitcher’s count were just a shade over 28 percent. The Reds again scored well, ranking 6th in the majors at being able to avoid pitching counts.

It’s really rather simple: the more often you avoid the pitcher’s count, the more often you can avoid that .547 OPS.

How about individual hitters, the Fab Five and notable Reds hitters?




Player PCPA OPS Total PA PCPA % PCPA+

Barry Bonds 1839 .703 10519 17.483% 177
Frank Thomas 1653 .694 8602 19.216% 161
Jeff Bagwell 2211 .670 9428 23.451% 132
Albert Pujols 902 .785 3427 26.291% 118
Alex Rodriguez 2078 .738 7084 29.334% 106

Again, Barry Bonds and Frank Thomas have just obliterated everybody else, but Jeff Bagwell and Albert Pujols have also been excellent at being able to avoid getting caught in a pitchers’ count. Alex Rodriguez, surprisingly, is just above average. As can be seen by their OPS figures in a pitching count, if you can get ahead of these guys, they’re still relatively harmless and you have a much better chance at getting them out. Only Albert Pujols has been able to maintain some moderate success when caught behind in the count.

How about notable Reds hitters?




Player PCPA OPS Total PA PCPA % PCPA+

Adam Dunn 661 .481 2782 23.760% 130
Austin Kearns 356 .490 1467 24.267% 128
Ken Griffey, Jr 2292 .692 9053 25.318% 122
Scott Hatteberg 987 .520 3847 25.656% 121
Rich Aurilia* 120 .583 467 25.696% 121
Edwin Encarnacion 62 .468 234 26.496% 117
Ryan Freel 324 .593 1187 27.296% 114
Javier Valentin 298 .406 1049 28.408% 110
Sean Casey 1339 .675 4490 29.822% 104
Jason LaRue 738 .538 2303 32.045% 97
Wily Mo Pena 294 .419 897 32.776% 95
Felipe Lopez 548 .512 1663 32.952% 94
Tony Womack 1961 .502 5256 37.310% 83

* Due to site errors, I only had access to Aurilia's 2005 splits

Just as he led the group in getting himself into hitting counts, Adam Dunn leads the group in avoiding pitching counts. What’s also very encouraging is Austin Kearns and Edwin Encarnacion also fare very well in avoiding pitching counts, just as they fare well in getting themselves in hitting counts. The Pickin’ Machine, Scott Hatteberg, also ranks high on the list.

Sean Casey? Barely above league average once again. For all the hoopla with him avoiding strikeouts and putting the ball in play, he sure falls well short of other hitters in the group at being able to avoid giving the pitcher an advantage during a plate appearance. Wily Mo Pena again looks frighteningly bad, Felipe Lopez is also not looking hot and Tony Womack is just a plain bad hitter.

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Finally, let’s track the last bullet about plate discipline, avoiding getting caught in a two-strike count. I do not have detailed team and league figures for two-strike counts as I do for overall hitting and pitching counts, but I was able to dig up enough data to use for a decent analysis.

2005 two-strike BA: .192
2005 two-strike OBP: .262
2005 two-strike SLG: .293
2005 two-strike OPS: .555

~ TPA ending with two-strikes: 86,000
~ Percentage of all TPA that ended with two-strikes: 46.164 percent

I was unable to find exact SF and HBP league figures with two-strikes so the total plate appearances figure may be off by 1 percent or so, but should still be close enough to be able to analyze. In all of 2005, there were 186,292 plate appearances in the major leagues, and approximately 86,000 of those plate appearances ended with the hitter having two strikes – AKA the kiss of death – pinned on them. As can be seen with the league OPS figures, if a hitter is caught with two strikes, their OPS plummets down to .555. In fact, if it weren’t for 3-2 full counts, that OPS figure would be much much lower, perhaps even well under .500. Most, if not all, hitters (even great hitters) turn into your typical hitting pitcher when attempting to hit on counts of 0-2, 1-2 and 2-2.

Here’s the fab five again, with 2SPA being two-strike PA:




Player 2SPA OPS Total PA 2SPA % 2SPA+

Barry Bonds 3953 .775 10519 37.580% 123
Albert Pujols 1457 .812 3427 42.515% 109
Frank Thomas 3807 .732 8602 44.257% 104
Jeff Bagwell 4359 .722 9428 46.235% 100
Alex Rodriguez 3553 .703 7084 50.155% 92

Again, Barry Bonds just seems to dominate the group as he is far ahead of everyone else in being able to avoid getting stuck in a two-strike count. Albert Pujols and Frank Thomas are above average in avoiding two-strike counts, while Jeff Bagwell is average and Alex Rodriguez, surprisingly, is below average in being able to avoid two-strike counts.

Let’s break the two-strike counts down further:




OPS By Count
Player 0-2 1-2 2-2 3-2

Barry Bonds .484 .510 .693 1.057
Albert Pujols .563 .694 .764 1.138
Frank Thomas .556 .590 .567 .984
Jeff Bagwell .458 .590 .613 .992
Alex Rodriguez .568 .610 .632 .953

As can be seen, even the very best hitters in the game are terribly weak when caught in a two-strike count that isn’t a full 3-2 count. Only by working the count back to 3-2 are these hitters able to put themselves in position where they can do damage once again. Albert Pujols is well-known for being a great two-strike hitter, but even at 0-2 and 1-2 he’s like an average light hitting shortstop.

Now for the Reds’ figures:




Player 2SPA OPS Total PA 2SPA % 2SPA+

Sean Casey 1707 .635 4490 38.018% 122
Ken Griffey, Jr 3878 .663 9053 42.837% 108
Javier Valentin 453 .531 1049 43.184% 107
Rich Aurilia* 204 .603 467 43.683% 106
Scott Hatteberg 1780 .570 3847 46.270% 100
Tony Womack 2555 .506 5256 48.611% 95
Austin Kearns 738 .538 1467 50.307% 92
Ryan Freel 605 .598 1187 50.969% 91
Edwin Encarnacion 120 .495 234 51.282% 90
Jason LaRue 1186 .479 2303 51.498% 90
Felipe Lopez 867 .561 1663 52.135% 89
Wily Mo Pena 484 .410 897 53.958% 86
Adam Dunn 1552 .586 2782 55.787% 83

* Due to site errors, I only had access to Aurilia's 2005 splits

Very interesting. Sean Casey ranks first in this group at being able to avoid two-strike counts while Adam Dunn ranks last. Now before anyone starts railing on Dunn again, it is important to note that 37 percent of Dunn’s plate appearances with two strikes also happen to be 3-2 full counts compared to only 25 percent of Casey’s two-strike plate appearances coming on a full count. Why is this important? Let’s take a look at the group by count with two strikes:




OPS By Count
Player 0-2 1-2 2-2 3-2

Sean Casey .596 .581 .534 .839
Ken Griffey, Jr .512 .535 .614 .921
Javier Valentin .400 .301 .609 .828
Rich Aurilia* .667 .293 .600 .936
Scott Hatteberg .418 .464 .462 .853
Tony Womack .426 .427 .483 .803
Austin Kearns .460 .260 .370 .903
Ryan Freel .315 .531 .465 .918
Edwin Encarnacion .294 .276 .378 .924
Jason LaRue .271 .450 .428 .753
Felipe Lopez .386 .480 .386 1.011
Wily Mo Pena .204 .314 .507 .605
Adam Dunn .417 .334 .497 .887

* Due to site errors, I only had access to Aurilia's 2005 splits

Notice the clear pattern: Nobody hits well at 0-2, 1-2 or 2-2. Only by working the count full to 3-2 do the OPS figures start to become decent, unless you’re Wily Mo Pena, of course.

What does the bulk of this information tell us? Basically, common sense still, that by laying off bad pitches and working the count in your favor that you as a hitter are setting yourself up in a situation to be very successful. If you’re constantly swinging at garbage – regardless if you make contact or not – or constantly behind in the count, you’re oftentimes going to fail as a hitter. Aggressive, contact hitters such as Sean Casey get themselves into trouble by flailing away at stuff out of the strike zone. More patient hitters who are willing to work the count will take the pitch as a ball, and work the count in their favor.

Think of it like this: when Sean Casey swings at a bad pitch and makes contact, he usually makes an out. When Adam Dunn swings at a pitch and misses, he’s helping to put himself in position to make an out, but hasn’t yet made the out. This is why such blanket statements as “if he reduces his strikeouts, he will gain hits” fall flat on its face. The people advocating Dunn to reduce his strikeouts argue for him to lose plate discipline by swinging and making contact with more pitches out of the strike zone. In fact, it should be the other way around as everybody should be arguing for Dunn to gain even more plate discipline.

Imagine all the scenarios you see Adam Dunn in a 1-1 count where the next pitch is a ball low and out of the zone. Dunn can either A) take the ball to make the count 2-1, B) swing and miss to make the count 1-2 or C) swing and make contact, likely making an out since the pitch was so poor. Option C is equally as worse as Option B, and there is no benefit to substituting C for B. This is the precise reason why offensive strikeouts have very little bearing on actual run scoring; in place of the strikeouts, hitters usually just swing at bad pitches that result in a high out making efficiency, including double plays.

In the above example, Dunn should resort to Option A, taking the pitch for a ball and getting himself in a hitting count where he can do some serious damage. As shown way above in his rate of reaching hitting counts and avoiding pitching counts, Dunn already does this better than any other current or recent Reds hitter.

This is the virtue and value of plate discipline. Take pitches, lay off swinging at garbage, work the count in your favor and hammer good pitches in the strike zone. Hitters that are able to accomplish those feats at a rate higher than their peers will likely have quite a bit of success, and that never has been a secret to hitting. What may have been a secret to hitting, however, is the rate at which hitters can get into hitting counts, avoid pitching counts and avoid two-strike counts.

For the Reds, Adam Dunn's been better in that regard than everyone else we've had in our lineup.

oneupper
02-14-2006, 05:47 PM
Here's what Dunn had to say about it:

"I have an idea of what I can and can't hit. Instead of trying to cheat to try to hit those pitches, I'm not swinging at them and hoping the pitchers make a mistake. There's balls now that I realize I can't hit, where before I would try to hit them. If I'm trying to hit that pitch, then I can't hit the one that I can hit -- if that makes sense."

Heath
02-14-2006, 05:49 PM
Hey ladies, if this thread isn't the cure what ails the heart on Valentine's Day, I'm not sure what would -

Good thread. My head hurts.

ochre
02-14-2006, 05:58 PM
Casey's pitches per plate appearance numbers should point out why he doesn't see too many 2 strike counts. He swings early and often.

Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 06:04 PM
Casey's pitches per plate appearance numbers should point out why he doesn't see too many 2 strike counts. He swings early and often.

Yep, that's why I'd argue it's the least important of the three factors. The absolute best hitters in the game in terms of plate discipline (Bonds and Big Frank) have such great plate discipline that they're also able to avoid two-strike counts more than the league average. I suppose it could be argued that fear plays a large role in hitters being able to wildly succeed in all three; most guys who take a ton of pitches are going to see two strikes just by virtue of seeing a lot of pitches.

Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 06:07 PM
Here's what Dunn had to say about it:

"I have an idea of what I can and can't hit. Instead of trying to cheat to try to hit those pitches, I'm not swinging at them and hoping the pitchers make a mistake. There's balls now that I realize I can't hit, where before I would try to hit them. If I'm trying to hit that pitch, then I can't hit the one that I can hit -- if that makes sense."

Makes PERFECT sense to me, and that's exactly what Dunn's approach should be. Basically what he's saying is he's taking pitches and waiting for his pitch, which is the approach all hitters should take. He'll learn more and more over time which pitches he can hit and which ones he can't, and as he learns more he'll become even more dangerous at the plate.

KronoRed
02-14-2006, 06:09 PM
Good read Cyclone :clap:

ochre
02-14-2006, 06:10 PM
Yep, that's why I'd argue it's the least important of the three factors. The absolute best hitters in the game in terms of plate discipline (Bonds and Big Frank) have such great plate discipline that they're also able to avoid two-strike counts more than the league average. I suppose it could be argued that fear plays a large role in hitters being able to wildly succeed in all three; most guys who take a ton of pitches are going to see two strikes just by virtue of seeing a lot of pitches.
It has to be an elevated ability to determine which pitches one can handle. Being able to put bat on ball being a lesser talent to being able to discern which pitchs are the one that can be really handled. So, a Bonds, Pujols, Thomas, Bagwell, or Rodriguez see a pitch that another, lesser batter, might think is imminently hittable and pass on it as they inherently know they won't be able to drive it.

oneupper
02-14-2006, 06:11 PM
Makes PERFECT sense to me, and that's exactly what Dunn's approach should be. Basically what he's saying is he's taking pitches and waiting for his pitch, which is the approach all hitters should take. He'll learn more and more over time which pitches he can hit and which ones he can't, and as he learns more he'll become even more dangerous at the plate.

Yep. Dunn's big, but he ain't no donkey! :)

RosieRed
02-14-2006, 06:15 PM
Hey ladies, if this thread isn't the cure what ails the heart on Valentine's Day, I'm not sure what would -

Good thread. My head hurts.

He had me at "plate discipline."

;)

Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 06:23 PM
It has to be an elevated ability to determine which pitches one can handle. Being able to put bat on ball being a lesser talent to being able to discern which pitchs are the one that can be really handled. So, a Bonds, Pujols, Thomas, Bagwell, or Rodriguez see a pitch that another, lesser batter, might think is imminently hittable and pass on it as they inherently know they won't be able to drive it.

And in the end, that's what makes great hitters ... legendary :)

There's a bunch of tangents I'd like to branch off towards eventually, such as analyzing individual breakout seasons (like Lopez last season) to try to determine how much of his breakout year could be a result of increased plate discipline and to take a look at random fluke seasons such as Beltre a few years ago.

I'm also curious if there's any correlation with BABIP for hitters at all, especially when some hitters have spikes of high/low BABIP from season to season. Generally, one would presume that more hitters' counts should result in a higher BABIP (or an average to above average BABIP with lots of homers).

registerthis
02-14-2006, 06:23 PM
These numbers are exactly the reason why I would trade Wily Mo before I trade Kearns. Wily Mo survives solely on his superhuman strength, and not much else, as his plate discipline is Tony Womack-esque. I think this is a clear result of his lack of time in the minors, where most players learn the fundamentals of plate discipline that serve them well later in their career. Those couple of years he spent wasting away on the Reds bench, rather than playing full time in the minors, may have sighnificantly harmed him.

On the subject of Tony Womack, remind me again why he's on this team? Cripes.

Oh, and that was a great post Cyclone. Nice work, as usual.

oneupper
02-14-2006, 07:30 PM
Cyclone.

I loved this post and I hate to nit-pick. But some numbers can be misleading. The count situation is a dynamic one and readers might get the wrong idea by seeing OPS by count. (as in 0-2, 1-2, etc.). You can't take a walk at 0-2 (you CAN get HBP, which may be an art in itself).

So while hitting in a "pitchers count" is always undesirable, the results are not as hopeless as the numbers might suggest. A 0-2 count, as you well stated can be turned progressively into a 3-2 count.

Doing that in could be considered a skill. It would be nice to see "count progression" stats, to determine, for example, what % of 0-2 counts a batter can take to the full 3-2. I don't think those stats are available, however at this point.

Back to the original thought:

Dunn is listed as a .417 OPS when hitting AT 0-2. (yahoo)

His OPS AFTER 0-2 is a slightly better .451 (only about 1/3 of Dunn's 0-2 counts have ended there). (source also yahoo).

AFTER 1-2 it jumps to .505

AFTER 2-2 it is .661

and AFTER 3-2 its .889

and so on...

The odds of success rise or fall as the count goes. The rate at which these odds move does appear to vary by hitter. There are better and worse two-strike hitters as your research points out.

In Dunn's case, while he avoids pitcher's counts well, he also performs very poorly in those situation (compared to say... Griffey).

These things are tradeoffs and it may very well be the case that Dunn may need to try to produce results earlier in some of his ABs, to produce better overall results. (or perhaps not). This could be modeled statistically, I guess.

Or perhaps it just underscores the need that some of us see that Dunn be "backed up" by better hitters than he has been, in order to see more pitches that he "can hit".

I don't know the answer. I guess I'm not that smart.

In any case, good work. Thanks again.

Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 08:00 PM
oneupper, you're not nitpicking at all.

In fact, what you've stated is the conundrum I had when I was originally researching the data, especially how to handle the scenario that batters simply cannot walk on counts without three balls. I might add a column in the above charts also listing slugging percentage since walks have no bearing on slugging.

The main reason I went with the data on what happens on the actual count rather than after the count is it was much easier to collect overall league data so I'd have a basis of comparison (some of ESPN's stat splits haven't been working). There's a ton of tangents to branch out on relating to batter/pitcher counts, and that's definitely a key one.

Some other odd things I've sort of found ...

All batters seem to hit very well with 0 or 1 strike in the count, even if the count is 0-1. Whether or not a second strike occurs seems to the biggest "what if" event in a plate appearance in determining likely hitting success, which ties into the data suggesting that the 1-1 pitch is the most important "swing pitch" in a plate appearance.
Just glancing here, and with an admittingly small sample size, but there does seem to be a slight increase in slugging percentage as the count progresses from 0-2 ---> 1-2 ---> 2-2. Once the count gets to 3-2 there's a massive spike up.
HBP happened about 2-2.5x more often when batters were behind in the count.
Stolen base percentages in 2005 are higher when the batters are behind in the count: 72.4 percent when behind vs. 68.8 percent when ahead. This suggests that poorer basestealers may be taking some highly unnecessary risks attempting to swipe bags.
GB/FB ratio when hitters are ahead in the count is 0.89 compared to a ratio of 1.14 when behind in the count. This makes sense since hitters see more pitches they can drive when ahead.
GDP are only slightly higher when the hitter is behind in the count.
Twice as many home runs are hit when hitters are ahead in the count than when hitters are behind in the count.

ochre
02-14-2006, 08:10 PM
Cyclone.


In Dunn's case, while he avoids pitcher's counts well, he also performs very poorly in those situation (compared to say... Griffey).


It would be hard to quantify, but I wonder if that's a function of the size of Dunn's strike zone?

buckeyenut
02-14-2006, 08:27 PM
Fabulous work, Cyclone.

It would be an interesting analysis to see if players "learn" plate discipline over time. Can they really get noticably better at this?

Another interesting look would be at a guy like Vlad, who is known to swing at everything.

I cannot say enough what an interesting read that was. Thank you Cyclone for taking the time.

TeamBoone
02-14-2006, 08:33 PM
It seems to be such a simple concept, but few seem to grasp just how important the strike zone really is. It’s a 17 x 30-inch vertical space on a baseball field, and occupies only 510 square inches, but its magnitude of importance generally determines who wins and who doesn’t.

Isn't the size of the strike zone dependent on the height/stance of the batter?

What am I missing?

BTW, that was a great post. Tried to rep you but says I have to spread it around. The other day I tried giving rep points to someone I hadn't repped since early November! Maybe there should be a time limit built into this system as well.

Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 08:41 PM
Here's slugging percentage by count to try to see what the progression was like, as oneupper suggested ...




SLG By Count
Player 0-2 1-2 2-2 3-2

Barry Bonds .297 .334 .458 .509
Albert Pujols .348 .443 .482 .630
Alex Rodriguez .352 .373 .401 .464
Frank Thomas .353 .368 .361 .452
Jeff Bagwell .277 .369 .383 .461

Adam Dunn .267 .202 .326 .406
Sean Casey .358 .340 .318 .368
Austin Kearns .258 .152 .213 .390
Wily Mo Pena .130 .200 .333 .255
Ken Griffey, Jr .317 .340 .409 .465
Felipe Lopez .217 .291 .221 .552
Ryan Freel .159 .302 .249 .376
Scott Hatteberg .223 .257 .264 .367
Edwin Encarnacion .235 .138 .216 .464
Tony Womack .238 .239 .265 .356
Rich Aurilia .444 .155 .357 .436
Jason LaRue .141 .272 .252 .340
Javier Valentin .232 .178 .397 .377

Sample size is a major problem here, as some hitters have only a handful of plate appearances with specific counts. After a rough look at those figures, the discrepancy between slugging percentage at 3-2 counts vs. 0-2/1-2/2-2 counts may not be as large as I originally believed. I'm going to see if I can pile up some league or even team data, something at least with a much larger sample size to try to gain a better indicator what the upward trend in slugging percentage looks like as a hitter progresses 0-2 ---> 3-2.

Below are some of the same charts as in the first post, but with slugging percentage included ...




Teams HCPA SLG OPS Total PA HCPA %

San Diego 2405 .454 .920 6271 38.351%
New York (A) 2455 .528 1.020 6406 38.323%
Philadelphia 2426 .481 .966 6345 38.235%
Boston 2403 .527 1.023 6403 37.529%
Cincinnati 2344 .567 1.055 6321 37.083%
Arizona 2335 .527 1.009 6327 36.905%
Los Angeles (N) 2233 .451 .913 6134 36.404%
Texas 2277 .583 1.054 6301 36.137%
Oakland 2247 .496 .960 6275 35.809%
Toronto 2224 .501 .963 6233 35.681%
Atlanta 2207 .573 1.060 6186 35.677%
Cleveland 2225 .556 1.032 6255 35.572%
Seattle 2162 .500 .954 6095 35.472%
----------------------------------------------------
Milwaukee 2143 .531 1.017 6156 34.812%
Los Angeles (A) 2126 .494 .952 6186 34.368%
Minnesota 2120 .486 .953 6192 34.238%
Baltimore 2090 .542 .993 6134 34.072%
New York (N) 2087 .532 1.006 6146 33.957%
St. Louis 2115 .515 .999 6246 33.862%
Colorado 2110 .523 1.011 6238 33.825%
Washington 2073 .475 .946 6142 33.751%
San Francisco 2020 .466 .917 6077 33.240%
Chicago (N) 2031 .526 .982 6161 32.965%
Tampa Bay 2016 .485 .937 6120 32.941%
Pittsburgh 2049 .503 .979 6221 32.937%
Florida 2041 .455 .928 6214 32.845%
Houston 2005 .505 .982 6139 32.660%
Chicago (A) 2006 .483 .930 6146 32.639%
Detroit 1970 .519 .962 6136 32.106%
Kansas City 1948 .474 .931 6086 32.008%

League 64893 .509 .979 186292 34.834%






Player HCPA SLG OPS Total PA HCPA % HCPA+

Barry Bonds 5276 .715 1.287 10519 50.157% 144
Albert Pujols 1404 .726 1.283 3427 40.969% 118
Frank Thomas 4304 .653 1.198 8602 50.035% 144
Alex Rodriguez 2718 .677 1.200 7084 38.368% 110
Jeff Bagwell 4161 .632 1.174 9428 44.134% 127





Player HCPA SLG OPS Total PA HCPA % HCPA+

Adam Dunn 1244 .629 1.186 2782 44.716% 128
Scott Hatteberg 1674 .512 1.003 3847 43.514% 125
Austin Kearns 609 .555 1.061 1467 41.513% 119
Edwin Encarnacion 95 .603 1.034 234 40.598% 117
Ken Griffey, Jr 3573 .645 1.132 9053 39.468% 113
Ryan Freel 446 .384 .882 1187 37.574% 108
Rich Aurilia* 173 .523 .991 467 37.045% 106
Sean Casey 1627 .543 1.030 4490 36.236% 104
Felipe Lopez 588 .577 1.065 1663 35.358% 102
Javier Valentin 364 .505 .961 1049 34.700% 100
Jason LaRue 729 .513 .961 2303 31.654% 91
Wily Mo Pena 268 .516 .942 897 29.877% 86
Tony Womack 1556 .432 .881 5256 29.604% 85

* Due to site errors, I only had access to Aurilia's 2005 splits





Team PCPA SLG OPS Total PA PCPA %

New York (A) 1802 .364 .616 6406 28.130%
Boston 1832 .351 .594 6403 28.612%
San Diego 1826 .305 .527 6271 29.118%
Cleveland 1844 .358 .586 6255 29.480%
Atlanta 1828 .308 .511 6186 29.551%
Cincinnati 1882 .322 .537 6321 29.774%
Philadelphia 1902 .331 .561 6345 29.976%
Texas Rangers 1894 .342 .564 6301 30.059%
Arizona 1909 .296 .514 6327 30.172%
Los Angeles (N) 1851 .297 .511 6134 30.176%
San Francisco 1851 .283 .490 6077 30.459%
Oakland 1917 .323 .548 6275 30.550%
Seattle 1877 .295 .518 6095 30.796%
Los Angeles (A) 1914 .315 .547 6186 30.941%
----------------------------------------------------
Milwaukee 1914 .307 .515 6156 31.092%
Houston 1910 .308 .517 6139 31.113%
St. Louis 1949 .337 .580 6246 31.204%
Toronto 1950 .333 .569 6233 31.285%
Chicago (N) 1933 .347 .573 6161 31.375%
Baltimore 1938 .335 .575 6134 31.594%
Colorado 1978 .303 .527 6238 31.709%
Minnesota 1969 .333 .564 6192 31.799%
Chicago (A) 1966 .327 .549 6146 31.988%
Washington 1980 .305 .529 6142 32.237%
New York (N) 1987 .304 .512 6146 32.330%
Kansas City 1994 .311 .529 6086 32.764%
Pittsburgh 2039 .302 .522 6221 32.776%
Tampa Bay 2007 .343 .584 6120 32.794%
Florida 2047 .328 .575 6214 32.942%
Detroit 2048 .337 .569 6136 33.377%

League 57738 .322 .547 186292 30.993%






Player PCPA SLG OPS Total PA PCPA % PCPA+

Barry Bonds 1839 .455 .703 10519 17.483% 177
Frank Thomas 1653 .434 .694 8602 19.216% 161
Jeff Bagwell 2211 .418 .670 9428 23.451% 132
Albert Pujols 902 .503 .785 3427 26.291% 118
Alex Rodriguez 2078 .466 .738 7084 29.334% 106





Player PCPA SLG OPS Total PA PCPA % PCPA+

Adam Dunn 661 .304 .481 2782 23.760% 130
Austin Kearns 356 .291 .490 1467 24.267% 128
Ken Griffey, Jr 2292 .444 .692 9053 25.318% 122
Scott Hatteberg 987 .288 .520 3847 25.656% 121
Rich Aurilia* 120 .358 .583 467 25.696% 121
Edwin Encarnacion 62 .274 .468 234 26.496% 117
Ryan Freel 324 .330 .593 1187 27.296% 114
Javier Valentin 298 .248 .406 1049 28.408% 110
Sean Casey 1339 .396 .675 4490 29.822% 104
Jason LaRue 738 .318 .538 2303 32.045% 97
Wily Mo Pena 294 .266 .419 897 32.776% 95
Felipe Lopez 548 .306 .512 1663 32.952% 94
Tony Womack 1961 .280 .502 5256 37.310% 83

* Due to site errors, I only had access to Aurilia's 2005 splits

Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 08:47 PM
Isn't the size of the strike zone dependent on the height/stance of the batter?

What am I missing?

BTW, that was a great post. Tried to rep you but says I have to spread it around. The other day I tried giving rep points to someone I hadn't repped since early November! Maybe there should be a time limit built into this system as well.

Thanks, TB. The strike zone is dependent on the height of the batter so those numbers probably resemble an average zone, not the zone for every hitter.

Here's some interesting tidbits on how QuestTec ops determine the height of the zone ...

http://www.edn.com/article/CA324410.html


The QuesTec system doesn't know whether a pitch is a ball or a strike until after the game. It uses the fixed dimensions of home plate to determine whether a pitch is inside or outside, but determining whether a ball high or low is a bit more involved and requires the operator to supply the system with some crucial information. At the end of the game, the operator uses images of each batter in his stance—taken when the first pitch to each batter is approximately halfway to home plate—to assist the system in determining individual strike zones. With a few mouse clicks, the operator manually sets electronic lines indicating the bottom and the middle of the strike zone at the hollow of the batter's back knee and belt, respectively. The system then automatically calculates the top of the strike zone, marking a third electronic line at a distance of two-and-half baseballs above the batter's belt. The system calls any ball a strike if the ball passes over the plate within these vertical limits, and if the batter doesn't swing at it or hit it or the catcher doesn't drop it.

M2
02-14-2006, 08:52 PM
Cyclone, this is just amazing work on your part.

On the downside, it kinda sucks that it's February and we probably just saw the post of the year.

Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 08:56 PM
Fabulous work, Cyclone.

It would be an interesting analysis to see if players "learn" plate discipline over time. Can they really get noticably better at this?

Another interesting look would be at a guy like Vlad, who is known to swing at everything.

I cannot say enough what an interesting read that was. Thank you Cyclone for taking the time.

Thanks, buckeye. TangoTiger's got some interesting stuff up on aging patterns.

http://www.tangotiger.net/agepatterns.txt


Anyway, hitters always improve their walk ratio, they strikeout the least at age 29, get their best HR ratio at age 27, their balls in play success goes down almost instantly, their line drive power stays pretty flat for a long period of time, their speed as measured by triples goes down instantly, their speed as measured by SB peaks at 24 and goes down almost at the same rate as the triples.

The key would be determining how much walk rate correlates with also getting into hitter counts/avoiding pitcher counts. My gut tells me there's at least some decent correlation, if not a strong one, but I have no idea if the actual data would back up that guess. Another way to examine whether it increases with age along with BB rate is to examine season-by-season data for guys such as Bonds, Thomas, Griffey and other hitters who have played for several years and that we have several years worth of hitting by count data for.

Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 09:02 PM
Cyclone, this is just amazing work on your part.

On the downside, it kinda sucks that it's February and we probably just saw the post of the year.

:laugh: Thanks, M2! I've been trying to dig through some data and take a look at some stuff from some different angles. We all know hitters perform better when the count is more favorable, but I've never seen anybody actually measure how often different hitters can make the count more favorable.

Part of me believes that type of information could be critically helpful in analyzing minor league and college stats to help see the progression prospects make in terms of plate discipline as they climb the ladder of minor league ranks. It's unfortunate that I've never seen stats by count for minor leaguers or college players, and I'm actually curious if the Reds front office tracks such a thing (if they don't, my first question would be why not?).

oneupper
02-14-2006, 09:10 PM
I'll borrow the conclusions of Cyclone's work to promote an obsession of mine: the need to develop an automated strike zone.

Balls and Strikes are WAY too important to be left in the hands of human beings!

RFS62
02-14-2006, 09:28 PM
Fantastic post. Thanks a lot for the amount of work you put into this.

Regarding hitting in a two strike count, ALL hitters have had it drilled into them since the beginning of time to protect the plate with two strikes. Even if they look like they haven't changed their approach, they have, mentally.

Really outstanding work.

:beerme:

RFS62
02-14-2006, 09:36 PM
My favorite visual aid

Not talking about pitch count, but rather strike zone management



http://www.redszone.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=3101&d=1125707438

westofyou
02-14-2006, 09:37 PM
Great stuff,

BTW Aurilia in 2004 0-2 (.100/.156/.133/.289 - 30 Ab's ) 1-2 (.111/.128/.178/.306 45 ab's) 3-2( .194/.324/.237/.561 93 ab's) 3-2 (.195/.459/.244/.703 41 ab's)

baseballPAP
02-14-2006, 10:20 PM
Very nice work Cyclone. How about throwing in a comparison between your Magic 5 and some weaker hitters that walk a lot. Maybe Mark Bellhorn...Brad Wilkerson? I think the numbers would tend to skew slightly, as the more feared hitters in your big 5 get pitched around more often.

Roy Tucker
02-14-2006, 10:24 PM
It’s a 17 x 30-inch vertical space on a baseball field, and occupies only 510 square inches, but its magnitude of importance generally determines who wins and who doesn’t.
Not that the umps use it, but isn't the strike zone a three-dimensional space?

1988 - "The Strike Zone is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the top of the knees. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball."

1996 - The Strike Zone is expanded on the lower end, moving from the top of the knees to the bottom of the knees.

Redsland
02-14-2006, 11:08 PM
*Stolen base percentages in 2005 are higher when the batters are behind in the count: 72.4 percent when behind vs. 68.8 percent when ahead. This suggests that poorer basestealers may be taking some highly unnecessary risks attempting to swipe bags.
Great thread! I hope I don't screw it up by posting something that's been covered elsewhere, but I've been scarce of late, and I'm having a tough time keeping up (I miss DanO ;) ).

Anyway, the stat you noted above, rather than being surprising, is exactly what I'd expect from a conservative, by-the-books running philosophy.

When the batter is behind in the count, the pitcher is more likely to waste a breaking pitch. All things being equal, that's a good time to go. (Pitchouts and strong-armed catchers notwithstanding.) When the batter is ahead, OTOH, you have to look for him to bring the gas, making a CS easier to obtain.

Again, outstanding work, and I'm sorry if I've gone and Tim McCarver'ed everything. :beerme:

Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 11:24 PM
Very nice work Cyclone. How about throwing in a comparison between your Magic 5 and some weaker hitters that walk a lot. Maybe Mark Bellhorn...Brad Wilkerson? I think the numbers would tend to skew slightly, as the more feared hitters in your big 5 get pitched around more often.

Someone else mentioned Guerrero so I decided to compare both groups. I'll throw the Magic Five out against three hitters whose value lies heavily in their walk totals and also against three well-known hacks while at the dish. I'll also include two current players whom I believe are two of the most underrated in the game today, Bobby Abreu and Brian Giles:




Player HCPA SLG OPS Total PA HCPA % HCPA+

Barry Bonds 5276 .715 1.287 10519 50.157% 144
Frank Thomas 4304 .653 1.198 8602 50.035% 144
Jeff Bagwell 4161 .632 1.174 9428 44.134% 127
Albert Pujols 1404 .726 1.283 3427 40.969% 118
Alex Rodriguez 2718 .677 1.200 7084 38.368% 110





Player HCPA SLG OPS Total PA HCPA % HCPA+

Brian Giles 2607 .601 1.147 5656 46.093% 132
Mark Bellhorn 967 .520 1.042 2175 44.460% 128
Bobby Abreu 2511 .640 1.214 5677 44.231% 127
Nick Johnson 757 .532 1.067 1761 42.987% 123
Brad Wilkerson 1106 .586 1.126 2675 41.346% 119

Miguel Tejada 1939 .602 1.059 5380 36.041% 104
Vladimir Guerrero 1688 .680 1.199 5494 30.724% 88
Alfonso Soriano 994 .646 1.093 3484 28.530% 82


Tejada's actually above average in getting himself into a hitting count, which I didn't expect, but there's Guerrero and Soriano down there in Wily Mo territory. Giles, Bellhorn, Abreu, Johnson and Wilkerson all get themselves into hitting counts at a rate/level near that of some of the Magic Five, though not quite at the level of Bonds or Thomas.




Player PCPA SLG OPS Total PA PCPA % PCPA+

Barry Bonds 1839 .455 .703 10519 17.483% 177
Frank Thomas 1653 .434 .694 8602 19.216% 161
Jeff Bagwell 2211 .418 .670 9428 23.451% 132
Albert Pujols 902 .503 .785 3427 26.291% 118
Alex Rodriguez 2078 .466 .738 7084 29.334% 106





Player PCPA SLG OPS Total PA PCPA % PCPA+

Brian Giles 1143 .430 .688 5656 20.209% 153
Bobby Abreu 1437 .403 .645 5677 25.313% 122
Mark Bellhorn 556 .249 .427 2175 25.563% 121
Nick Johnson 488 .335 .573 1761 27.712% 112
Brad Wilkerson 760 .364 .593 2675 28.411% 109

Vladimir Guerrero 1598 .444 .717 5494 29.086% 107
Miguel Tejada 1761 .372 .615 5380 32.732% 95
Alfonso Soriano 1321 .381 .618 3484 37.916% 82


There's good ole Soriano down there in Wily Mo territory again. Guerrero's above average in avoiding being behind in the count, while Tejada's slightly below average. Giles, Abreu, Bellhorn, Johnson and Wilkerson are all up there in Magic Five territory in their rate of reaching a hitting count.

Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 11:31 PM
Great thread! I hope I don't screw it up by posting something that's been covered elsewhere, but I've been scarce of late, and I'm having a tough time keeping up (I miss DanO ;) ).

Anyway, the stat you noted above, rather than being surprising, is exactly what I'd expect from a conservative, by-the-books running philosophy.

When the batter is behind in the count, the pitcher is more likely to waste a breaking pitch. All things being equal, that's a good time to go. (Pitchouts and strong-armed catchers notwithstanding.) When the batter is ahead, OTOH, you have to look for him to bring the gas, making a CS easier to obtain.

Again, outstanding work, and I'm sorry if I've gone and Tim McCarver'ed everything. :beerme:

Thanks, RL! Ya know, the more I think about it, the more you're right about that's what we should expect, especially when considering that hit-and-run situations largely occur when the batter is ahead in the count. Those types of situations sometimes force guys who rarely or never steal bags to be off on the pitch, and if the batter fails to make contact, those guys are sometimes thrown out by several feet.

Of course, that begs the question on how valuable the hit-and-run is and if it's even worth utilizing at all during the vast majority of game situations. Knowing the success hitters have while ahead in the count, if a batter is already up there in a hitting count, it calls into question the intelligence of asking that batter to go after a potentially bad pitch during a hit-and-run. In some situations the hit-and-run actually works, but in most situations A) the batter swings at a bad pitch, thereby likely making an out or getting another strike, or B) the baserunner gets caught stealing during a situation where the guy at the plate was already ahead in the count.

Of course, I wonder what Tim McCarver really would say about all of that ;)

Spitball
02-14-2006, 11:42 PM
Cyclone, great, great stuff! Thanks.

When I first started coaching young pitchers I told them that a first pitch strike was the key to pitching successfully. I soon learned that I needed to get them thinking the second strike was the key to expanding the zone and successful pitching. One can additionally look at the statistics for 0-0, 0-1, and 1-1 counts and see the need for pitchers to pitch aggressively.

Again, Cyclone, this post is awesome.

Cyclone792
02-14-2006, 11:42 PM
Not that the umps use it, but isn't the strike zone a three-dimensional space?

1988 - "The Strike Zone is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the top of the knees. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball."

1996 - The Strike Zone is expanded on the lower end, moving from the top of the knees to the bottom of the knees.

Yep, I think it was in BP where I read the 17 x 30 and 510 figures so they must have been generalizing, but for some reason it stuck in my mind. QuestTec gives allowances for different hitter sizes, and most umpires appear to do a decent enough job of getting the strike zone correct for different size hitters. Things could have changed, though, as it's been probably two years since I've read much on QuestTec and umpire statistics.

Phhhl
02-15-2006, 01:15 AM
Fantastic post. My only observation is that statistical data is used here to actually reinforce "conventional baseball wisdom" (which is more often than not disproved by statistical analysis). Pitchers are told to get ahead of hitters in the count. Good hitters learn to work the count to their favor. Here is why. Awesome.

SteelSD
02-15-2006, 02:40 AM
Cyclone, that was a truly exceptional analysis.

Much praise!

BCubb2003
02-15-2006, 03:55 AM
Cyclone has the highest reputation/posting ratio I've seen (with more than 500 posts). It's approaching 1.000.

RedsBaron
02-15-2006, 08:03 AM
Outstanding post. One for the archives.:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

OnBaseMachine
02-15-2006, 08:16 AM
I'll borrow the conclusions of Cyclone's work to promote an obsession of mine: the need to develop an automated strike zone.

Balls and Strikes are WAY too important to be left in the hands of human beings!

Agreed. I wish they would use Questec for balls and strikes. Too many times Dunn has been called out on pitches that would have been at the knees on Ryan Freel...and at the ankles of Dunn. I'd love to see Dunn's OPS if he had the same strikezone as everyone else.

BTW, great post Cyclone! Brillant analysis.

baseballPAP
02-15-2006, 08:59 AM
Much thanks for the additional work Cyclone....much as I would have suspected, although most of the high walk guys out-performed my guesstimates by a little.

Crosley68
02-15-2006, 09:08 AM
Thanks Cyclone....terrific stuff.

Cooper
02-15-2006, 02:27 PM
On small thought---and it may have been posted already and i missed it...it was mentioned a pitcher may be more likely to thow breaking ball when ahead in the count and a fastball when behind (as it relates to stealing a base).

Things to take into account:

1. pitcher more likely to throw a pitch out when ahead in count.
2. pitcher may throw fastball in ahead in the count --but they may throw it outside.

I guess what i am saying is -we don't know with any authority why base stealers succeed better with certain counts. This is dang good work, but it doesn't answer that question. Sorry if i'm a jerk.

Cyclone792
02-15-2006, 03:01 PM
Nah, Coop, you're not a jerk. ;) Redsland brought up essentially the same point.

Basically, you're right that we'd need more variables to answer the question better, and we'd most definitely need a larger sample size than just one season of stolen base data (preferably many many seasons). It's also possible that last season could have just been a fluke.

Here's the SB data in a bit more detail for 2005:



HCPA SB CS SB% PA/SB Attempt
64893 1118 507 68.8% 39.93

PCPA SB CS SB% PA/SB Attempt
57738 735 280 72.4% 56.88


Obviously there's quite a bit more SB attempts in hitting counts than there are in pitching counts, and the success rate drops in hitting counts. My guess as to why this happens is primarily A) more fastballs thrown in hitting counts, as you and RL have stated, B) prolific basestealers likely accounting for a greater percentage of attempts in pitching counts than they do in hitting counts (mainly because non-prolific basestealers will rarely run in a pitching count) and C) more failed hit-and-run scenarios in hitting counts.

Caveat Emperor
02-15-2006, 03:21 PM
Cyclone, this is truly a great piece of work. I'd like to see RedsZone set up a second Archives-like forum called something like "The Baseball Academy" where posts like this can be preserved and quickly accessed by fans who want to get smarter about the game.

Your data indicates that, as baseball conventional wisdom teaches, the quickest way to neuter a hitter is to get him into a pitchers count. The best hitters are the ones most adept at working the strike zone in their favor. While this is relevant to showing why the Reds are so successful offensively, perhaps the inverse could aslo be revealing as to why the Reds are so poor on the mound. I'd be curious to see how often Reds pitchers placed opposing batters in hitters counts vs. pitchers counts -- and I'd be willing to wager that Aaron Harang saw way more pitchers counts than Eric Milton did last year.

Red Leader
02-15-2006, 03:27 PM
While this is relevant to showing why the Reds are so successful offensively, perhaps the inverse could aslo be revealing as to why the Reds are so poor on the mound. I'd be curious to see how often Reds pitchers placed opposing batters in hitters counts vs. pitchers counts -- and I'd be willing to wager that Aaron Harang saw way more pitchers counts than Eric Milton did last year.

I'd be willing to bet that not only did Eric Milton see a bunch of hitters counts (probably more than anyone else on the staff), but that he also probably got hammered in a good amount of pitchers counts as well, missing his spots, and making mistakes. That's the only way you end up with numbers as poor as Milton had last year.

ochre
02-15-2006, 04:18 PM
They pitched to contact :)

Cyclone792
02-15-2006, 04:28 PM
Cyclone, this is truly a great piece of work. I'd like to see RedsZone set up a second Archives-like forum called something like "The Baseball Academy" where posts like this can be preserved and quickly accessed by fans who want to get smarter about the game.

Your data indicates that, as baseball conventional wisdom teaches, the quickest way to neuter a hitter is to get him into a pitchers count. The best hitters are the ones most adept at working the strike zone in their favor. While this is relevant to showing why the Reds are so successful offensively, perhaps the inverse could aslo be revealing as to why the Reds are so poor on the mound. I'd be curious to see how often Reds pitchers placed opposing batters in hitters counts vs. pitchers counts -- and I'd be willing to wager that Aaron Harang saw way more pitchers counts than Eric Milton did last year.

Thanks, Caveat. What you mention about applying the same count data for pitchers is also something I've been thinking about, and I'm going to try to look into it a bit. I've been browsing around some pitching splits and most of the data should be available so I'll see what I can find.

Just a quick glance at 2005 and I noticed Milton was behind in the count for 253 plate appearances (out of 855 total), which was 29.6 percent of all his plate appearances against. Harang was behind in the count for 253 plate appearances (out of 887 total), which was 28.5 percent of all his plate appearances against. Slight edge to Harang, but nothing too significant.

Getting ahead of hitters was an entirely different story between those two. Harang was ahead in the count 40.0 percent of the time, compared to only 34.7 percent for Milton. This is a rather significant edge for Harang.

vaticanplum
05-18-2006, 05:22 PM
I'm bumping a couple of threads here in light of all the recent Dunn bashing. this is one of my favorite threads ever.

BuckeyeRedleg
05-19-2006, 12:24 PM
Cyclone, this is truly a great piece of work. I'd like to see RedsZone set up a second Archives-like forum called something like "The Baseball Academy" where posts like this can be preserved and quickly accessed by fans who want to get smarter about the game.

Your data indicates that, as baseball conventional wisdom teaches, the quickest way to neuter a hitter is to get him into a pitchers count. The best hitters are the ones most adept at working the strike zone in their favor. While this is relevant to showing why the Reds are so successful offensively, perhaps the inverse could aslo be revealing as to why the Reds are so poor on the mound. I'd be curious to see how often Reds pitchers placed opposing batters in hitters counts vs. pitchers counts -- and I'd be willing to wager that Aaron Harang saw way more pitchers counts than Eric Milton did last year.

I agree and think that maybe a sub-forum archive of SABR-related posts like these would be great way to educate the masses on some of the principals rooted in deep statistical analysis.

When someone makes a subjective knee-jerk post saying something like, "Adam Dunn can't can't hit......blah blah blah", just direct them to a link that takes them into the archive of that particular topic.

Good bump, vaticanplum.

Cyclone792
01-02-2007, 05:09 PM
Well, I finally got around to updating this plate discipline and batting count information with all the 2006 season stats included. I'm not going to bother going through the entire methodology again so if you're a bit confused by this post, check out the original post (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42961) on the very first page and that should help clear up some confusion. But, as a reminder ...

TPA = Total Plate Appearances (all counts)
HCPA = Hitter's Count Plate Appearances (i.e. 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, etc.)
HCPA% = Percentage of total plate appearances that were hitter's counts
PCPA = Pitcher's Count Plate Appearances (i.e. 0-1, 0-2, and 1-2)
PCPA% = Percentage of total plate appearances that were pitcher's counts

First, here's how each team fared in 2006 ...


Team HCPA OBP SLG OPS TPA HCPA %

New York Yankees 2503 0.508 0.576 1.084 6455 38.776%
Oakland Athletics 2378 0.489 0.496 0.985 6281 37.860%
Boston Red Sox 2434 0.504 0.534 1.038 6435 37.824%
Los Angeles Dodgers 2409 0.491 0.539 1.030 6394 37.676%
San Diego Padres 2329 0.475 0.492 0.967 6287 37.045%
Cincinnati Reds 2332 0.489 0.546 1.035 6296 37.039%
Arizona Diamondbacks 2317 0.455 0.499 0.954 6330 36.603%
Washington Nationals 2289 0.492 0.540 1.032 6283 36.432%
Philadelphia Phillies 2367 0.494 0.543 1.037 6509 36.365%
Houston Astros 2289 0.481 0.511 0.992 6326 36.184%
Texas Rangers 2257 0.476 0.544 1.020 6273 35.980%
Cleveland Indians 2251 0.509 0.587 1.096 6303 35.713%
Atlanta Braves 2239 0.469 0.554 1.023 6284 35.630%
Minnesota Twins 2210 0.473 0.506 0.979 6228 35.485%
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Toronto Blue Jays 2204 0.478 0.554 1.031 6241 35.315%
New York Mets 2211 0.489 0.559 1.048 6291 35.145%
St. Louis Cardinals 2187 0.476 0.527 1.003 6225 35.133%
Chicago White Sox 2215 0.473 0.536 1.009 6318 35.059%
Colorado Rockies 2220 0.493 0.533 1.026 6348 34.972%
Los Angeles Angels 2160 0.469 0.524 0.994 6221 34.721%
San Francisco Giants 2109 0.461 0.514 0.974 6136 34.371%
Seattle Mariners 2131 0.434 0.498 0.932 6213 34.299%
Milwaukee Brewers 2089 0.474 0.513 0.987 6130 34.078%
Baltimore Orioles 2120 0.472 0.500 0.972 6240 33.974%
Detroit Tigers 2086 0.452 0.510 0.963 6198 33.656%
Chicago Cubs 2068 0.427 0.491 0.918 6147 33.642%
Kansas City Royals 2094 0.479 0.519 0.998 6229 33.617%
Florida Marlins 2035 0.482 0.521 1.003 6191 32.870%
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1958 0.460 0.529 0.988 6041 32.412%
Pittsburgh Pirates 1987 0.465 0.493 0.959 6218 31.956%

League 66478 0.477 0.527 1.004 188071 35.347%



Team PCPA OBP SLG OPS TPA PCPA %

New York Yankees 1776 0.242 0.352 0.594 6455 27.514%
San Diego Padres 1808 0.220 0.325 0.545 6287 28.758%
Atlanta Braves 1814 0.219 0.338 0.557 6284 28.867%
Oakland Athletics 1814 0.218 0.308 0.526 6281 28.881%
Houston Astros 1829 0.220 0.318 0.538 6326 28.912%
Los Angeles Dodgers 1850 0.230 0.332 0.562 6394 28.933%
Cincinnati Reds 1825 0.205 0.314 0.519 6296 28.987%
Arizona Diamondbacks 1855 0.219 0.294 0.513 6330 29.305%
Boston Red Sox 1894 0.226 0.320 0.546 6435 29.433%
San Francisco Giants 1828 0.214 0.308 0.521 6136 29.791%
Philadelphia Phillies 1969 0.233 0.344 0.577 6509 30.250%
Chicago White Sox 1919 0.239 0.356 0.595 6318 30.374%
Texas Rangers 1912 0.222 0.342 0.564 6273 30.480%
Kansas City Royals 1901 0.217 0.295 0.512 6229 30.519%
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
St. Louis Cardinals 1916 0.231 0.336 0.567 6225 30.779%
Cleveland Indians 1957 0.220 0.324 0.544 6303 31.049%
Minnesota Twins 1936 0.253 0.357 0.610 6228 31.085%
Baltimore Orioles 1959 0.250 0.346 0.596 6240 31.394%
Washington Nationals 1973 0.216 0.307 0.523 6283 31.402%
Colorado Rockies 2010 0.236 0.348 0.584 6348 31.664%
Detroit Tigers 1966 0.235 0.377 0.612 6198 31.720%
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1919 0.210 0.313 0.523 6041 31.766%
Chicago Cubs 1958 0.240 0.335 0.575 6147 31.853%
Toronto Blue Jays 1995 0.249 0.377 0.626 6241 31.966%
Florida Marlins 1983 0.218 0.322 0.540 6191 32.030%
Los Angeles Angels 1993 0.241 0.351 0.592 6221 32.037%
New York Mets 2028 0.235 0.363 0.598 6291 32.237%
Seattle Mariners 2018 0.243 0.355 0.597 6213 32.480%
Milwaukee Brewers 2037 0.222 0.331 0.553 6130 33.230%
Pittsburgh Pirates 2124 0.219 0.280 0.499 6218 34.159%

League 57766 0.228 0.332 0.561 188071 30.715%

In 2005, the Cincinnati Reds had a Hitter's Count Plate Appearance Percentage (HCPA%) of 37.083 percent, which means their 2006 mark of 37.039 percent was a neglible drop ... and that's a very, very good thing considering the Reds were once again among the best teams at getting themselves into hitting counts. For HCPA%, the higher the figure, the better.

Also, the Reds had a neglible improvement in Pitcher's Count Plate Appearance Percentage (PCPA%) in 2006 compared to the previous season. In 2005, Reds batters got stuck in pitcher's counts in 29.774 percent of all plate appearances, and in 2006 that figure improved to 28.987 percent. For PCPA%, the lower the figure, the better.

League figures for both HCPA% and PCPA% were virtually identical in 2005 and 2006, which leads me to believe that on a league-wide level these numbers should remain very stable. Teams will obviously fluctuate on a season-by-season basis as their offensive personnel turns over.

In 2005, the MLB HCPA% was 34.834 percent, and in 2006 the MLB HCPA% was 35.347 percent.
In 2005, the MLB PCPA% was 30.993 percent, and in 2006 the MLB PCPA% was 30.715 percent.

For individual players, sample sizes may become a slight problem as even full seasons of data may still be a somewhat small sample size so I've merely updated the total career numbers of each player. Since the Reds have had a bit of player turnover since I posted this thread originally, there's actually quite a few new faces on here. First, the hitting counts ...


Player HCPA SLG OPS Total PA HCPA % HCPA+

Adam Dunn 1552 .633 1.184 3464 44.804% 128
Scott Hatteberg 1926 .504 .999 4384 43.932% 125
Chris Denorfia 68 .490 1.005 162 41.975% 120
Edwin Encarnacion 281 .628 1.108 697 40.316% 115
Ken Griffey, Jr. 3768 .643 1.127 9525 39.559% 113
Ryan Freel 644 .388 .876 1707 37.727% 108
Jeff Conine 2654 .560 1.046 7482 35.472% 101
Javier Valentin 426 .526 .989 1250 34.080% 97
David Ross 257 .657 1.148 771 33.333% 95
Juan Castro 669 .400 .786 2255 29.667% 85
Brandon Phillips 286 .384 .755 1039 27.526% 79
Alex Gonzalez 931 .521 .955 3886 23.958% 68

Dunn, Hatteberg, Griffey, and Freel all remain largely unchanged from the 2005 data, and all of them continued to do very well in getting into hitter's counts.

Edwin Encarnacion had a very small sample size last season, but after the 2006 season we're starting to get a feel for how well he's able to work the count to his advantage, and the early numbers are very promising. Encarnacion has been able to work himself into a hitter's count over 40 percent of his total plate appearances, which is significantly better than the league average and also one of the best marks on the team. Combine this with his age, improving walk rate, and fantastic doubles rate, and it's easy to see why everybody is high on him as a hitter. His batting count data is just one more piece of positive evidence in Encarnacion's favor.

Chris Denorfia has a tiny sample size, but what I'm seeing even in his tiny sample size is terrific. In his first 162 career MLB plate appearances, Denorfia has shown an excellent ability to get himself into hitting counts. Given his solid walk rate and on-base percentages in the minor leagues, this bodes well for a transition to the major leagues.

Jeff Conine is right around league average, as is Javier Valentin, and David Ross is slightly below league average.

The last three names on this list are terrifying, however. Juan Castro, Brandon Phillips, and Alex Gonzalez have done a terrible job at working themselves into hitting counts throughout their career. We know Castro's a lousy hitter so his name isn't at all surprising. However, Phillips and Gonzalez are specifically a problem considering they'll be pencilled in as regular players in 2007. Both have historically poor walk rates, historically poor on-base percentages, and as we can see, an historically poor ability at getting into hitter's counts. If one or both could do a better job at learning the strike zone, I'd feel a bit more comfortable with them at the plate.

Now, the pitching counts ...


Player PCPA SLG OPS Total PA PCPA % PCPA+

Adam Dunn 826 .300 .473 3464 23.845% 129
Scott Hatteberg 1095 .294 .528 4384 24.977% 124
Ken Griffey, Jr. 2402 .436 .681 9525 25.218% 122
Jeff Conine 1920 .334 .562 7482 25.662% 120
Chris Denorfia 43 .186 .302 162 26.543% 116
Ryan Freel 470 .334 .602 1707 27.534% 112
Edwin Encarnacion 196 .349 .594 697 28.121% 110
Javier Valentin 363 .262 .427 1250 29.040% 106
David Ross 231 .392 .578 771 29.961% 103
Juan Castro 745 .290 .491 2255 33.038% 93
Brandon Phillips 378 .286 .489 1039 36.381% 85
Alex Gonzalez 1630 .297 .502 3886 41.945% 74

Many of the same comments on each player in regards to getting into hitting counts also applies to avoiding pitcher counts. Dunn, Hatteberg, Griffey, Denorfia, Freel, and Encarnacion all do a very good job at getting into hitting counts and avoiding pitcher counts. For our young hitters in Encarnacion and Denorfia, this is an excellent sign.

Jeff Conine, while roughly league average in getting into hitting counts, has shown a history of doing a very good job of avoiding pitcher counts. Javier Valentin and David Ross are both above average.

Unfortunately, the same bottom trio strikes again, however, in Castro, Phillips, and Gonzalez. Once again, if one or both of our double-play combination of Phillips and Gonzalez could figure out the strike zone, it'd be a major asset to the team's offensive punch altogether.

Finally, in terms of overall plate discipline as a whole, David Appelman recently posted an outstanding article on Fan Graphs (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/more-on-plate-discipline) where he takes a look factors such as contact percentage, zone percentage, and outside swing percentage.

edabbs44
01-02-2007, 06:04 PM
Dunn, Hatteberg, Griffey, and Freel all remain largely unchanged from the 2005 data, and all of them continued to do very well in getting into hitter's counts.
Very interesting...but one quick question. If, as you stated, that Griffey continued to do very well in getting himself into hitters counts, what would account for his sub-par 2006 performance?

Thanks for the knowledge.

Johnny Footstool
01-02-2007, 06:13 PM
Very interesting...but one quick question. If, as you stated, that Griffey continued to do very well in getting himself into hitters counts, what would account for his sub-par 2006 performance?

Thanks for the knowledge.

Loss of bat speed?

RedsManRick
01-02-2007, 06:14 PM
Very interesting...but one quick question. If, as you stated, that Griffey continued to do very well in getting himself into hitters counts, what would account for his sub-par 2006 performance?

Thanks for the knowledge.

A very quick look shows Jr. at a BABIP of .251 coupled with a big spike in his GB% and a corresponding dip in his LD%. Basically he's topping the ball instead of squaring it up. Maybe it's luck, maybe it's a sign of real decline. Given the state of his legs, Junior needs to keep the ball off the ground.

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=327&position=OF&page=0&type=full

Red Leader
01-02-2007, 06:14 PM
Very interesting...but one quick question. If, as you stated, that Griffey continued to do very well in getting himself into hitters counts, what would account for his sub-par 2006 performance?

Thanks for the knowledge.

I believe that data shows Griffey's career information. In other words, 2006's numbers weren't bad enough to pull Griffey's career numbers down.

I'm not sure what Griffey's 2006 numbers looked like, as far as these stats are concerned, but if Griffey was getting into hitter's counts at a near 40% rate and into pitchers counts at a near 25% rate, then yeah, why were his numbers down in 2006? Specifically, why was his OBP% down so much considering his career numbers in hitter's counts. Is age really catching up to him that fast that he was unable to do much with pitches even when he was in a hitters count in 2006?

Cooper
01-02-2007, 06:51 PM
2 things:

Both Griffey and Dunn had achieved lower stats than expected (bad luck). I wonder if an extreme shift cancels out a hitter squaring up on the ball. You can have a great line drive percentage, but if ya got to hit it through 19 fielders bunched all on the one side of the field where you hit the ball a high percentage of time -LD % may be impacted.

Lastly, there's a good article by a guy name Sal Buxamusa at hardballtimes.com....it's about pitch sequencing and how perceptions change for the batter and the pitcher based on the most recent outcome.

Gladwell or Levitt (can't remember which) talk about how people's perceptions change in major ways based on the most frequent outcome--they refer to a very painful surgery completed while a patient was awake -if the doctor did nothing for the last couple of minutes (vs a doc who hurried to get things done so as to allieviate the pain quicker)--well, most folks felt better about the doctor who just did nothing for a couple of minutes and then quit. Point being, people tend to look positively on the most recent event.

What does that mean for a baseball player--i think it could mean a lot to a coach who is trying to engage how a player might feel about certain things and thus compensating for the players most recent outcome.

I do know this, if the Bengals had won their last 3 games instead of losing the last 3 -we may feel a little better about their season.

Cyclone792
01-02-2007, 06:54 PM
Very interesting...but one quick question. If, as you stated, that Griffey continued to do very well in getting himself into hitters counts, what would account for his sub-par 2006 performance?

Thanks for the knowledge.

It's most likely a nasty combination of decline due to age with some bad luck mixed in. The fan graphs data that Rick posted is excellent, and it suggests quite a few possibilities. Loss of bat speed would screw up a batter's timing, result in fewer hard hit balls, and likely result in less solid contact being made (or failing to square pitches as often). Griffey could have suffered from one or all of those problems, and age is the ugly factor playing into all of them.

Griffey's batting count data actually improved slightly in 2006.


Griffey Career 2006

Hitter Counts 39.56% 41.31%
Pitcher Counts 25.22% 23.31%
3-0 count 3.52% 3.81%
3-1 count 5.48% 5.51%
3-2 count 12.80% 11.86%

non-IBB rate 3-0* 1.70 1.50
non-IBB rate 3-1* 1.92 1.86
non-IBB rate 3-2* 3.31 5.09

Hitter Count OPS 1.127 1.050
Pitcher Count OPS .681 .455
Even Count OPS .911 .770

*Intentional walks and how they've been scored per count make it difficult to get non-IBB walk rates for some of the counts. It seems that some years they've been recorded as 0-0 counts and other years as 3-0 counts (unless the intentional walk starts on a different count when a team elects to walk a batter midway through a PA, which happens occasionally).

One thing that I'm very certain did occur is that Griffey's walk rate faded a bit in 3-2 counts, which means he was chasing more pitches in 3-2 counts than he used to chase. If his walk rate in 3-2 counts and intentional walk rate remained at his career averages, then he'd have walked ~15 more times in 2006 with the same amount of playing time, and his 2006 on-base percentage would have been 20-30 points higher. His walk rate in 3-0 counts and 3-1 counts appears to have remained pretty consistent with his career averages.

PickOff
01-02-2007, 07:07 PM
This has probably been mentioned somewhere, but I am struck by Dunn's poor OPS when in a pitcher's count. In comparison to the league he is solidly below average, and when you compare him to Griffey, Pujols, Bonds, and the like, his OPS is 200 points lower. Ouch. His OPS in comparison to the "big five" is on par when in a hitter's count, however, and above average.

edabbs44
01-02-2007, 07:59 PM
This has probably been mentioned somewhere, but I am struck by Dunn's poor OPS when in a pitcher's count. In comparison to the league he is solidly below average, and when you compare him to Griffey, Pujols, Bonds, and the like, his OPS is 200 points lower. Ouch. His OPS in comparison to the "big five" is on par when in a hitter's count, however, and above average.

I would assume most players have better numbers when the count is in their favor...the pitcher has to throw strikes.

The difference between Dunn and the elite, IMO, is exactly what you bring out. When he is behind in the count he looks clueless most of the time. That why I personally HATE when he watches a fastball or two for strikes. Sure he may walk sometimes as a result of his patience, but I think he burns himself a lot more than he should with that approach.

edabbs44
01-02-2007, 08:07 PM
Cyclone...it appears that this team will be in trouble in 2007 when they face pitchers who pound the strike zone.

I guess the difference in Griffey's numbers comes down to when he is behind in the count. It looks like he is becoming more of a guess hitter as he gets older, as his bat speed cannot catch up to a fastball if he is thinking curveball and vice versa.

Remember when he hit the GS off of Zumaya? I made a comment on the game thread that he was about to get blown away by a heater. Thinking about it more, he was all fastball on that pitch and he would have looked foolish on anything else.

puca
01-02-2007, 08:10 PM
Not to be accused of beating a dead horse, but might this not be where preparation comes in to play. Knowing how a pitcher is going to try and get you out can go a long way towards keeping you from looking clueless.

Team Clark
01-03-2007, 11:41 AM
The only factoring that I would like to see is what kind of an impact the umpire has on these scenarios and what pitching staffs are the best at keeping the HCPA lowest over a 3-4 year period. Then I'd like to see what the numbers are with all of those factors in place. Kind of like a 7 degrees but it would be fun. Great work as usual.

PickOff
01-03-2007, 01:28 PM
The only factoring that I would like to see is what kind of an impact the umpire has on these scenarios and what pitching staffs are the best at keeping the HCPA lowest over a 3-4 year period. Then I'd like to see what the numbers are with all of those factors in place. Kind of like a 7 degrees but it would be fun. Great work as usual.

It would also be interesting to see the HCPA with men on base, and in scoring position.

Team Clark
01-03-2007, 03:02 PM
It would also be interesting to see the HCPA with men on base, and in scoring position.

Very true. I would be interested in that as well. I really want to see the umpire data. I think there are a handful that have a "noticeable" impact.