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dougdirt
03-04-2007, 12:57 AM
I was having an arguement recently with a guy over Cameron Maybin (Tigers prospect, 2005 draft). I was telling him that the amount of hits he had in the infield were astronomical and that it was crazy to expect him to be able to repeat such a thing and that he was insanely lucky all season with having hits fall in (he had a .415 BABIP in 2006).
Well thanks to minorleaguesplits.com (http://www.minorleaguesplits.com) I made some charts to show what I was referring to. Once I did that I decided I would take a look at what I think are the Reds top 4 hitting prospects did.

To explain what you are looking at, I took the number of balls hit to a position by a player, then divided it by the number of hits they actually got in those hits to that position. I also am going to include Cameron Maybin just becuase I have it ready to go. Also note that the areas are just to represent the typical ground a defender should cover, and I just shaded that in myself to represent where the ball roughly was either caught by or picked up by the defender.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g66/dougdirt/Drew-Stubbs-zone-hit-percen.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g66/dougdirt/Joey-Votto-zone-hit-percent.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g66/dougdirt/Jay-Bruce-zone-hit-percenta.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g66/dougdirt/Chris-Valaika-zone-hit-perc.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g66/dougdirt/Cameron-Maybin-zone-hit-per.jpg

HumnHilghtFreel
03-04-2007, 03:50 AM
That's some really good work, Doug.

If anything, this really does confirm what Narron's been saying about how great Votto is about spraying the ball to all fields. Bruce looks to be pretty good about moving the ball around too, but definitely more pull-oriented, given the number of infield outs to the left side.

Betterread
03-04-2007, 09:47 AM
Nice graphic representations of where players' hits are on the field. If you can drive the ball to all fields, it is much harder to guess where your tendencies are.
Doug, what do you derive from these charts, with respect to the player development curve for these young players?

dougdirt
03-04-2007, 12:03 PM
Nice graphic representations of where players' hits are on the field. If you can drive the ball to all fields, it is much harder to guess where your tendencies are.
Doug, what do you derive from these charts, with respect to the player development curve for these young players?

Well, while I have only looked at the 5 players shown, these charts seem to suggest that like what you would expect, when a player pulls the ball, the odds are more likely that they are going to get a hit. Maybin for example is a right hander, and 84% of the time he pulled the ball into the outfield, it fell in for a hit. At least from the guys I have looked at, it appears that Drew Stubbs had a lot more trouble getting opposite field hits than anyone else. Now there could be reasons for that, such as fewer line drives and things like that....but thats not true. Of the balls he put into right field, 45% of them were line drives, where someone like Jay Bruce (to left) was around 31% and Joey Votto (to left) was at 19%, but the latter both had much better hit percentages to their respective opposite fields. Maybe Drew Stubbs was a lot less lucky than the other two players?

HumnHilghtFreel, Here is a different chart that is what you are actually talking about that shows where a players hits actually came from. I have only done this chart so far for Jay Bruce, but it shows what percentage of his hits went to what part of the field (note the numbers wont add up to 100. I rounded the decimal points and there were also 8 hits unaccounted for on minorleaguesplits.com and before I realized it at the end, I had already made the chart).
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g66/dougdirt/Jay-Bruce-hit-percentage.jpg

Now I like this chart from Jay, as roughly the same number of hits go to center for him as they do to the opposite field. Now like I said, I havent done these charts for anyone else yet, but I think that for a 19 year old, he seemed to spread the ball around the field at a good rate.

HumnHilghtFreel
03-04-2007, 12:58 PM
Now I like this chart from Jay, as roughly the same number of hits go to center for him as they do to the opposite field. Now like I said, I havent done these charts for anyone else yet, but I think that for a 19 year old, he seemed to spread the ball around the field at a good rate.

Yeah, I knew that wasn't what the chart was, but the numbers still indicated roughly that he was spreading the ball around.

And I agree, that does look pretty good for such a young kid.

Superdude
03-04-2007, 07:38 PM
The midwest league hit groundballs to the 3B and SS 20% of the time and batted .096. Maybin hit 32% of his balls to the left side of the infield, and batted .237. Maybin is fast, but I can't imagine him continuing that as he moves up the ladder against better defenders.

He should be given some credit for his speed, but had his BABIP been league average on all those grounders to the left side, he would have hit .272 last year. "The Boss" rules. :thumbup:

dougdirt
03-04-2007, 08:09 PM
The midwest league hit groundballs to the 3B and SS 20% of the time and batted .096. Maybin hit 32% of his balls to the left side of the infield, and batted .237. Maybin is fast, but I can't imagine him continuing that as he moves up the ladder against better defenders.

He should be given some credit for his speed, but had his BABIP been league average on all those grounders to the left side, he would have hit .272 last year. "The Boss" rules. :thumbup:

That has always been my point. Lets just say Maybin "normalized" his BABIP to something like .370, which btw is not close to normal, his numbers would look dramatically different. It would have cost him 10 hits over the course of a season. Lets just say all 10 of those were singles, it would take his line of .304/.387/.457/.844 and turn it into .278/.364/.431/.795. I think Maybin is a very good prospect, dont get me wrong, but I think he gets overrated by quite a few people.

bucksfan2
03-05-2007, 10:25 AM
Cool stuff Doug. I have a couple of questions for you on this. The infield percentages are those actaully infield hits or hits that went through the infield? When Maybin has a lot of infield hits couldn't this be a good thing? For example look at what ichiro does to a defense. A routine ground ball is a difficult play when he is running. I know maybin is a rh but speed out of the batters box can increase the obp.

dougdirt
03-05-2007, 01:37 PM
Those are infield hits, not hits that went through the infield. for Maybin for example, 23% of the time the third baseman fielded the baseball, he got a hit. Maybin is really fast, there is no question about that. I dont think there is any question he can continue to get infield hits for a long time, but I dont think they will come in the same numbers. 1, unlike Ichiro, he is not a contact hitter. He struck out 26.1% of the time he stepped to the plate last season. He makes Wily Mo look like a breaking ball hitter. Maybin puts the ball on the ground 60.1% of the time he puts it in play. I guess my problem is a lot of scouts project him to have lots of power..... but with him hitting the ball into the ground so much, I just cant buy into that idea.