Re: Digging Deep into Plate Discipline and Unlocking a Secret to Hitting
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.