Originally Posted by Brutus
The fact of the matter is that the best hitters are the ones that don't strike out as often. They're the ones that have better bat control, are more likely to make contact and put it in play more often. They're simply the guys that are better at seeing the ball and hitting it. They're the guys that will have a positive outcome far more often than ones that strike out 100+ times in a season. They're better at their craft than guys swinging and missing on 10-20 percent of strikes.
Now, that being said, guys that are awful hitters but can hit 40 homers a season and consequently get walked a fair amount out of fear of the 3-run homer, have more overall value because those home runs will create a lot of runs.
So in the macro, those high-strikeout guys that hit for power are valuable because they're going to create a lot of runs. But in the micro, the fact is the guys like Marco Scutaro have a ton of value because they're professional hitters that will put the ball in play and add a lot of hidden bases over the course of the season due to more hits and also more runners advancing. They're the guys that are more likely to create runs in tight situations with the game on the line.
SteelSD's numbers indicate the opposite is true. High strikeout guys outperform the low strikeout guys significantly.
Putting the ball in play does not increase the chance of avoiding an out. Balls in play are just as likely to do harm in terms of eliminating runners as advancing them, but people ignore that reality.