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Thread: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

  1. #31
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by gilpdawg View Post
    The assumption that BABIP will normalize for a certain hitter or pitcher assumes that said player is major league quality. A guy like Brandon Larson wouldn't have a normal BABIP because he couldn't hit. A lot of people claim luck, when it's really suck. I made the same mistake with Majeski that a lot of people did. I know better now.

    Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk HD
    Valid point.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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  3. #32
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Strikeouts are bad. Full stop. They reduce your chances to get on base. But they aren't as bad as walks and power are good. If you can walk more and hit for more power at the cost of some strikeouts no problem. But if you're just striking out and aren't making up for it elsewhere, that's a problem.

    But what really bugs me is when people act like strikeouts are immoral or pretend like they are a choice a player makes instead of a function of his talent, first and foremost.
    Who thinks strikeouts are "immoral?" That seems like an irrelevant classification. No one thinks that.

    The purpose of having a bat in your hand, though, is to be able to hit a baseball with it. If you strike out a lot, why is that not at least partially a function of talent? If you strike out a lot, it means, somewhat, you're not as good at hitting a baseball.

    Fortunately for guys with lesser talent, they can make up for a lack of said talent by drawing walks or hitting it a long way when they do connect. But let's not ignore the fact that, indeed, hitting a baseball is a skill.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  4. #33
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    If you walk you are a 1.000 hitter.

    If you hit the ball you have a 70% chance of making an out.

    Hitters should be judged by their OBP and their SLG, not their strikeout rate. Generally speaking, if you go to the plate just trying to make contact to avoid a strikeout then your OBP and especially your SLG are going to suffer.
    However, walking isn't the only outcome when you're not putting it in play. You're not being consistent. Just as putting it in play doesn't guarantee a hit, taking pitches and working the count doesn't guarantee a walk. So it's not really 1.000. It's something much less just as putting it in play isn't 1.000.

    In fact, all but a couple dozen guys in baseball in a given year have more strikeouts than walks. So the bigger probability of taking pitches is still, usually, a strikeout.
    Last edited by Brutus; 05-05-2013 at 06:35 PM.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    mth123 (05-05-2013)

  6. #34
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    I wish there was a unified theory so that we could compare all these scenarios in context. If a given player tries to cut down on strikeouts, maybe by choking up, what are the chances he'll put the ball in play more? What are the chances the ball in play will be a hit? Will his double plays actually increase enough to erase the benefits, or is that an assumption? Will his total outs go up or down?

    I know that OBP and OPS and their refinements generally do a good job of measuring a batter's effectiveness, but since the debate is about strikeouts, is there to measure the actual effect of strikeouts?

  7. #35
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Consider two of our former lightening rods in 2012.

    Adam Dunn 41 HR, 105 BB and 222K. 146 times on base in 368 PAs without a BIP. That works out to a .397 OBP with a lot of power using an approach where he gets behind waiting for his pitch leading to huge K numbers. IMO, the Ks aren't an issue. The HIGH OBP and big power that result from his approach is well worth it.

    Drew Stubbs 14HR, 42BB and 166K. Waiting for his perfect pitch just isn't helping. 56 Successful PAs in 222 PAs results in an OBP of .252 with only moderate power. IMO it's clear, he'd benefit by putting it in play more. His Ks are a big problem.

    This board spent a lot of time debating Ks and convincing itself that they didn't matter. Adam Dunn was the central figure in those discussions and it was true, his K's weren't a problem and trying to cut down on them would have created a big risk of reducing his power (swinging at pitches he can't drive as well) and reducing his walks. He wasn't going to be more successful putting the ball in play. It's just not always true IMO. Some guys just don't have what it takes to be successful playing the three true outcome game and need to hack at the decent pitches to hit to give themselves a better chance.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Norm Chortleton (05-05-2013)

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    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    However, walking isn't the only outcome when you're not putting it in play. You're not being consistent. Just as putting it in play doesn't guarantee a hit, taking pitches and working the count doesn't guarantee a walk. So it's not really 1.000. It's something much less just as putting it in play isn't 1.000.

    In fact, all but a couple dozen guys in baseball in a given year have more strikeouts than walks. So the bigger probability of taking pitches is still, usually, a strikeout.
    I don't think anyone ever said working the count would guarantee a walk did they?

    You don't need to walk nearly as many times as you strike out to justify a patient approach. If you hit the ball you have about a 30% chance of getting on base. So as long as your strikeout to walk ratio is 2:1 or better you will come out ahead by trying to walk. Many dozens of hitters have K:BB ratios of 2:1 or better, and those players are almost all highly productive hitters even though many of them strike out a ton. It is fair to criticize players with poor K:BB ratios, but criticizing high strikeout players who walk a lot and have good K:BB ratios is dead wrong.

    A batter's goal is not to go to the plate trying to draw a walk. The goal is to find a pitch that you can square up and hit. If you don't get that pitch you should take it instead of swinging at a pitch you are unlikely to hit squarely. The pitcher wants you to swing at borderline pitches. Hitters' success rate on borderline pitches is dismal. The recipe for success is to take the borderline pitches and force the pitcher to either walk you or give you a good pitch to hit.

    Hitters are best measured by the frequency and magnitude of their successes, not their type of failures.

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    Raisor (05-06-2013)

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    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm Chortleton View Post
    That also gives you a chance to advance a runner or drive in a run 70% of the time, if someone is on base. Which, btw, is 70% more than if you K.
    Yes you can make a productive out if there is someone on base with 0 or 1 out.

    You can also hit into a double play or cause the lead runner to get thrown out, both of which are 10x more harmful than a productive out is helpful.

    When you factor all possible outcomes into the equation it turns out strikeouts are no more harmful on average than a contact out.

  12. #38
    Member Norm Chortleton's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Hitters are best measured by the frequency and magnitude of their successes, not their type of failures.
    By and large I agree. However, I am arguing that what you call a failure (ground out, fielders choice, fly ball), I often call a success.

    100% of strikeouts are failures. A good percentage of ground outs and fly ball outs are successes.

  13. #39
    Member Norm Chortleton's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Yes you can make a productive out if there is someone on base with 0 or 1 out.

    You can also hit into a double play or cause the lead runner to get thrown out, both of which are 10x more harmful than a productive out is helpful.

    When you factor all possible outcomes into the equation it turns out strikeouts are no more harmful on average than a contact out.
    I've already addressed the GIDP issue above. Cozart K'd 102 more times last year than he GIDP. The MLB leader in GIDP last year was only 28. And even GIDP can produce a run (if not an rbi). I've been playing and watching baseball for 40 years and I've never seen a K produce a run.

    The Reds scored 3 of their 7 runs on productive outs today. Without them, they likely go to extra innings.

    EDIT: I made the GIDP post in the Cozart thread. Accidentally got mixed up as to which thread I was posting in for a minute. But the point is the same: No one hits into DPs at anywhere near the same rate as they strike out.
    Last edited by Norm Chortleton; 05-05-2013 at 10:36 PM.

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    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    I wish there was a unified theory so that we could compare all these scenarios in context. If a given player tries to cut down on strikeouts, maybe by choking up, what are the chances he'll put the ball in play more? What are the chances the ball in play will be a hit? Will his double plays actually increase enough to erase the benefits, or is that an assumption? Will his total outs go up or down?

    I know that OBP and OPS and their refinements generally do a good job of measuring a batter's effectiveness, but since the debate is about strikeouts, is there to measure the actual effect of strikeouts?
    This CHART measures the effects of all types of batting events, including strikeouts, contact outs and hits.

    You can see that the average effect of a strikeout is -0.31 expected runs whereas a contact out is -0.30 expected runs. This means there is essentially no difference at all between a strikeout or a contact out. On average, strikeouts are no worse than other outs. That is an average across all base/out states and out types. Obviously, in certain situations strikeouts can be more harmful and in other situations strikeouts can actually be less harmful than other ways of making outs.

    If there are 0 outs and a man on third base then a strikeout could hurt more than a contact out because the contact out could drive the runner home (however the contact out could also cause the runner at third to get thrown out if the ball is hit to the pitcher or is a line drive to an infielder or is a shallow popup where the runner tries to tag up and gets thrown out, in which case it would have been FAR better for the team if the batter had struck out instead of hitting the ball).

    If there is a man on first base and 0 outs it would be better for the hitter to strike out than to hit the ball to an infielder. Once you factor in all the different situations and batted ball types and multiply them by their actual frequency in real MLB games it turns out that strikeouts are no worse than contact outs. It is a proven fact.

    Most people (and Reds announcers) like to extol the virtues of making contact because of the good things that can happen with "productive outs", but they fail to consider the extremely harmful things than can and do happen due to contact outs.
    Last edited by AtomicDumpling; 05-06-2013 at 12:32 AM.

  15. #41
    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm Chortleton View Post
    The Reds scored 3 of their 7 runs on productive outs today. Without them, they likely go to extra innings.
    It's easy to use one game to make just about any point. Fact is, the teams that score the most runs do so with getting on base and extra base hits.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm Chortleton View Post
    I've already addressed the GIDP issue above. Cozart K'd 102 more times last year than he GIDP. The MLB leader in GIDP last year was only 28. And even GIDP can produce a run (if not an rbi). I've been playing and watching baseball for 40 years and I've never seen a K produce a run.

    The Reds scored 3 of their 7 runs on productive outs today. Without them, they likely go to extra innings.

    EDIT: I made the GIDP post in the Cozart thread. Accidentally got mixed up as to which thread I was posting in for a minute. But the point is the same: No one hits into DPs at anywhere near the same rate as they strike out.
    How many of Cozart's Ks came with nobody on base? How many of them came with 2 outs? How many of those would have been productive outs if he had made contact? Most of the time it makes no difference if you strike out or hit into an out because there are no runners to advance or the out ends the inning anyway.

    Do you realize that a GIDP is far more harmful than a strikeout? Not only are you making 2 outs, you are also eliminating a runner who was already on base. It is far more harmful than a strikeout because it kills the whole inning. You would have to strike out several times to equal the negative value of one GIDP.

    As I have shown many times in many threads, those productive outs you talk about have been proven beyond a shadow of doubt to be cancelled out by the harmful effects of contact outs which you want to ignore.

    How many times have the Reds failed to score runs and/or win games because they hit into double plays, got thrown out trying to tag up or advance on a batted ball, or got doubled-off on a line drive or a comebacker to the pitcher? You have to factor those extremely harmful plays into your analyses right alongside the sac flies and grounders to the right side that advanced a runner. Once everything is factored it turns out that strikeouts are no more harmful than contact outs. This type of study has been done by numerous math geeks smarter than you or I and the results were conclusive. Here is one of those studies again.
    Last edited by AtomicDumpling; 05-05-2013 at 10:52 PM.

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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Here are a couple of examples of the value of a "productive out" versus a strikeout.

    Runner at first, one out and a weak grounder that gets the runner to second. The chances of scoring a run drops from 28.4% to 23.0%. However, the chances of scoring a run would be 13% if the batter struck out. Of course, the occasional double play would mitigate some of that, but it's still better to get the ball in play.

    Runner at second, no outs and a fly ball to right field advancing the runner to third. The chances of scoring actually increase from 63.7% to 67.4%. A strike out, meanwhile, decreases the odds to 41.8%.

    If the batter is simply looking for something good to hit, by all means be patient. But if a batter is being patient for the sake of being patient and hoping to draw walks, it is best that he put the ball in play more times than not.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    Here are a couple of examples of the value of a "productive out" versus a strikeout.

    Runner at first, one out and a weak grounder that gets the runner to second. The chances of scoring a run drops from 28.4% to 23.0%. However, the chances of scoring a run would be 13% if the batter struck out. Of course, the occasional double play would mitigate some of that, but it's still better to get the ball in play.

    Runner at second, no outs and a fly ball to right field advancing the runner to third. The chances of scoring actually increase from 63.7% to 67.4%. A strike out, meanwhile, decreases the odds to 41.8%.

    If the batter is simply looking for something good to hit, by all means be patient. But if a batter is being patient for the sake of being patient and hoping to draw walks, it is best that he put the ball in play more times than not.
    The goal isn't to draw walks. Any major league batter is looking for something good to hit. Some are just choosier than others. "Being patient for the sake of being patient" is one way to define it; another is "waiting for the pitch you want, so you can drive it."
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  19. #45
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: JB's April 40: More Ks Ain't OK...Or are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    Here are a couple of examples of the value of a "productive out" versus a strikeout.

    Runner at first, one out and a weak grounder that gets the runner to second. The chances of scoring a run drops from 28.4% to 23.0%. However, the chances of scoring a run would be 13% if the batter struck out. Of course, the occasional double play would mitigate some of that, but it's still better to get the ball in play.

    Runner at second, no outs and a fly ball to right field advancing the runner to third. The chances of scoring actually increase from 63.7% to 67.4%. A strike out, meanwhile, decreases the odds to 41.8%.

    If the batter is simply looking for something good to hit, by all means be patient. But if a batter is being patient for the sake of being patient and hoping to draw walks, it is best that he put the ball in play more times than not.
    We all agree that "productive outs" occur and they are not as harmful as strikeouts. What some people apparently do not agree about is that there are also "extra-harmful outs" that are worse than strikeouts and completely negate the value of "productive outs".

    Looking at your scenarios again: (this time we will use Run Expectancy because unless it is the bottom of the last inning of a tie game the goal is to score as many runs as possible, not just one run)

    Runner at first, one out. Run Expectancy is 0.573 Runs. If batter hits weak grounder that advances runner to 2nd base the Run Expectancy becomes 0.344 Runs. If the batter struck out instead or hit a fly ball or otherwise failed to advance the runner the Run Expectancy would be 0.251 Runs. If the batter hit into a double play and ended the inning the Run Expectancy becomes 0.000 Runs (ie much, much worse than a strikeout). A weak grounder that advances a runner from first to second is not very common, nor is it worth the risk of an inning ending double play.

    Runner at second, no outs. Run Expectancy is 1.189 Runs. If the batter hits a fly ball to right field and the batter tags up and runs to third safely the Run Expectancy becomes 0.983 Runs. If the batter strikes out or makes another type of out that does not advance the runner the Run Expectancy becomes 0.725 Runs. If the batter hits a fly ball and the runner gets thrown out after tagging up, or if the batter hits a line drive that causes the runner to get doubled-off the Run Expectancy becomes 0.117 Runs! If the batter hits a grounder that is fielded and the lead runner is retired on a fielder's choice the Run Expectancy becomes 0.573 Runs. So you can see that sometimes making contact ends up with a result that is far worse than a strikeout would have been.

    Here is another scenario: Runner on 3rd base, no outs. Run Expectancy is 1.482 Runs. Batter hits a bouncer back to the pitcher, the runner on third gets caught in no-man's-land and is retired, batter is safe at first. Run Expectancy falls to 0.573 Runs. If the batter had struck out there would still be a man on third with one out and the Run Expectancy would be 0.983 Runs.

    As I showed earlier, sometimes an out can be productive and advance a runner or even drive in a run. Other times the batter can make contact and create a situation that is far worse than if he had struck out. Sometimes a strikeout is preferable to making contact. All in all, once every situation is accounted for in its proper frequency and magnitude it turns out that strikeouts are no more or no less harmful than contact outs on average. People find this concept very hard to grasp, but it is a proven fact.
    Last edited by AtomicDumpling; 05-05-2013 at 11:53 PM.


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