The article goes through the steps in analyzing Plate Discipline. He looks at:
* the ratio of pitches inside the strike zone to pitches outside the strike zone (how often do you see good pitches)
This stat correlates well with walks (duh) and home runs. They argue that the correlation with home runs implies pitchers are being cautious with these hitters.
Tony Womack is on the list for seeing an extremely high number of pitches in the strike zone, indicating pitchers aren't scared of his power.
David Eckstein makes the same list, for the same reason.
* The percentage of pitches outside the strike zone a batter swings at (how often you chase bad pitches)
This strongly correlates with walks - amazing, no? No NL Central player made the top or bottom 5 of this list.
* The percentage of times a batter hits the ball when he swings the bat. (how often do you make contact)
This correlates with strikeouts (WOW) but also with home runs - arguing that players who swing for the fences are more apt to swing and miss. We've got a lot of NL Central guys in here:
David Eckstein on the Good List (He's the best in all of baseball, actually)
Craig Wilson, Wily Mo Pena, and Brad Eldred on the Bad List
I didn't exactly see him every day, but I always liked Eckstein. Now that I see him play a lot (I'm an Astros fan, but I live in St. Louis), I appreciate him even more.
It really does a good job of elucidating why I liked Eckstein. (I always thought he was a good hitter, now I know why he is.) If you see a lot of good pitches and you're good at making contact, you'll rarely strike out, and you'll hit for a high average.
It's a good read - you should check it out. I was surprised that with the power hitters in the NL Central, we didn't have more people present in this article. Pena's the only NLC guy I would call a power hitter they mentioned. For the most part, we must be doing our part in avoiding strikeouts.