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Thread: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    This has sort of been a hot topic recently so I figured I'd jump in and see how Griffey's plate appearances by batting count for this season compare to his career. Here is every count breakdown, followed by totals in even counts, pitcher counts and hitter counts. Lastly, I have two additional categories, one for batting counts of two or fewer pitches, and the other for batting counts with three balls.

    Previous years denotes Griffey's career prior to 2006. Current year denotes 2006.

    Code:
    EVEN COUNTS
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     0-0    Previous  1380   .374  .449   .678  1.127      15.24%
     0-0    Current     49   .196  .224   .391   .616      16.12% 
    
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     1-1    Previous   713   .350  .359   .651  1.010       7.88%
     1-1    Current     17   .294  .294   .706  1.000       5.59%
    
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     2-2    Previous  1095   .202  .205   .409   .614      12.10%
     2-2    Current     44   .250  .250   .477   .727      14.47%
    
    TOTAL EVEN COUNTS
              Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
            Previous  3188   .306  .345   .574   .919      35.22%
            Current    110   .234  .245   .477   .722      36.18%
    
    
    PITCHER COUNTS
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     0-1    Previous   672   .376  .376   .617  1.093       7.42%
     0-1    Current     24   .333  .333   .625   .958       7.89%
    
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     0-2    Previous   530   .184  .194   .317   .512       5.85%
     0-2    Current     18   .056  .056   .056   .111       5.92%
    
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     1-2    Previous  1090   .191  .195   .340   .535      12.04%
     1-2    Current     33   .182  .182   .303   .485      10.86%
    
    TOTAL PITCHER COUNTS
              Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
            Previous  2292   .243  .248   .444   .692      25.32%
            Current     75   .200  .200   .347   .547      24.67%
    
    
    HITTER COUNTS
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     1-0    Previous   769   .365  .367   .702  1.069       8.49%
     1-0    Current     36   .343  .333   .657   .990      11.84%
    
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     2-0    Previous   337   .395  .409   .753  1.163       3.72%
     2-0    Current     10   .200  .200   .500   .700       3.29%
    
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     2-1    Previous   491   .366  .369   .762  1.130       5.42%
     2-1    Current     14   .357  .357   .500   .857       4.61%
    
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     3-0    Previous   317   .384  .858   .822  1.680       3.50%
     3-0    Current     12   .000  .667   .000   .667       3.95%
    
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     3-1    Previous   496   .319  .675   .634  1.309       5.48%
     3-1    Current     13   .600  .769  1.800  2.569       4.28%
    
    Count     Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
     3-2    Previous  1163   .215  .456   .465   .921      12.85%
     3-2    Current     34   .207  .324   .552   .875      11.18%
    
    TOTAL HITTER COUNTS
              Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
            Previous  3573   .320  .486   .645  1.132      39.47%
            Current    119   .289  .403   .619  1.022      39.15%
    
    
    
    TWO OR FEWER PITCHES (0-0, 1-0 and 0-1 COUNTS)
              Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
            Previous  2821   .372  .409   .695  1.104      31.16%
            Current    109   .276  .284   .533   .818      35.86%
    
    THREE BALL COUNTS (3-0, 3-1 and 3-2 COUNTS)
              Years     PA    AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS    % Total PA
            Previous  1976   .248  .575   .525  1.100      21.83%
            Current     59   .237  .492   .658  1.149      19.41%
    Now, there's plenty to look at here.
    • Let's start by Griffey's combined statistics in even counts. Throughout his career, he's been a notoriously decent hitter in even counts, good for a .919 OPS. This season, however, his OPS in even counts has dipped all the way down to .722. The batting count with the largest discrepancy is the 0-0 count, which sees Griffey taking a 500 point drop in OPS in 0-0 counts this season compared to his career numbers.

    • Now take a look at Griffey's hitting statistics in pitcher counts. Now, all hitters hit poorly in pitcher counts, even the great ones. Albert Pujols is probably the best hitter in the game today in pitcher counts, and his OPS for all those counts was .785 coming into this season. Griffey's OPS in pitcher counts prior to 2006 was .692, but this season it's dropped about 145 points down to .547. A .547 OPS is horrible, even in pitcher counts, but his career .692 OPS in pitcher counts is actually quite respectable. Too bad he's not matching that respectability this season.

    • In hitting counts, we're seeing the same thing with Griffey: this time a 110 point drop in OPS. Still, when ahead in the count, he is OPSing over 1.000 still so that's good, however, much of the OPS drop is within his on-base percentage due to his lack of walks this season, and that's bad.

    • Check out the section for two or fewer pitches, and this gets troublesome. First, there is a larger percentage of his PAs in 2006 where he's putting the ball in play while seeing two or fewer pitches. Secondly, his production when he elects to do just that has fallen considerably with an OPS drop of nearly 300 points. In fact, his production in 0-0, 1-0 and 0-1 counts has fallen across the board from his career marks.

    • Lastly, check out the section for three ball counts, and notice the slight change in the percentage of three ball counts. Griffey is seeing fewer plate appearances with three ball counts, and since three ball counts are generally good counts to swing the bat in, he's seeing fewer opportunities to be able to post that 1.100 OPS he can put up when in the box at a 3-0 count.

    As far as what's wrong with Griffey, the only thing for certain is that his batting eye has suffered this season compared to earlier in his career. He's swinging at more pitches earlier in the count than ever before, he just isn't taking as many walks as he used to take, and he just isn't getting into those very hitter-friendly three ball counts as often as he used to get into. There could be other factors as well (and I think there are other factors), such as a mechanical flaw in his swing, or perhaps he's just aging, losing bat speed, etc., and that could all also be playing a role.

    Now I'm not a hitting coach, but if I had two suggestions for Griffey, they would be 1) restore your old batting eye, swing at better pitches, lay off bad pitches, and restore your walk rate ... and 2) talk to Senior about some actual hitting adjustments, be it with your swing or anything else related to hitting.

    If Griffey can be successful in both aspects, I've got faith he can regain a solid chunk of his former hitting prowess, at least down the stretch for us when we'll need it. If he fails in either aspect, the rest of the season could continue to be a struggle for him compared to what we're used to seeing from Griffey at the plate.
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

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    Member VR's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    It seems he is overly impatient, with no interest in taking walks, just banging the long ball.

    If he was putting career average OPS for those early swings and hitter counts we'd be calling him aggressive. But the results say Ken needs to chill a bit at the dish, and let the game come to him. (I've always loved that cliche )

    Nice work as always on the stats Cy, thanks.
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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    As far as what's wrong with Griffey, the only thing for certain is that his batting eye has suffered this season compared to earlier in his career. He's swinging at more pitches earlier in the count than ever before, he just isn't taking as many walks as he used to take, and he just isn't getting into those very hitter-friendly three ball counts as often as he used to get into. There could be other factors as well (and I think there are other factors), such as a mechanical flaw in his swing, or perhaps he's just aging, losing bat speed, etc., and that could all also be playing a role.

    Great post Cyclone. Thanks for doing the leg work. I've been griping that Jr has been impatient at the plate. It's good to know (well...not really) that it's really what is going on and not just my perception. Actually, no. That's really bad because we need those runs down the strech.

    Marty B was talking (forget if it was in game or a pre-game show or something) about how Jr has said that he know's his "timing" is way off. So he must really be pressing at the plate in a vain search to get his grove back.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    If Griffey knows his timing is off, that's at least a first step in getting out of his funk. The key for him will be deciphering if his timing is off just because it's off, or if it may be off due to any type of skill set decline. For the sake of everybody, hopefully it's the former, but with his age, the latter at least needs to be considered as a possibility.

    Then there's his walk rate and being overly impatient, just as VR stated.
    Code:
    
    Year    PA/BB     Age
    
    2002     8.29     32
    2003     7.44     33
    2004     7.91     34
    2005    10.28     35
    2006    15.20     36
    In general, as hitters age, the one hitting component that's always improving is walk rate. The average hitter will see a consistent slight uptick in walks all the way up to age 37, mostly due to just having seen so many pitches in their life and having a better idea how to pinpoint better pitches to hit and lay off bad pitches out of the zone. Then at age 38 the walk rate falls quickly. Hopefully Griffey just didn't reach that point of his walk rate falling at an earlier age than the average hitter.
    Code:
    Here are the 1979-1999 age factors
    Age	 PA1,,,, 	 $BB, 	 $K,, 	 $HR, 	 $H,, 	 $XBH 	 $T,, 	 $SB, 	 $LW,, 
    21	 14,627, 	 0.62 	 1.24 	 0.69 	 1.00 	 0.87 	 1.44 	 0.83 	 0.900 
    22	 41,705, 	 0.74 	 1.20 	 0.74 	 0.96 	 0.92 	 1.11 	 0.95 	 0.914 
    23	 81,533, 	 0.74 	 1.12 	 0.82 	 0.95 	 0.94 	 0.95 	 0.92 	 0.939 
    24	 139,061 	 0.79 	 1.04 	 0.89 	 0.94 	 0.95 	 0.91 	 1.00 	 0.967 
    25	 188,156 	 0.82 	 1.01 	 0.89 	 0.93 	 0.99 	 0.83 	 0.93 	 0.976 
    26	 226,485 	 0.84 	 1.01 	 0.96 	 0.93 	 1.00 	 0.75 	 0.90 	 0.996 
    27	 231,667 	 0.88 	 1.00 	 1.00 	 0.92 	 0.99 	 0.69 	 0.87 	 0.999 
    28	 219,253 	 0.90 	 1.00 	 0.97 	 0.89 	 1.00 	 0.60 	 0.82 	 0.978 
    29	 201,555 	 0.92 	 1.02 	 0.97 	 0.88 	 0.99 	 0.54 	 0.79 	 0.970 
    30	 185,070 	 0.94 	 1.02 	 0.93 	 0.86 	 0.97 	 0.54 	 0.71 	 0.949 
    31	 156,383 	 0.96 	 1.04 	 0.95 	 0.85 	 0.96 	 0.50 	 0.64 	 0.940 
    32	 130,953 	 0.96 	 1.04 	 0.90 	 0.84 	 0.95 	 0.44 	 0.62 	 0.922 
    33	 112,054 	 0.97 	 1.06 	 0.86 	 0.82 	 0.91 	 0.41 	 0.57 	 0.896 
    34	 85,403, 	 0.97 	 1.09 	 0.85 	 0.80 	 0.89 	 0.38 	 0.50 	 0.873 
    35	 64,545, 	 0.96 	 1.13 	 0.82 	 0.77 	 0.89 	 0.32 	 0.44 	 0.840 
    36	 45,277, 	 0.97 	 1.14 	 0.80 	 0.76 	 0.90 	 0.35 	 0.42 	 0.828 
    37	 30,083, 	 1.00 	 1.13 	 0.72 	 0.75 	 0.89 	 0.34 	 0.35 	 0.808 
    38	 20,304, 	 0.93 	 1.16 	 0.63 	 0.73 	 0.86 	 0.20 	 0.35 	 0.754 
    39	 13,183, 	 0.89 	 1.26 	 0.52 	 0.72 	 0.79 	 0.26 	 0.30 	 0.707
    http://www.tangotiger.net/agepatterns.txt

    Most of the other hitting components, such as hits, home runs, extra base hits, etc. generally start declining after a player's peak years expire.

    Either way, whether it's just a funk, age catching up, an injury or some other possibility, it's crucial that Griffey at least course corrects for the remainder of this season. If he's healthy, he's going to be playing every day, and he's going to be in the middle of the lineup every day. Given that we're in a playoff chase, it sure as heck would be beneficial if he could toss up a .950 OPS during these last two plus months and give us a run producing push down the stretch.
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

    Put an end to the Lost Decade.

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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    I'm not sure if it's a timing issue, as much as lately Griffey seems to be swinging at the first thing he sees, sometimes regardless of location. Maybe you call that timing, maybe you call that patience, but I just call it a poor approach to something that used to be great. From observation alone, and my observations seem to be accurate from Cyclone's statistics that Griffey is in fact swinging at a lot of first pitches, and not seeing very many pitches per at bat.

    Explains a lot for his low OBP this year.

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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    Griffey takes an 0-5 tonight, pushing his on-base percentage all the way down to .288.

    Some type of adjustment needs to not only be made ASAP, but it needs to take effect ASAP. His walk rate has been declining for over a season now, and the rest of his hitting is starting to race down that same path. Given the fact that he's long been a disaster defensively in center field, he must snap out of his hitting funk to avoid becoming a detriment to the team.

    It'd be such a shame for Griffey's decline to smack us in the face during the two most important months of Reds baseball in five years.
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    Something is serriously amiss, that is for sure. Not sure whether it's age, injury, pressing or batting in front of RA (or a combination of all of these). And despite his HOF carear, he has to be moved out of the 3 spot.

    As Cyclone pointed out, this is not a good time to be having a serrious slump.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    I refuse to blame a player for a slump. It happens. As an aside I lean more to the declining skills end of the spectrum but thats neither here nor there.

    I blame the guy who runs him out there everyday at age 36 instead of giving him some time off to rest and maybe get things right. No matter his status KGJ playing CF and hitting 3rd is no longer in the best interest of the team. Edwin Encarnacion gets a daily reminder that one must subjugate one's personal good for that of the team. Its well past time Narron served that dish evenly.

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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc D
    I refuse to blame a player for a slump. It happens. As an aside I lean more to the declining skills end of the spectrum but thats neither here nor there.

    I blame the guy who runs him out there everyday at age 36 instead of giving him some time off to rest and maybe get things right. No matter his status KGJ playing CF and hitting 3rd is no longer in the best interest of the team. Edwin Encarnacion gets a daily reminder that one must subjugate one's personal good for that of the team. Its well past time Narron served that dish evenly.
    You're right that Narron could be doing a better job with Griffey. Some time off couldn't hurt, and getting him out of the three spot in the lineup would benefit the offense until his bat comes back (if it ever does).

    As for the declining skills, it's a definite possibility, and it's my fear based off what I've been seeing from his walk rate starting all the way back to last season. Here's the bell curve for aging for the average hitter:



    That's basically a graphic for the age factors chart in one of the earlier posts in the thread. And most of us know that not even the game's greatest hitters throughout its history have been immune to the bell curve known as declining skills due to aging.
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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    It is a self induced slump. Everybody goes through periods where they miss a lot of good pitches. Jr is getting himself out early in the count in AB after AB chasing bad pitches that almost no one could hit well. It isn't going to get better until the approach changes because he is not missing good pitches to hit.
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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    Griffey in May and June was freaking awesome.

    Griffey in July sucks.

    I think it really could be just a slump, but even so he shouldn't be hitting 3rd still.
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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    Quote Originally Posted by redsrule2500
    Griffey in May and June was freaking awesome.
    Griffey in May: .253/.286/.481
    I wouldn't call that "freaking awesome." The OBP is quite Juan Castro-ish.
    In June his OPS was .907, so I can overlook the .327 OBP there.
    July is awful so far, and April was acceptable.

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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792
    Either way, whether it's just a funk, age catching up, an injury or some other possibility, it's crucial that Griffey at least course corrects for the remainder of this season. If he's healthy, he's going to be playing every day, and he's going to be in the middle of the lineup every day. Given that we're in a playoff chase, it sure as heck would be beneficial if he could toss up a .950 OPS during these last two plus months and give us a run producing push down the stretch.
    I pointed all the above out in this thread in late July while Griffey was down so it's only fair to take another look again when Griffey is up. I stated a .950 OPS would be highly beneficial to the Reds during the final two months, and this is Griffey's line during the month of August ...

    .301/.402/.482/.884

    Not quite a .950 OPS, but .884 is much, much better than what Griffey was giving us earlier in the season, especially considering the .402 OBP in there. He's not hitting for as much power, but that will be ok so long as he can continue to get on base like he has in August. If there's a .400 OBP in front of Encarnacion and Dunn every night, the result will be lots of runs on the board.

    How about his walk rate? This is what I posted in late July ...

    Code:
    
    Year    PA/BB     Age
    
    2002     8.29     32
    2003     7.44     33
    2004     7.91     34
    2005    10.28     35
    2006    15.20     36 through July 24th
    His August, 2006 PA/BB sits at 6.93, or in other words, right around the vicinity of his walk rate during his younger days. This has been absolutely crucial since it's pushed his OBP up over .400 for the month.

    Thanks for the August resurgence in plate discipline, Ken, because we've needed it. Now I only ask one more favor, and that is to keep this up throughout the rest of the season and the playoffs!
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

    Put an end to the Lost Decade.

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    Re: Griffey's 2006 Hitting Struggles and Plate Appearances by Batting Count

    Nice post, cyclone.


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