The problem Drew Stubbs has is his contact rates. There is zero problem with his plate discipline. He swings at very few balls. The problem is that he swings and misses quite a lot. This has been the knock on him all the way through the system.
For example his over all contact rate this year is at 68%. This is below average for the majors. The major league average is around 80%. 2009 Stubbs contact rate was 76% for comparison purposes. I really have no idea if that is going to go up. Sample size isnt really there to support it. I dont know what his minor league rate what and I'm not even sure if that data would be available.
His contact rates with balls in the strike zone is at 77%. ML Average for 2010 is 88%. 77% is not good comapritively to the rest of the league obviously. 2009 Stubbs was at 83%. The contact rate with balls in the strike zone has to come up for Stubbs to produce at a higher level.
Stubbs in his defense doesnt swing at balls that often (20%) which is excellent. The contact rate on the balls he does swing at is awful though. 42% for Stubbs vs. 64% league average. This ultimately isnt a big deal given how little he swings, and most of those pitches are probably pitches that he cant even do much with.
Dusty yesterday had a quote which was dead on if you ignore the Bakermetrics of it.
Ignoring his dumb quote about OBP and working the count the part about Stubbs being better early in the count is a valid point.ďStubbs is struggling more. Iíve got to get him more aggressive early in the count. I know everybody talks about on-base percentage and working the court. But working the count isnít helping.
This year Stubbs has swung at a low rate at balls in the strike zone. 57% Stubbs vs 63% League. The thing Dusty noticed through either luck or just him being a broken clock is that Stubbs is starting off with 1st pitch strikes at a extremely high rate. 67% of his ABs start with a 1st pitch strike. This is well above the league average. Stubbs has to start doing more with these 1st pitch strikes.
Short hand Stubbs contact rates are very poor right now and hes not swinging that much, which isnt a bad thing in some cases. Its the contact rates when he does swing. Both contact rates (in the zone and out) are below average but its the ones in the zone that is killing him right now. Hes getting a fair share of strikes thrown to him (50%) its just hes not hitting them. His eye is perfectly fine.