FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. So Votto’s swinging at more pitches in the zone, but also walks more than Tulo — does he see fewer strikes overall? Yes, looking at Zone%.

    I wonder why that is, considering Tulo and Votto have similar batting averages and isolated power — actually, adjusting for ballpark, they don’t. Given the same environment, Votto does significantly more damage when he puts the ball in play. It’s just that he puts it in play less often, walking more because he sees fewer strikes and striking out more because he whiffs more often.

    Ok, done talking to myself. (Although that was pretty simplistic — anyone got more?)

    Comment by Sky — September 23, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

  2. something different

    Comment by rzar — September 24, 2010 @ 12:20 am

  3. hi Sky, which park adjusted stats are you looking at (I’m new to this site)?

    I’m impressed with Tulo’s plate discipline but even more impressed with how well Votto does when he hits the ball in play. Much has been made of how Votto has not hit an infield fly popup all year.

    Comment by TheChemist — September 24, 2010 @ 11:06 am

  4. Swing and Miss zone plots are great. But only some (power) pitchers have the tools to make strikeouts a primary source of outs. These swing and miss charts would be helpful to them in some cases, but even then they can’t throw just in the areas of a high swing-miss rate. Obviously, if they threw it there all the time, then the major league hitters would adjust to it, and it would become less effective. They have to set up their out-pitch and location based on the batter, and then when they “go in for the kill” that’s when I would think the swing-miss zone chart becomes the useful. However, many pitchers don’t have the tools necessary to be successful in getting Ks. I think it would be helpful to have complete strikezone plots, not with miss/swing, but out/swing, flyball/swing, groundball/swing, flyballout/swing, groundballout/swing, etc.

    Comment by rawlingshoh — September 24, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  5. I didn’t actually look at any. But if the raw stats are equivalent and one guys plays in the most hitter-friendly park…

    Comment by Sky — September 24, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  6. This may be interesting but I think Albert was trying to limit his findings to outcomes which the pitcher has complete control over (presumably to take any luck out of the equation). With the possible exception of Mark Reynolds, hitters generally make more outs with balls in play than with swinging strike outs.

    Comment by TheChemist — September 24, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

  7. All the good pitchers know that if they’re going to win, they need to get outs. It’s not really that hard of a concept to get. Whether they shoot for ks or in-play outs is their thing. Because the majority of outs are made in the field, then shouldn’t pitchers focus more on that then strikeouts? And because it is harder to get three balls past a batter, then one or two for bad contact, then it should be easier to control pitching to contact, than controlling pitching for a strikeout. Pitching, especially at a level as high as the mlb, is a science. Pitcher’s for the most part can hit their spots almost every single time, and have a gameplan for each batter with expected results. If you’re shooting for outs, thus mostly shooting for fieldable balls as outs, then more diverse strikezone plots could be a great asset.

    Comment by rawlingshoh — September 24, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

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