FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. I’m missing something: Shouldn’t the 60% curve be inside the 50% for batters that aren’t, say, me? Aren’t MLB batters more likely to swing at better, and therefore, more centered pitches?
    Doesn’t this currently show that Reyes is 10% less likely to swing at a pitch right in the heart of the plate as compared to one kind of on the plate?

    Comment by mettle — March 11, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

  2. “From 2007-2009, Reyes swung at 24.8 percent of pitches thrown outside of the strike zone. The MLB average over that time frame was a bit above 25 percent, so Reyes ventured outside slightly less than most hitters. ”

    “The average hitter” and “most hitters” are not the same thing.

    Comment by d — March 11, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  3. Especially when you take in to account this:

    “he solid line indicates Reyes’ 50% swing contour — inside the contour, his swing rate is greater than 50 percent and outside it is less.”

    If he swings at less than 50% of pitches outside of the solid line, how does he swing at 60% of the pitches in between the solid line and the dotted line?

    Comment by Matt — March 11, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  4. @Mettle – There is a 50% chance that he swings at a pitch within the solid lines and a 10% that he swings at a pitch in the area between the solid and dashed lines. The 60% is inclusive which is important to remember.

    Comment by mattinm — March 11, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  5. Good catch on the swing contours, guys — they were reversed. The graphs are fixed now.

    Comment by David Golebiewski — March 12, 2011 @ 4:42 am

  6. If this were true, then I’d venture a guess that Reyes strikes out looking more often than anyone in MLB history — if you don’t throw it right down the middle, there’s a 10% or less chance he swings!

    The correct correction is the author’s, below.

    Comment by ToddM — March 12, 2011 @ 7:36 am

  7. Of course, your comment was likely pre-graph correction, so, as usual, I am indeed the unnecessary smartass.

    Comment by ToddM — March 12, 2011 @ 7:38 am

  8. I don’t think that it’s valid using O-Swing% as you did earlier in the post. I’m not trying to rip on you but it’s because that if you look at most hitters in the league, you can see that their O-Swing is much higher then it should be and that the league average is also higher than previous years due to the “year of the pitcher”. So Using O-Swing for Reyes suggests that he is the only one whose plate discipline changed this year when in fact it was most of the league, not just Reyes.

    Comment by Mike — March 12, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  9. Mike,

    The O-Swing average did change this year, and it’s hard to say exactly what the cause was (though I suspect a change in the way BIS charts things). But I tried to account for that by referring to the MLB average over both time frames, and comparing Reyes’ O-Swing relative to that average in both instances. From ’07 to ’09, his O-Swing was less than the league average. Last year, it was considerably higher than the average. When I say that Reyes’ 2010 O-Swing was 10 percent higher than average, that’s already accounting for the higher league average (Reyes’ 32.1 divided by MLB’s 29.3)

    Comment by David Golebiewski — March 12, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  10. Having watched Reyes a lot last year, I think I can offer something beyond the numbers, which is that a large part of the impatience he showed was due to injuries. First he missed all of spring training, so really the first month he was back was spring training to him, just getting his timing right and regaining that recognition for live pitching. Second, with the oblique preventing him from batting from the left side (if memory serves) for a time, he was lunging at pitches when batting righty-on-righty because he was so unused to the perspective. I expect Reyes to return to his typical .350-.360 OBP ways, although he certainly has the tools to hit for a high average, which could push that up further.

    Comment by Andrew — March 12, 2011 @ 1:23 pm

  11. Braves and Reyes seem like a match next year. Of course Boston might pull out the wallet.

    Comment by Heyward — March 12, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

  12. The 60% is inside the 50% for all 4 comparisons. You need to compare the solid red to the dotted red, solid blue to dotted blue in each situation.

    And for matt below me, inside the middle circle he swings at 60%+ but expanding out more, he swings between 50-59% between the solid and dotted lines… and outside the dotted, <50%. Why doesn't that make sense to you?

    Comment by Buster Posey — March 12, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

  13. … for matt *above me

    Comment by Buster Posey — March 12, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

  14. Jose Reyes is Dominican trash.

    Comment by Bayarlalaa — March 13, 2011 @ 8:33 am

  15. Wait from 2004-2009 players swung at 25% of pitching outside the zone and last year that number was 29%??

    That seems like quite a jump. Was the ‘year of the pitcher” an outlier or is that sustainable or will offenses be slated to rebound?

    Comment by Jesse — March 13, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

  16. I’ve been wondering about the change in O Swing % for quite some time. It doesn’t make any sense that the multiple year average of 25% would all of a sudden jump to 29% based on a change in hitters swing patterns.

    It makes much more sense that BIS was using a different strike zone to measure in zone and out of zone swings. Why would they change their strike zone when it screws up the ability to compare outside the zone swing rates over multiple seasons?

    Comment by Kevin Ebert — March 13, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  17. BTB produced some info recently concluding that players rarely, if ever, dramatically improve PD … Which is something a lot of folks already knew. In that regard it’s like QB acurracy in the NFL.

    Add in that players from the DR are signed for their tools and not for their skills (in general) and the Mets are asking for a lot.

    Reyes has had this approach for his career, and the Mets want him to change it this year? A contract year when his natural tendency is going to be to be more aggressive than ever, trying to put up big numbers to show his value. Good Luck.

    This is akin to asking someone to change their personality. Not likely. He should have a decent season and with some BIP luck, a great one, if he’s healthy. Throw in good amounts of SB’s, HR, and triples … And the bidding war will begin.

    I’m not saying he won’t improve his decision making, just that reverting to his career norms is about all you can ask for.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 14, 2011 @ 1:06 am

  18. If he went back to his career norms, he would still rake in a 9-figure deal.

    Comment by Saul — March 14, 2011 @ 1:23 am

  19. I have no doubt that he’s going to rake in the money. I think e’ll bring in huge cash whether he reverts to career norm plate discipline or not.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 14, 2011 @ 3:53 am

  20. The correct word is not “trash” but rather “garbage”

    Comment by Johnston — March 14, 2011 @ 9:10 am

  21. No, but ‘The MLB Average’ is not the same as ‘The average hitter’ either.

    Comment by SKob — March 14, 2011 @ 11:20 am

  22. I’m more amazed that the MLB average went from ~25% to ~29%. What changed?

    Comment by bill — March 14, 2011 @ 11:46 am

  23. The pitch that really fools Reyes the most from the left side are low curves and change ups. He has a hard time laying off. Seems like this graph does reflect that some.

    Comment by Dave G — March 14, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

  24. Wait, you do realize they already asked him to change and he already did, right? In his first full season, he walked 3.7% of the time (!, that’s 27 unintentional walks in 733 PA); in his first two incomplete seasons prior to that he walked 4.5% and 2.2% of the time. Then he did a lot of work with Rickey Henderson during the next few years: the two years after that, it rose to 7.5% and then 10.1%. He hovered near that for a few years and this past season it dipped.

    I remember the article on BtB, but I know that the Mets told Jose to walk more and hired Henderson to help him out, and it worked. Reyes is a success story when actively trying to walk more: he ended up doubling his career rate.

    Comment by BlackOps — March 14, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

  25. i agree send his ass back down to the miners.

    Comment by bob — March 15, 2011 @ 12:15 am

  26. jose reyes learn english or go back to the bean fields in the doninican.

    Comment by bob — March 15, 2011 @ 12:19 am

  27. no its portoitsrecan garbage

    Comment by bob — March 15, 2011 @ 12:24 am

  28. You’re confusing your ethnic insults.

    Accuracy first. Bigotry second.

    I know I’m asking a lot out of a racist, but still.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 15, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

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