Ichiro Suzuki: Bad Luck, Or Bad Age?

Ichiro Suzuki is getting old. In life, that’s not a bad thing. In baseball, it is.

He is now in season 11 of the MLB portion of his career and season 20 of his professional career. Despite his age, he has played in 102 of the Seattle Mariners’ 103 games this year (not counting today). Moreover, he has more plate appearances (457) than anyone over age 35 in 2011. The next closest, Paul Konerko, is over 30 PAs behind him.

Ichiro may look as healthy and athletic as ever, but his numbers this year have been very un-Ichiro-like:

wOBA: .285
wRC+: 80
UZR: -8.4
Bsr: 2.3

All, except for the base-running (UBR) numbers, are career lows for Ich-dawg. We have long-anticipated Ichiro would slow down his ageless mastery of baseball at some point, but the depreciation in his 2011 statistics seem rather sudden. Worth noting:

BABIP: .289

For most players, .289 is normal. For most 37-year-old players, .289 is great. However, Ichiro has a career BABIP of .353 and as recently as last year sported that exact BABIP.

His problems seem to stem from this uncommonly low BABIP. He’s walking at his career rates (0.1% above, actually) and striking out less (8.5%) than this career rate (9.3%). The only plate discipline number out of whack is his O-Contact rate, which says he’s touching 86% of balls outside the strike zone — compared to a 76.7% career number. This may be a bit misleading, though, as he sported a O-Contact rate above 80% through his last three seasons — and still managed wRC+’s of 109, 126, and 112 in those seasons.

So, it comes back to BABIP. I have heard many a mournful Mariners fan say ol’ Ichi cannot catch the fastball anymore. Indeed, the pitch type values indicate he is enduring an unprecedented struggle with fastballs (-0.88 runs per 100 pitches; his previous career low was -0.12) and sliders (-3.42 per 100; previous career low: -2.26).

I recall Marinerites lodging similar laments in the waning Ken Griffey Jr. Era. It should come to us as no surprise, then, that Ken Griffey Jr.’s BABIP also declined in his final year. In fact, it made a steady decline through his career as a whole:

But here’s the deal: Age has never really had a solid correlation to BABIP. At least, none that I have ever discovered. Look at Ichiro’s heart rate monitor yearly BABIP:

Digging deeper, we find the possibilities of bad luck and Balrogs. A player’s BABIP is merely the surface of their batted ball data; what boils underneath is a stew of liners, grounders, flies, and bunts — the four basic batted ball results. These four elements combine with a player’s speed, luck, the defense’s ability, and [joke] the player’s aim [/joke] to make the final or surface BABIP.

For Ichiro, his speed seems intact. His speed score (6.0) is actually up from his last two seasons (5.3ish). Meanwhile, he has 26 steals to 5 captures and an aforementioned, rather decent base-running score.

So let’s look at Ichiro’s stew, his mix of liners and whatnot. For the most part, we see he at or near his career norms: A solid line drive rate, a high groundball rate, and a low fly ball rate. Notably, though, he has hit a lot of infield flies (16.0%), much like the ill-fated final showing of Griffey Jr. (16.7%).

But, unless there’s a serious pitch classification error (and there may be, I’m not sure), then Ichiro’s line drives are “softer” and his ground balls are “easier to field” — both are pretty crazy concepts, but they are the only possible explanations for this:

Despite the career-low BABIP on flies, Ichiro is actually not having the worst BABIPs of his MLB career. He’s hit a lower BABIP on liners twice, grounders twice, and bunts thrice. This could either mean: (1) he’s finally having age-related issues and these numbers are within reason, or (2) these flukes are within plausibility and merely represent a perfect storm of flukes.

So let’s slide these numbers into some xBABIP calculators. Using two competing xBABIP calculators (Chris Dutton’s xBABIP quick calculator and this batted ball one from where I do not know), we find a similar suggestion:

NOTE: Dutton’s xBABIP typically does not work well with career numbers. As evidence: It suggested Ichiro should have a .500+ career BABIP.

Both methods suggest Ichiro has all the means necessary to rebound, but maybe not to his career levels. This makes sense. We anticipate he is going to age a little bit eventually, but 2011 has not been “a little bit.”

One of the difficulties with aging players is that GMs, managers, and fans all alike expect It to come. The decline. We could see it in Pat Burrell (oops) and Vladimir Guerrero (oops?) in 2009. Sometimes, even if a player is plagued with bad luck, the mental framing of the situation predisposes the decision-makers to pull the ripcord.

In other words, maybe Ken Griffey Jr. was indeed having a BABIP-induced rough spell? (He probably wasn’t.) We’ll never know, though, because he got relegated to pinch-hitting and spot starts after a month into the 2010 season and then retired shortly thereafter.

The same may happen with Ichiro. If his slump continues, he may find himself a defensive replacement sooner rather than later. And if that happens, do not expect his numbers to improve because, sadly for baseball, Ichiro can do anything but get younger.




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Bradley writes for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @BradleyWoodrum.


80 Responses to “Ichiro Suzuki: Bad Luck, Or Bad Age?”

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  1. hunterfan says:

    “For Ichiro, his speed seems in tact.” I think you mean his speed is still present (intact) rather than that his speed is very polite.

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  2. hunterfan says:

    To me, this is a case where sabermetrics fails and scouting is essential. The numbers and formulas aren’t telling you anything definitive. A scout would be nice here to tell you if he’s losing bat speed or something similar.

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    • Hone says:

      Right, because scouting is such an exact science.

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      • Therein lies the problem. Yeah, he may have a slowed bat speed (in one scout’s eyes), but who’s to say it doesn’t speed up? Players are always going though physical and mental funks. We can no better predict their beginning or end than we can predict a dog’s flatulence.

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    • goyo70 says:

      To cite another example, the scouting community’s conviction that David Ortiz’s bat has slowed due to senescence, PEDs, diet etc. seem to have dwindled remarkably. Ortiz seems fine now (and maybe things have changed), and I reckon Ichiro could and should bounce back as well. On a related topic: it should be easier to hit with runners on base (when you are surrounded by a decent offense). What effect might this also be having on Ichiro’s season?

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      • waynetolleson says:

        “To cite another example, the scouting community’s conviction that David Ortiz’s bat has slowed due to senescence, PEDs, diet etc. seem to have dwindled remarkably. Ortiz seems fine now…”

        There are several differences. Firstly, I believe that players who abuse PED’s, like Ortiz, suffer through a withdrawal period. That’s what I observed with Jason Giambi, for example. Giambi, like Ortiz, was a monster on steroids. Then, he went off steroids, and started developing all of these crazy injuries, e.g. hormonal problems, mysterious films forming on his eyes.

        Then, his body finally readjusted to not having steroids, and Giambi returned to being a productive player. Again, like Ortiz, Giambi was never the monster that he was from 1999-2002 while on steroids, but he was still a guy who could hit 35 HR’s and drive in 100 runs.

        The difference between players like Ortiz and Giambi, and Ichiro, is that Ortiz and Giambi are both players who have always been extremely selective at the plate. They’re looking for one mistake pitch that they can drive.

        Ichiro, on the other hand, has always been a free swinger. He has always had the opposite of a textbook approach at the plate. He was just always able to get away with his unorthodox approach due to his amazing skill level.

        It could be that now since that skill level has diminished, Ichiro’s odd approach at the plate has finally caught-up to him.

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  3. Telo says:

    Very well done. Really hammers home to me the need for Hit f/x data. Everything you say is right, and I’d love to believe that Ichi is just having a hard luck year, but he could also be legitimately not hitting the ball well. If you could show his average batted ball speed was in line with his career, that would be the end of the argument, and you can almost certainly say he was just getting unlucky.

    Also, the googledoc xBABIP calc didn’t seem to work for me. Was checking to see why it would skew the career numbers so much, as you mention. Hard to believe, since the idea/calc seems so straightforward.

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    • Telo says:

      I suppose you could look at total distance traveled by his airballs. It could be a good proxy.

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    • Yeah, Hit F/x would be great here. The problem with the slower ball speed issue is that slower ground balls are harder to field. We should expect — given his seemingly unchanged speed — that his GB BABIP could still be high. Hard hit grounders can sneak through, but they also go for more double plays.

      In order to use the Google Doc Quick Calc, you will need to save a copy to your own Google Docs. Unfortunately, I had to restrict its use because outsiders were damaging the formulas.

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      • Big Erv says:

        Your analysis here about expecting more hits from GBs hit weaker than normal seems to the be the only place to stick your hat on this question, it seems more likely that he is affected by luck because we should see a corresponding shift in data. But having Hit f/x would be really, really sweet!

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  4. DSC says:

    Ichiro Suzuki is going down and it’s obvious; he is missing on the ball on a higher % of swings by a wide margin than any time in his career. That and his bat speed drop are the keys to the fact he’s near his end, not having a bad year.

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  5. Yirmiyahu says:

    I think his plate discipline numbers explain a lot of his BABIP. He’s swinging at pitches outside the zone more (2nd most of his career), swinging at pitches inside the zone less (4th least of his career), is making more contact with the outside pitches that he swings at (most of his career by far), is making less contact with the strikes he swings at (2nd least of his career), and is seeing fewer strikes overall (least of his career).

    Isolated, it might not look like much, but all together, it could all add up to a 60 point drop in BABIP.

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    • hunterfan says:

      The only explanation I can come up with for missing plate discipline besides dumb luck are these:

      a) he has an eyesight problem and isn’t seeing the ball as well (unlikely but possible)

      b) he doesn’t have the bat speed he used to, so he has to swing at pitches sooner and is getting less of a look at them (likely)

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    • The problem is: He’s had success with those plate discipline numbers in the past. It’s not like he’s in completely new territory (by your own admission, only one of those numbers is a career first).

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      • Yirmiyahu says:

        But he’s never before had a season where all of those numbers were nearly career-worst. That was my point in the last sentence. Regardless of what components you’re discussing, being nearly-career-worst in every category will usually add up to a career-worst season.

        He’s seeing fewer strikes, swinging at more pitches outside the zone, and making more contact on those outside pitches that he does swing at. That’s a perfect recipe for weak contact.

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      • Yirmiyahu says:

        Also: see the career worst in the categories of GB%, IFFB%, IsoP, and HR/FB% for further evidence that the low BABIP is largely due to weak contact.

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    • Mike A says:

      Yirmi, I like your focus on plate discipline. One other explanation besides what hunterfan lists is Ichiro has never been inclined to walk.
      Other clubs know this, they also know the rest of the guys batting behind Ichiro suck. Why offer good pitches to the Mariners best hitter when you have a reasonable chance of getting him to swing at garbage?

      So why’s Ichiro keep swinging at garbage? Would be nice to ask Ichiro – assuming it’s not eye problem, this guy likes his stats and ya don’t get avg from walks. However maybe its time for him to be selective. You wonder about Ichiro’s mental state – 2 years ago during one of those Mariner mini-renaisances, he was stoked playing w/Griffey having a good time, looked like an upward trending club. Last year, the pits – Ichiro has done it all except for play in a league championship or world series. Let him go to a contender a la Moyer, Ibanez, etc if we can get a high level prospect or high draft picks – he’s done his time in Mariner hell. One final thought and this is as good as any place to say it. If you really want to do the best for the team and to hell w/the egos – Mariners need to get some return out of Figgy, he’s untradeable as-is. Make Figgy leadoff because it’s the easiest position to hit in, non-situational, not too much thinking, just get on somehow. Ichiro is a better situational hitter with guys on and they’d have to pitch to him too, because they know he’d be more selective – Make Ichi bat in the 2 or 3 slot and the hell w/his ego.

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  6. mkd says:

    I would bet that he bounces back next year. Ichiro’s never gonna be the guy he was in his 20s and early 30s, but he keeps himself in amazing shape, is supremely focused and, more than any other player I’ve ever watched, is able to make adjustments. But then again, if this really is the end of the line for him as a hitter, he’ll just become an ace pitcher so no big deal.

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  7. Jordan says:

    Ichiro will not rebound. In looking at aging players, I’ve noticed a statistical trend that’s indicative of lost bat speed. The most obvious signs are a dramatically decreased ISOp, a decreased BABIP, and an increased GB%. Normally, an increase in grounders would yield an increased BABIP, so that’s the first red flag. The huge drop in power, combined with the drop in strikeouts, helps to explain it – Ichiro’s missing or fouling off the fastballs he used to drive with authority, and ends up taking defensive swings at tougher pitches. This results in more weak grounders – hence the odd combination of increased GB rate and decreased BABIP.

    For another recent case in point, see: Jeter, Derek. All the signs are there as well: decreased ISOp, BABIP, and K%, coupled with an uptick in GB%. Unfortunately for these two, lost bat speed is exceedingly difficult to rediscover.

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    • “In looking at aging players, I’ve noticed a statistical trend that’s indicative of lost bat speed. The most obvious signs are a dramatically decreased ISOp, a decreased BABIP, and an increased GB%.”

      That’s an interesting proposal. I have much wondered what the statistical signs of aging might be. Do you have any research on the matter, or is this observation anecdotal?

      (NOTE: If it’s merely anecdotal, I’m totally stealing and then researching it.)

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      • Jordan says:

        Just anecdotal. What caught my attention was the combination of increased GB rate and decreased BABIP – hitting more grounders should, all else equal, result in a higher BABIP. Add in ISOp falling off a cliff and a drop in K’s, and the most natural explanation seems to be a loss of bat speed.

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      • RC says:

        “hitting more grounders should, all else equal, result in a higher BABIP.”

        The league average BABIP on grounders is like .220. Why the hell would it drive up BABIP?

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      • Jordan says:

        Because GB’s have the 2nd highest BABIP of all batted ball types, after LD’s.

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  8. matt says:

    “Ichiro Suzuki is getting old. In life, that’s not a bad thing. In baseball, it is.” how is that not a bad thing in life? don’t we all wish we were 10 years younger?

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    • DavidCEisen says:

      I don’t want to be 14.

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    • Not me.

      But then again, I’m 8 years old.

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    • In modern America, yeah, we tend to wish for and unduly praise youth. I disagree with this perspective and believe God created the different life stages for a reason, to teach us many different and wonderful things.

      ^ Things I would have said if this were a philosophy-metrics site, but chose to not include in my sabermetrics post. Thanks for taking my bait. :)

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      • Terminator X says:

        *cringe*

        Please never start a philosophy-metrics blog.

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      • Cliff says:

        Oh, and how old are you? Are you 60? 70? Think you might start singing a different tune when every organ system in your body begins to break down to the point where your everyday life is severely impacted?

        Age is damage to the body. It’s a disease that takes away our loved ones, often after ravaging their minds. Don’t glorify it. Wisdom and experience is great, but lets not tie it up with deterioration of the body. There is no advantage to getting weaker and sicker.

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      • Ian says:

        Wow, Cliff, you’re a downer.

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      • Scott says:

        Yes Cliff, but when we’re young we’re racked with the disease of stupidity.

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      • @Cliff: Yes, I do believe aging is a disease and with aging comes physical pain. However, I also think youth comes with pains of its own — a lack of wisdom leading to lost opportunities and regrets.

        I would like to take credit for this aging-is-not-such-a-huge-curse idea, but I in fact heard it from much wiser, much older people. And, really, the intention is not to glorify aging, but to demystify youth.

        @Terminator: I would be pioneering, no?

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      • GiantHusker says:

        Yes, I have learned something from being old–that being old sucks!

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      • GiantHusker says:

        I’ll take stupidity, ignorance, excessive hormones, etc. over cancer, diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, et. al. any time.

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  9. Not saying I caused it or anything (though I probably did), but: Ichiro Suzuki went 4 for 5 with a double today.

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    • phoenix2042 says:

      maybe ichiro was just depressed after losing 17 straight games and decided to put an end to that himself.

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  10. Ichiro Suzuki says:

    I am getting older. That’s why I’m performing poorly.

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    • gradygradychase says:

      You should care about your dress.

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    • Mike A says:

      Ok Ichi, then hit the ‘roids baby and we’ll give Chone the job of being the designated specimen donor! We wanna see you get to 3000 in style, that’s probably the only thing us Mariner fans are going to look forward to in the next few years.

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  11. Phantom Stranger says:

    There is absolutely no doubt about it, his raw tools are in severe decline. He has lost a step. It shows up in his fielding and a repeatedly slower timing to first base. From a visual perspective, it appears he has dropped a few pounds of muscle tone from prior seasons. I wonder how the offseason in Japan, with the nuclear tragedies and flooding there, affected his preparation going into the season. He is definitely making even weaker contact with the ball this year, from grounders to fly balls.

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  12. MX says:

    As a huge Ichiro fan, I wish this is just a slump, or Ichiro is secrectly trying something new, or he has some kind of injury that we don’t know. I hope he can play for many more years to come. He is so unique that I don’t think there will be another Ichiro.

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    • phoenix2042 says:

      i want him to get to 3000 and not limp there pathetically like jeter did (except for his homer on 3K and 5 hit day).

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      • MikeD says:

        Phoenix, limping in may not even be an option for Ichiro.

        Jeter’s decline started just last year, so the diminshed Jeter only took a year to pass by 3000. Ichiro, however, entered 2011 roughly 750 hits short of 3,000. At his current rate, he’ll have to play another four years to get to 3,000, and that’s without slipping further (unlikely) and also continuing to play reguarly, which is also unlikely at his current level of production.

        Ichiro is a RFer. He can’t continue to hit as he has in 2011 and expect to maintain his job for another four seasons. If what we’re seeing is truly age, then Ichiro is not going to make it to 3,000 hits in MLB.

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  13. Mike says:

    Mario in the frog suit?! Totally random, yet I love it.

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    • jim says:

      ok good, i’m not the only who saw it…. starting to think i might have a screw loose, since nobody else had mentioned it.

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  14. oneiric23 says:

    A factor I’m curious about: the massive disasters in Japan.

    Having your home, family and friends that are thousands of miles away get subjected to such extreme devastation may take your mind off of baseball juuuuust a tad. And in game that requires such extreme focus, that could be enough to cause (more of) a down year.

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  15. Lee Carney says:

    Stupid Question from An Aussie Sports Fan

    why cant hitters aim their hits into gaps, cricketers do it all the time, and they face deliveries of approx 90-100 miles an hour from about 60 feet away, now admittedly the balls they face bounce and lose some velocity, but that whole sport is predicated on hitting the ball into spaces in the field, why dont hitters try to place the ball through gaps rather than trying to belt the leather of it everytime??

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    • Matt says:

      Round bats?

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    • Yirmiyahu says:

      Not knowing anything about cricket, I don’t think I can give a proper answer to this question. Generally, we assume that a player has a degree of control over how hard a ball is hit, which field it is hit towards (left, center, right), and whether it’s hit on the ground or in the air. Beyond that, it’s more or less dumb luck.

      However, if any player in baseball can “aim” a hit, it’s Ichiro. He has incredible bat control. “Hit ‘em where they ain’t,” as the saying goes.

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    • jim says:

      the good ones do, it’s just really hard: see williams, ted

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    • DD says:

      I’m not real familiar with Cricket’s rules, but do they have breaking balls, off speed pitches? Because if every pitch came in at roughly the same speed and movement, it would be easier to consistently have a good look at the ball and hit it where you’d like.

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      • deflated says:

        IMO there is more variety in movement/speed in cricket than baseball – you can have movement off the pitch (spin) as well as in the air (swing). Every team will have both fast/swing and slow/spin bowlers, which would be similar to every team having a couple of knuckleballers in the bullpen for speeds/movement.

        Placing hits is possible in cricket due to the wider flat bat and batsmen having more opportunity to lay off balls they don’t like.

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    • Matt says:

      I kept thinking about this…aren’t the “spaces in the field” just much, much larger in cricket? (I don’t know much about cricket.) The cricketer has 360 degrees to hit the ball, and there are still about the same number of guys out in the field. A baseball player has only 90 degrees to hit the ball.

      So in that sense, a baseball player *is* trying to aim the ball — he has to aim the ball forward, within a 90 degree window.

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      • Lee Carney says:

        now that makes a lot of sense, I kep thinking Baseball had to hit, what in cricket would be called ‘in front of square’ but your right, that is completely wrong, as that would be 180 degrees, but with only 90 degrees, a round bat and 7 fielders in front of you, it is starting ot make more sense

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  16. stefangfg says:

    Keep in mind that Ichiro would be hitting .300 if he had just 12 more hits. That’s one additional hit over every 8 or so games played so far.

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    • MikeD says:

      That’s true, although people were coming up with similar type numbers for Jeter in 2010. He never did bounce back to his former self, although he actually is hitting over .300 since he returne from the DL. I just don’t expect it to continue. Age is relentless!

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    • juan pierre's mustache says:

      keep in mind ichiro would have 13 homers if he had just 12 more homers. that’s one additional homer every 8 or so games so far.

      keep in mind ichiro would have a nohitter if he had just one more nohitter. that’s one additional nohitter every 100 or so games played so far.

      etc etc

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  17. pinball1973 says:

    The seething hatred of Ichiro that manifests itself in more genteel terms than the average blog just astounds me. I can see why non-Ichiro fans got sick of the “hit a home run whenever he wants” canard (something he’s hated for through not the slightest fault of his own), but the aching need of saberites to see him fail AS SOON AS POSSIBLE is just beyond me.

    Some people really do care only about “their” teams “winning,” or about having some system predict a player’s career as if it were printed on a series of tables. There’s certainly room for them and everyone else in the big world of Baseball. But why piss on what you claim to love, and with such incontinent regularity?

    It’s a fine article, by the way.

    If Ichiro finally gets the breaks AND heats up just a bit, he’ll still hit .300 and even get another 200-hit season. But after this many years, he has practically Barack Obama’s chances of gaining the Teabaggers’ respect: none. They are simply incapable of it.

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    • mcbrown says:

      Easy, boy… Maybe I’m blind but I haven’t seen a single instance of Ichiro hatred on this site. I’d go so far as to say he’s quite the cult hero here – stat nerds love outliers, and Ichiro is nothing if not an outlier!

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      • juan pierre's mustache says:

        plus he always used to give that awesome speech at the all-star game where he demonstrated through the use of profanity that his translator was pretty much unnecessary

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    • MBD says:

      Is regular incontinence really incontinence at all? If you always make it to the toilet…

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  18. slash12 says:

    I did the original version of the BABIP spreadsheet you mentioned.

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  19. RC says:

    “The only plate discipline number out of whack is his O-Contact rate, which says he’s touching 86% of balls outside the strike zone — compared to a 76.7% career number. …So, it comes back to BABIP.

    This is a good example of the failings of assuming BABIP is random, and that players with low/high babips will regress.

    You don’t think him swinging at and contacting bad pitches is causing his BABIP to go down? Ichiro is fast, but weak grounders and popups don’t turn into a whole lot of hits.

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  20. opal6 says:

    Pinball1973 has hit on the one feature of all Ichiro discussions that also baffles me: a large percentage of folks loathe Ichiro and they seek out every imaginable criticism of him and his game. He’s a stat-chaser, he doesn’t sacrifice his body in the OF, he should take more walks, he should speak better English, he shouldn’t wear his first name on his uniform, he should have a better OBP, OPS, ZR.

    The one that is the most ridiculous is the OBP/BB criticism. Countless folks insist that he’s not a great hitter and then prove it by comparing him to hitters that rarely hit in the #1 spot.

    Good thing we don’t know Suzuki’s cholesterol number because he’d be criticized for that as well. I mean, he’s so thin and lean that it should be much, much lower than it is…

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  21. Hurtlocker says:

    I did an analysis of every HOF player (Ichiro certainly is a HOF player) and the avergae age when the player was “Done” was 36.55 years. Seems kind of young in the big picture sense. When I say “Done”, I mean no longer playing at a HOF level or even as a regular day-to-day player. A lot of HOF players have continued to play into thier 40’s but were only a shadow of thier former greatness.

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    • But wouldn’t your study be thrown off by the external validity issues of improving medical science and extending life expectancies? Also, how do you control for guys like Roberto Clemente whose playing careers ended abruptly and in their prime?

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      • Hurtlocker says:

        Both good points, but there is a large enough sample to account for the outliers. Additionally, to have a HOF career you must have played for a certain length of time so longevity is part of the induction criteria. I agree that modern medical technology may lengthen careers but recent HOF inductees from the “modern” era also ahowed to be essentially “Done” at about age 37.

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      • GiantHusker says:

        Great research, Hurt Locker.

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  22. Swingdoc says:

    Nice work. New to the site and trying to get aggregate/league data for BABIP broken out by hit type (LD BABIP, GB BABIP etc) like you did for Ichiro. Don’t see the data on the site but might be missing someyhing? Thanks in advance for any help

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  23. Epee9 says:

    SSS context check.
    If we assume Ichiro’s true talent in 2011 is the same as in 2001-10, then there is about a 5% probability (5.33%) that his BABIP would be at least this low.

    So at this point one might guess the difference to be more likely due to aging, but that is only a guess.

    (I’m getting a Z-score of -1.61, taking his pre-2011 BABIP to be .3569 plus or minus .0093 and his 2010 BABIP to be .296 plus or minus .0366.)

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  24. le_eiji says:

    Ichiro is the most overrated player in the history of baseball. He proves it for himself. His batting is dependent on beating out infield grounders. As his speed slows down a little, he is no longer able to play like a softball girl as he used to. His batting skill has been extremely overrated. He could have hit .300 without infield singles if he had the skill he was advertised to have. In actuality though, 60% deline of infield singles turns him into a sub-par player. Batting .270 with no power at all, he is clearly one of the worst rightfielders this year.

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