The Padres’ Odd Couple

The San Diego Padres feature a roster of goodies. The brothers Hairston (otherwise nicknamed Voltron Hairston by Marc Normandin), Tony Gwynn the Thin, and of course the most contrasting pair of teammates in the league: David Eckstein and Kyle Blanks.

The physical differences between Eckstein and Blanks spell themselves out. Heck, even the varied approaches in offensive strategy and execution are pretty easy to spot. How’s this for a factoid, though: Amongst qualified batters, Eckstein is striking out at the lowest ratio and Blanks at the highest. The actual numerical figures are 1.8% and 44.8%

Blanks’ strikeout rate is coming honest. He’s making contact on a little over 63% of his swings. For perspective, Mark Reynolds’ career contact rate is 63% on the nose and Reynolds quickly gained the reputation as a windmill. Of course, the Diamondbacks are willing to tolerate the strikeouts because Reynolds makes up for it when he does put the ball in play. The same cannot be said for Blanks thus far in 2010. About 29% of the balls he puts into play are turning into hits, yet his batting average, even when fueled by an extra three home runs, is more than .100 points lower.

And then there’s Eckstein. In 116 plate appearances, Eckstein has gone down on strikes two times. It goes without saying that Eckstein will not sustain that rate of fasting. The ridiculous part about that factoid is that Blanks has struck out four times in one game, three times in two others, and twice in nine other games. Despite an identical amount of games played and Blanks appearing at the plate 15 fewer times, he’s struck out 37 more times.

The Padres are in San Francisco to start a series which will decide first place in the National League West for the time being. That’s a series worth watching, if only to marvel at the yin and yang that is David Eckstein and Kyle Blanks.



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ChuckB
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ChuckB
6 years 3 months ago

RJ,

Is there evidence to suggest that taller (shorter) hitters have a higher (lower) tendency to strike-out? My specifically, do taller hitters experience larger strike-zones due to their height?

MGL
Guest
MGL
6 years 3 months ago

Yes, I would hazard a wild guess that taller hitters have larger strike zones due to their height. ;)

Now, whether that means that they strike out more often, is not necessarily evident. I would suspect that they do for two reasons: One, it is probably more difficult to “cover” a larger strikes zone even with the longer arms of the taller hitters. Two, selection bias would suggest that because shorter hitters have less power, high strikeouts (and low walk totals) are not tolerated from them. In other words, if you don’t have much power, you better put the ball in play more often and you better walk more often.

Matt B.
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Matt B.
6 years 3 months ago

Hmm… Interesting…

Richie Sexson, Corey Hart, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn among others.

Drakos
Guest
Drakos
6 years 3 months ago

The funny thing is that for all the differences in their games the difference in their wOBA was only .004 going into tonight’s game.

John Walsh
Guest
John Walsh
6 years 3 months ago

“has went” ? (sorry if that’s nitpicking, but it just reads really, really bad)

Carson Cistulli
Editor
Member
6 years 3 months ago

That construction is commonplace in the future, where R.J.’s actually from.

It’s my bad for not editing it with a 2010 audience in mind.

arch support
Guest
arch support
6 years 3 months ago

I believe you’re using the incorrect definition of ‘factoid’. You seem to be using it as if it denotes ‘a small fact’ when in fact the word means ‘an inaccurate statement believed true because of popular repetition’.

Regard:
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/factoid

Not trying to be a jerk, but just for future reference. As Wiktionary notes “It’s ironic that the very definition of factoid has itself come to be a factoid.”

hylen
Guest
hylen
6 years 3 months ago

What John Walsh said. That ain’t nitpicking. Come on!

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