Three True Outcomes Trailers, 2007-2009

Earlier this week, I discussed the Three True Outcomes leaders for 2007-2009. Briefly, the “Three True Outcomes” are the walk, the strikeout, and the home run, since they reflect the batter-pitcher relationship without the interference of defense, batted ball luck, and the like. While Three True Outcomes masters like Jack Cust, Adam Dunn, and Carlos Pena are rightly revered, and all the players on that list are or have been good hitters, the players on the other end of the list — those who, over the last three seasons, have the fewest percentage of true outcomes — are a more diverse group. Some baseball fans (and executives) might even prefer this kind of hitter, as they “put more pressure on the defense” by putting the ball in play more often.

Without further ado, here are the give leading “pressurizers” of 2007-2009, ranked from the one with the highest amount of true outcomes to the lowest.

5. Ichiro Suzuki
TTO%: 15.4
TTO: 328
PA-iBB: 2123
HR: 23
uBB:92
SO: 213

No big surprise here. Ichiro’s gotta get old eventually, but he keeps hovering around 5 WAR. Ichiro’s ridiculous BABIP skills make him one of those guys that give projection systems all sorts of problems. Royals fans are hoping Rick Ankiel magically turns out to be like that, too. He’s super-duper fast like Ichiro, right?

4. Miguel Tejada
TTO%: 15.3
TTO: 289
PA-iBB: 1894
HR: 45
uBB: 69
SO: 175

Now here’s a guy who aged quickly (thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week). Tejada was signed as a free agent by Baltimore and had an outstanding first season there in 2004 both at the plate (+30) and in the field (+8 defense at shortstop). He was never as good as that again, and was predictably offloaded to the Astros after the 2007 season. He’s still got value, and his price will probably be right for a team that needs to fill a gap at third base.

3. Placido Polanco
TTO%: 12.7
TTO: 247
PA-iBB: 1939
HR: 27
uBB: 101
SO: 119

Polanco, one of the more underrated players in baseball during his prime, shows that the three true outcomes aren’t everything. Case in point: Player A has 21.0 WAR during the “FanGraphs Era.” Player B has 28.1. Player B is Placido Polanco. Who is Player A?

Click here for the answer.

2. Yuniesky Betancourt
TTO%: 12.5
TTO: 206
PA-iBB: 1654
HR: 22
uBB: 50
SO: 134

There isn’t much to say here other than to update what I wrote about this time last year: If anyone knows why it’s important to put pressure on the defense, it’s a shortstop who put up a -21 season in the field in 2009.

1. Juan Pierre
TTO%: 10.7
TTO: 167
PA-iBB: 1556
HR: 1
uBB:78
SO: 88

Pierre was a really good player back in 2003 and 2004 with the Marlins, and his 2006 in Chicago was good as well. Nyjer Morgan and Brett Gardner might be decent contemporary comparisons. Now, like Scott Podsednik, he’s sort of an anti-Ichiro. His (past) speed and baserunning can convince a GM that he’s an ideal candidate to be a “center fielder put in the corner who will make up for his bat with his defense.” Unfortunately, his range isn’t what it used to be, his arm can’t make up for it, and his speed is no longer adequate to sneak on base on dink hits, which means his flagging baserunnig skills also aren’t as useful as they used to be. I guess he’s in the AL Central now, so that means more games against middle infielders like, um, Yuniesky Betancourt.

In honor of these players, I leave you with last year’s Beyond the Box Score Graphs Contest Winner, which seems fitting.




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Matt Klaassen reads and writes obituaries in the Greater Toronto Area. If you can't get enough of him, follow him on Twitter.


14 Responses to “Three True Outcomes Trailers, 2007-2009”

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  1. Kevin S. says:

    Hah! Nailed Player A. Also, that flowchart is priceless.

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  2. I love the 1 HR by Pierre in 3 seasons. Pierre has the one HR to his credit since the top of the 3 inning on Sept. 18, 2006. That’s 55 PA from that season plus 1560 since, meaning 1 HR in the past 1615 PA. Pathetic

    Perhaps this is why we hate the guy ever so much.
    http://gameofinches.blogspot.com/2009/12/white-sox-trade-acquire-juan-pierrewhy.html

    Ps, where’s eckstein rank?

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  3. Paul Scott says:

    The WAR comparison between Dunn and Polanco is very misleading, unless that is you can demonstrate a strong negative correlation between TTO and fielding.

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    • It would only be misleading if he suggested that being a TTO hitter is a bad thing; he didn’t, he just said “The Three True Outcomes aren’t everything”, which the WAR comparison illustrates quite well.

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    • Paul:

      What Alex said — TTO wasn’t the basis for the comparison of their WAR, it was just an occasion to discuss how much Polanco has been underrated. I know that, pre-WAR, I would never have thought Polanco was even close to Dunn in value, much more valuable.

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  4. DKDC says:

    On what basis was Tejada overpaid by the Orioles?

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  5. And to think, Bengie Molina JUST missed this list. He’s a ~15.6% TTO-er (unless I fucked up the calculations royally) guy, so I suppose he’s #6 on the list…

    Speaking of bengie molina, it’s the bengie molina all-stars!
    http://gameofinches.blogspot.com/2010/01/bengie-molina-all-stars.html

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  6. B says:

    Aren’t HR also park affected, and therefore not completely Pitcher/Hitter matchup exclusive?

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    • HR are park effected… as are walks and Ks. This sort of TTO thing isn’t a meant to be a totally neutralized stat, just a focus on batters excluding batted ball issues — sort of like FIP without the weights. IN fact fact, I might revisit this whole thing with a “FIP for hitters” junk stat at some point.

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  7. Jd Webb says:

    Great read, thanks for putting it up.

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  8. hank says:

    Apparently, history will remember Juan Pierre’s 2006 as being “good”.

    God have mercy on us all.

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  9. Joe R says:

    Since he was mentioned, question time:

    Adam Dunn is a candidate for 600 HR. If he gets there, is he a Hall of Famer, regardless of his fielding debauchery?

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