Why Have Power Hitters Stopped Striking Out?

In any small sample of data, you’ll always be able to find things that stand out. Nick Hundley is now apparently Ted Williams, which is kind of a neat trick for a catcher who plays half his games in Petco. Of course, we’ve all had “small sample size” engrained into our thoughts, so we can look at these statistical abnormalities and realize that, given time, they’ll straighten themselves out. By and large, they don’t actually mean anything, but they’re still kind of interesting.

To me, perhaps the most interesting of the early season statistical flukes is the large group of sluggers who have essentially stopped striking out this year. We talked about Joey Votto on Tuesday, but at least his reduction in strikeouts is somewhat understandable — pitchers have just stopped throwing him strikes. However, Votto is far from the only slugger whose K% has taken a drastic nosedive to begin the season.

Seriously, sort the leaderboards by K% and look at the names. A.J. Pierzynski makes sense, since he’s always been about putting the bat on the ball and he has an ISO of .051 so far. Chipper Jones and his one strikeout are somewhat surprising, but he’s also been a higher contact guy for most of his career, and he doesn’t have the power he once had. Miguel Tejada? Omar Infante? Okay, nothing weird there.

Now look at number five on the list. Prince Fielder? What? The guy has struck out 120+ times in five consecutive seasons, and he’s been remarkably consistent the last three years, striking out 134, 138, and 138 times respectively. In the first two weeks of 2011, however, he’s struck out twice. Coming into the season, his career low for any month in which he played regularly was 15 strikeouts, and over the last three years, he’s only had three months with fewer than 20 strikeouts. He’s on pace to finish April with five. He’s made contact with 97.5% of pitches in the strike zone, the same rate that Juan Pierre and Brett Gardner had last year.

And yet, despite putting bat on ball like a speedy leadoff hitter, seven of Fielder’s 15 base hits have gone for extra bases and he’s slugging .718 on the season. That just doesn’t happen.

Keep going down the list – Adrian Gonzalez has three strikeouts in 47 trips to the plate. His teammate David Ortiz — notorious for his slow starts to begin the season the last few years – has four whiffs in 44 plate appearances. Paul Konerko, Joey Votto, and Miguel Cabrera are also among the league leaders in fewest strikeouts per at-bat, despite all still pounding the baseball with regularity.

Justin Upton struck out in 30.7% of his plate appearances last year, but has cut that to 15.9% so far in 2011 and has added 100 points to his ISO at the same time. Troy Tulowitzki, he of the highest of all of baseball, has struck out in under 14% of his trips to the plate. Alex Rodriguez has as many home runs as strikeouts. Matt Kemp’s torrid April has been highlighted by his dramatically reduced K% through the first two weeks of the season.

There’s no way this will last. Albert Pujols had the lowest K% of any hitter with an ISO over .250 last year, and he came in at 12.9%. Only a half dozen guys were able to hit for a lot of power while keeping their strikeout rates below 20%, much less below 10%. There’s a trade-off that is made between contact and power, and big guys wisely choose to take the whiffs in order to get more value out of their hits when they do make contact.

Being able to hit for both contact and power at the same time is a rare combination… except for in April, 2011 apparently.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Bill
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Bill
5 years 5 months ago

sample size

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu
5 years 5 months ago

Yes, we all know that. Dave acknowledged it in his first paragraph.

But these kinds of early-season flukes are interesting nonetheless.

Greg
Guest
Greg
5 years 5 months ago

No I’m pretty sure Dave is asserting these guys will never strike out again.

joser
Guest
joser
5 years 5 months ago

Wow, the missing the point to total words ratio on this comment is off the charts.

NBarnes
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NBarnes
5 years 5 months ago

Is there some way to express that in missingThePoint+, establishing an seasonal average of missing the point across the internet and then adjusting the ratio to be relative to that?

Slugger27
Guest
Slugger27
5 years 5 months ago

would over or under 100 be better?

Young Gung
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Young Gung
5 years 5 months ago

He didn’t miss the point, he was just trying to be funny. Either that or he’s just an asshole

Slugger27
Guest
Slugger27
5 years 5 months ago

how in the hell does your comment only have 7 minuses?

David K
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David K
5 years 5 months ago

Didn’t give it enough time…

Nate
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Nate
5 years 5 months ago

sample size

Dave
Guest
Dave
5 years 5 months ago

I guess you can say that pitchers will pick up the strikeout pace soon too then. Cause Gallardo and his K/9 of 3.6 is not doing wonders for my fantasy team.

Azmanz
Member
Azmanz
5 years 5 months ago

I was hoping you were going to answer the question in the title. Either way, interesting stuff, even tho it’s mostly SSS.

Evan S
Guest
Evan S
5 years 5 months ago

You forgot to mention Colby Rasmus, who struck out 148 times in 464 AB’s last year but has just 9 K’s so far (to 8 walks), and is on pace to have about 28 fewer strikeouts in approximately 184 more at bats than last year.

RogPodge
Guest
RogPodge
5 years 5 months ago

implying that colby rasmus is a power hitter

Kirkwood
Member
Kirkwood
5 years 5 months ago

Implying that Colby Rasmus didn’t have an ISO of .222 last season.

mike
Guest
mike
5 years 5 months ago

meh

Rob
Guest
Rob
5 years 5 months ago

Ryan Howard also down from 31% career to 21% in 2011

joe
Guest
joe
5 years 5 months ago

You talking K rate of body fat?
(yeah I know he’s been in pretty good shape the last year or two)

Jimmy the Greek
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Jimmy the Greek
5 years 5 months ago

Ryan Howard is terrible and overpaid, don’t mention him in a positive way on Fangraphs ever again.

Kirkwood
Member
Kirkwood
5 years 5 months ago

Hey, even Vernon Wells had a nice year last year.

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu
5 years 5 months ago

Wells is currently trying his best to negate any positive value he produced last year.

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
My echo and bunnymen
5 years 5 months ago

When Batting Average tells the whole story ~ A Vernon Wells biography.

Nolan
Guest
Nolan
5 years 1 month ago

That may be the dumbest thing I ever heard related to baseball Flimsy the Meek! Fastest to 100 HR in history, 200 HR in history, 250 home runs in baseball history, most home runs and rbis in the majors since he became the starter of the Phillies. Almost 300 home runs and hes only been a starter since 2006. He was Rookie of the year, He was NL MVP, led his team to world series twice, won it once, multiple pennants and 4 straight division titles, again hes only been a starter since 2006. Yup, he stinks. Only a goofball would say the best power hitter in baseball or one of, stinks. Average defensively, and strikes out a good bit, but when you lead the league in rbis and home runs just about every year since you came up, them weaknesses are miniscule. People show little baseball intelligence when they make comments like that, and you expose yourself as not very reputable in your comments.

Antonio Bananas
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Antonio Bananas
5 years 1 month ago

O god someone is a fan of RBIs. K, no one team “leads” a team to a WS. A great pitching staff and a lineup that will produce, on average, a run over what your staff allows is what takes you to the playoffs and WS.

Howard WAS a great power hitter. His numbers are dropping faster than the number of talented young players on a Tony LaRussa team. He’s the highest paid 1B but about the 6th best.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
Antonio Bananas
5 years 1 month ago

No one *person* I mean

Scrapper
Member
Scrapper
5 years 5 months ago

Is there a way of determining whether these numbers are holding up on the “macro” level. For example, what percentage of pitches in the strike zone did hitters make contact with in 2010 and is that percentage way up in 2011?

Rob
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Rob
5 years 5 months ago

Pitcher’s all listening to their pitching coaches about pitching to contact. Prince Fielder thanks them for their wisdom.

RiverAce
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RiverAce
5 years 5 months ago

Guess none of the names mentioned here have faced Jered Weaver yet

Chris in Hawaii
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Chris in Hawaii
5 years 5 months ago

Mark Reynolds is down to 30%. In the AL East… where people were saying he could strike out well over 300 times…

AA
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AA
5 years 5 months ago

Except, of course, that there aren’t a ton of big K pitchers (outside Sabathia) in the AL East.

Kris
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Kris
5 years 5 months ago

Well, except Lester, Hellickson, Price, Romero, Hughes, Beckett, Burnett, and Shields.

Unless you meant big in the literal sense, in which case, yes, Sabathia would be the poster boy in the AL East.

Azmanz
Member
Azmanz
5 years 5 months ago

Those guys don’t have the K rates of Lincecum, J Sanchez or Kershaw tho.

Chris in Hawaii
Guest
Chris in Hawaii
5 years 5 months ago

They also don’t get to face pitchers once every 9 ABs.

fredsbank
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fredsbank
5 years 5 months ago

they also dont have the walk rates and platoon splits of sanchez and kershaw, either

Llewdor
Member
Llewdor
5 years 5 months ago

How small is the sample size, though?

If this is happening all across MLB, then we have several dozen hitters who are strikeing out at a lower rate. Surely they’ve amassed a season’s worth of plate appearances more than once already, and from that we can draw conclusions.

Now, if there’s no overall trend, and it’s just that these hitters are striking out less, then yes I’ll grant the sample size justification. But if Ks are down league-wide, we might have a statistically significat trend.

shoewizard
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shoewizard
5 years 5 months ago

Per baseball-reference, MLB K % was 18.5 last year, and 18.3 so far this year.

David K
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David K
5 years 5 months ago

So maybe the examples given in the article were “cherry picked”? Since the K rate is only off by 0.2%, I bet you can find many examples of players with increased K rates, unless most of the rookies are having most of the strikeouts and most of the guys that retired were low-K-rate guys to make up for the veterans lowering their K rates? Doubtful.

Sonny
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Sonny
5 years 5 months ago

Bud put the word in to squeeze the zone. It’s the year of the hitter!

adohaj
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adohaj
5 years 5 months ago

I could go or a repeat of 1998. Except instead of Mack and Sosa it will be Howie Kendrick and Tulo. I’m pulling for Howie.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 5 months ago

Maybe pitchers have changed how they’re pitching power hitters due to homers being reduced over the last couple of years?

Perhaps the idea that walks lead to more runs is causing pitchers to throw more strikes?

I don’t know if this is the case, but it might be due to something pitchers are doing as well.

Donald Trump
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Donald Trump
5 years 5 months ago

Very interesting. If you have league wide stats that would be great.

AndyS
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AndyS
5 years 5 months ago

People, stop acknowledging SSS, and then saying this is very interesting. Small Sample Size is PRECISELY the reason this is NOT interesting.

Nom Chompsky
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Nom Chompsky
5 years 5 months ago

I disagree.

The small sample size caveat refers to predictive ability, not to amount of interest generated. Juan Pierre rapping out 8 singles in one 15-inning game would have little to no bearing on his true talent level, but it would be interesting to people who followed that sort of thing. And people might feel compelled to write about it.

Teej
Member
Teej
5 years 5 months ago

When did we all decide that flukes were uninteresting?

joser
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joser
5 years 5 months ago

“Interesting” and “meaningful” are two different things. Small sample size ensures that these are not meaningful, but it definitely doesn’t require them to be uninteresting.

Dann M.
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

I disagree about the meaningful issue. This small sample size anomaly more or less ensures that one of two things will happen. Option A is that many of these traditionally heavy-K hitters will “make up for lost time” by striking out at a rate of (career + x), where x is a normalizing increase. Option B is that some of these guys will go on Jose Hernandez/Mark Reynolds strikeout sprees for a few weeks. Whether it’s a banged-up slugger avoiding the DL and looking bad, or a younger slugger struggling once pitchers get better scouting reports, there will be interesting subplots down the road that will be informed by this early-season K-less binge.

AndyS
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AndyS
5 years 5 months ago

“make up for lost time”

That doesn’t happen. That’s bad statistics. There was even an article about this recently.

Pau
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Pau
5 years 5 months ago

Gambler’s fallacy in all its glory

adohaj
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adohaj
5 years 5 months ago

I predicted the Red sox to get 100 wins this year. When I made my prediction I factored in the inevitable losing streak. Is it so wrong I think they will make up for lost time with an inevitable winning streak?

NBarnes
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NBarnes
5 years 5 months ago

Stop having fun, guys! BASEBALL IS SERIOUS BUSINESS! Marveling at flukes and oddities have no business here!

AndyS
Guest
AndyS
5 years 5 months ago

It’s just that flukes happen all the time. If there’s nothing meaningful to get out of it, I don’t see how a fluke is interesting. It’s just a random event that’s likely to happen if you stare at random data long enough.

Slugger27
Guest
Slugger27
5 years 5 months ago

see andy, everyone agrees with all that, its just that we all find the out-of-the-ordinary, meaningless, random events that were bound to happen eventually to be interesting.

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu
5 years 5 months ago

What kind of a baseball geek are you if you have no interest in flukes, toy stats, SSS streaks, or strange coincidences???

Do you find no joy in seeing a guy hit for the cycle? Do you just shrug and say “small sample size” ?

AndyS
Guest
AndyS
5 years 5 months ago

lol you people. You can LITERALLY go into any March/April split for each of the last three years (at least, didn’t try more than that) and find the EXACT same pattern, except without someone doing as well as, say, Prince Fielder is. And that’s after a month, not a pathetically small two weeks.

This isn’t some new trend, or an interesting blip. It happens every year, it’s not an exciting occurrence.

fredsbank
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fredsbank
5 years 5 months ago

so do it then…

AndyS
Guest
AndyS
5 years 5 months ago

I did do it. That’s how I know.

Duh? I’m tell you to do it so you can see too.

AndyS
Guest
AndyS
5 years 5 months ago

Posted it below.

B N
Guest
B N
5 years 5 months ago

I disagree also. I think the small sample size is CAUSING the lower strike out numbers. By my model of this system, a sample size of one month leads to lower strikeouts. Pitchers are so distracted by volatility in their rate stats that they are unable to punch batters out! But if you take larger sample sizes, you will see higher strike outs- very close to historical averages! We’re really onto something with this one! I can feel it!

… Exclamation points!!!

joeIQ
Guest
joeIQ
5 years 5 months ago

Tulo has 7 HR and only 5K

AJS
Guest
AJS
5 years 5 months ago

Way to ask a question and not answer it.

I was hoping there was a more interesting answer than the default “small sample size.” (Using that logic, given that many stats take a season or more to stabilize, why write about baseball at all until the off season?)

Is it possible there’s something to this, that has to do with how good pitchers were last year and the decline in HR in the post-steroids era? It would have been nice to see some possibilities explored other than declaring “this can’t last” and calling it a day.

Slugger27
Guest
Slugger27
5 years 5 months ago

maybe dave wanted US, the commenters to come up with ideas about why it’s happening. maybe instead of making a douchey-toned cristicism about him not giving ideas, YOU come up with some ideas you wanna talk about.

(yes, i said douchey-toned)

AJS
Guest
AJS
5 years 5 months ago

Way to read my entire comment.

I did come up with a couple possible suggestions (“Is it possible there’s something to this, that has to do with how good pitchers were last year and the decline in HR in the post-steroids era”) that I’d like explored.

Maybe instead of making non-thought-out, douchey-toned responses, you actually think about what the original poster has to say.

bcp33bosox
Guest
bcp33bosox
5 years 5 months ago

“Is it possible there’s something to this, that has to do with how good pitchers were last year and the decline in HR in the post-steroids era”

No.

joser
Guest
joser
5 years 5 months ago

sort the leaderboards by K%

And once again I ask for sort order to be encoded in the query string, so that we can pass around links to Fangraphs that will produce a table of data sorted according to our preferences, rather than asking the reader to sort it. And, since I’m asking, how about the first click on a header resulting in either an ascending or descending sort, as most likely to be appropriate for that stat (ie ascending for the stats where lower is better and descending for the stats where higher is better). You know, like B-R has been doing for a long time now.

AndyS
Guest
AndyS
5 years 5 months ago

Second’d

matt w
Guest
matt w
5 years 5 months ago

Third’d

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu
5 years 5 months ago

Forded.

Another approach
Guest
Another approach
5 years 5 months ago

One way to ask this question would be to look at all of the hitters with a ISO above, say, .200 last year and calculate their collective K% in 2011. By looking at ALL of them, it avoids handpicking particular individuals that come to mind (Fielder, Tulo), and pooling them gives a much bigger sample.

eugene brown
Guest
eugene brown
5 years 5 months ago

This is definitely the best idea I’ve seen yet

frug
Guest
frug
5 years 5 months ago

Standard sample size caveat aside, I wonder if what we are seeing is in some way a reaction to last year’s relative power outage. Obviously these guy’s K rates are going to increase as the season goes, but I wonder if this is an early indication that batters are adjusting their approach and concentrating more on making contact than have in recent years.

Ender
Guest
Ender
5 years 5 months ago

Fielder is waiting back on the ball a lot more than in the past and most of his hits have gone the other way, he isn’t pulling the ball like he tends to when he isn’t hitting very well.

Obviously he’ll strike out more than he has been but he was always thought of as a future .300 hitter type guy by the Brewers so it won’t surprise me if he grows a bit as a hitter this year.

badenjr
Guest
badenjr
5 years 5 months ago

Could the reason that these guys are striking out less simply be that they’ve been “in the zone”? They’re seeing the ball well and hitting it hard right now. As these guys regress to their true talent level, their strikeout percentage will regress too.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 5 months ago

How do K’s from opening dat to Apr 15, 2011 compare to K’s over the same period of 2010?

Be interesting to see if they’re up/down across the board … And not just in a few power hitters.

AndyS
Guest
AndyS
5 years 5 months ago

They’re pretty much the same, this is a pointless article.

Patrick42
Guest
Patrick42
5 years 5 months ago

Show us the data and stop complaining. Then send it to Dave.

I’m not going to believe you until you actually put the numbers out here, rather than say that this happens every year.

I’m sure Dave would be excited to see an explanation that this is typical early in the season, and if it were factual, he’d be happy to post it and talk about it.

AndyS
Guest
AndyS
5 years 5 months ago

I posted it below. Feel free to look.

pft
Guest
pft
5 years 5 months ago

To my eyes the strike zone seems smaller than last year which seemed much larger than in years past. This year the strike zone is pretty much what the rules say it is. Pitch f/x may say otherwise, but unless they clean up their calibration issues I will go with my eyes.

eugene brown
Guest
eugene brown
5 years 5 months ago

Just looked quickly over the other end of the K% leader board and their are just as many power hitters that far above their last year % as you’ve listed as under:
Josh Willingham, 41.5% so far compared to 23.5% last year
Mark Texeira, 30.6 compared to 20.3
Youkillis, 30.3 compared to 18.5
Bautista, 29.4 compared to 20.4
Damon(not much power any more i know), 29.3 from 16.7
Choo, 28.9 from 21.5
Ibanez, 27.9 from 19.3
Wells, 26.5 from 14.2
Cust and Reynolds are both over 30% aswell on their usual rates and Burrell is up at 39.4 so far, David Wright is on 28.9 from 27.4 so he’s not improving at all.

My point is you’ll always find some outliers(as we know and as you pointed out), but that doesn’t mean there is a trend as just as many outliers are 10% over their rates as under.

It’s not interesting that there are people who are striking out less, it just is.

eugene brown
Guest
eugene brown
5 years 5 months ago

Further probing into fangraphs leaderboard

The total K% for the league over the last 14 days was 19.138% (to 3 d.p.)
The total K% for the league in April last year, 19.327% (also to 3 d.p.)

While this does not take into account power hitters and non power hitters which was half of Dave’s point in his article, I’m fairly confident that just as the K% overall has not changed from last year to this year, neither has power hitting K%, and it is not even the small sample size that has made it appear so but rather selective viewing of the top of the leaderboard and not consideration fo the bottom at the same time, as their are a large number of power hitters also dwelling down their(see previous comment).

bcp33bosox
Guest
bcp33bosox
5 years 5 months ago

Thanks for the interesting stats!

tyler
Guest
tyler
5 years 5 months ago

ingrained*

AndyS
Guest
AndyS
5 years 5 months ago

ATTENTION: everyone who wanted data.

http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/CompareInfo.py?StartDate=04%2F01%2F2009&EndDate=04%2F16%2F2009&GameType=all&PlayedFor=0&PlayedVs=0&Park=0&SortField=Strikeouts&SortDir=asc&MinPA=+30+&MinG=+0+&MinGS=+0+&MinAB=+0+&MinR=+0+&MinH=+0+&MinDB=+0+&MinTP=+0+&MinHR=+0+&MinRBI=+0+&MinBB=+0+&MinIBB=+0+&MinHP=+0+&MinK=+0+&MinSB=+0+&MinCS=+0+&MinSH=+0+&MinSF=+0+&MinGDP=+0+&MinCI=+0+

Here is 2009. Look at some people near the top. Jayson Werth, Paul Konerko, Jason Kubel, Vernon Wells, Albert Pujols, Jorge Cantu. Some big K power guys, all with less than 4 Ks (except Konerko, at exactly 4 Ks).

Here’s another:

http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/CompareInfo.py?StartDate=04%2F01%2F2010&EndDate=04%2F20%2F2010&GameType=all&PlayedFor=0&PlayedVs=0&Park=0&SortField=Strikeouts&SortDir=asc&MinPA=+30+&MinG=+0+&MinGS=+0+&MinAB=+0+&MinR=+0+&MinH=+0+&MinDB=+0+&MinTP=+0+&MinHR=+0+&MinRBI=+0+&MinBB=+0+&MinIBB=+0+&MinHP=+0+&MinK=+0+&MinSB=+0+&MinCS=+0+&MinSH=+0+&MinSF=+0+&MinGDP=+0+&MinCI=+0+

Manny Ramirez, Brian McCann, Andre Ethier.

Here’s another:
http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/CompareInfo.py?StartDate=04%2F01%2F2006&EndDate=04%2F15%2F2006&GameType=all&PlayedFor=0&PlayedVs=0&Park=0&SortField=Strikeouts&SortDir=asc&MinPA=+30+&MinG=+0+&MinGS=+0+&MinAB=+0+&MinR=+0+&MinH=+0+&MinDB=+0+&MinTP=+0+&MinHR=+0+&MinRBI=+0+&MinBB=+0+&MinIBB=+0+&MinHP=+0+&MinK=+0+&MinSB=+0+&MinCS=+0+&MinSH=+0+&MinSF=+0+&MinGDP=+0+&MinCI=+0+

Wright, Teixeira, Uggla, Paul Konerko.

And I’m only looking at the top 40 or so, you could get more with ~4 Ks or less if you went a little further down the list.

This happens every year. It’s sample size. There will be a subset of power hitters who outperform their K% from year to year. This is just a blip, and not a particularly rare one. It’s one that happens all the time.

TheGrandslamwich
Member
TheGrandslamwich
5 years 5 months ago

Personally I am getting tired of articles that basically excuse the article’s existence by claiming it’s a small sample size. Nothing more than fluff, really.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 5 months ago

When you write baseball articles in April and March for the 2011 season, you have no choice but to write about small sample situations.

If not, there wouldn’t be any articles until after All-Star break.

Any article primarily about the 2011 season will fit this description.

Personally, I don’t want to read articles about 2010.

shoewizard
Guest
shoewizard
5 years 5 months ago

Taking a more comparitive look to address the question of early season circumstance brought up by poster above, i.e…..league not yet adjusting to young hitter, sluggers not yet banged up and yet to have K binge….here is overall look in comparable sample size.

2010 first 14,363 MLB PA’s, K% .182, HR % .026
2011 first 14,013 MLB PA’s, K% .183, HR % .023

So through a similar point in the seasons, the K’s are the same. The HR’s are down a little from last year.

There are some interesting players that are striking out less than they have in the past while maintaining their power. In another couple of weeks we’ll know which ones have made an adjustment that is likely to impact full season stats, and which ones just had a SSS anamoly.

I find Dave’s observation interesting. It’s fun to look through data and see if there is a trend emerging. Most assuredly we all know that most of the time it will be a SSS distortion. But every once in a while, you pick up on a real trend early. So it can be fun to track this stuff until the trend turns out false.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
5 years 5 months ago

Isn’t calling small sample size information insignificant and unimportant kinda like saying individual games are insignificant and unimportant?

A single game is, after all, one small sample of a season.

pujolstothejays
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

it is a small sample size, yes. but the numbers arent lying so far, i have noticed the same thing, a bunch of power hitters, walking more and k’ing less. however, the k rate is almost in tact, i feel like a culmination of 1. pitchers being more cautious with the long ball ( after a crazy hr feast last year) and are more apt to going after more slap hitters,and guys who will likely just single, and 2. Finally the shrinking mlb strike zone has finally taken affect. it has shrunk for years to try to help the mashers to put up more #s for the fans, and now is finally paying dividends. Now im not saying k’s are dead, my jays have just run into King Felix, J. Weaver, J. Beckett & Dice K (on great days) and J. Lester all in a week span, so i have seen plenty of k’s, and things may well in the end even itself out, but regardless of the sss, i see this trend having a bit of staying power this year

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