Sunday, March 1, 2009

How the Astros swing it

So I was looking at how the Astros' approach compares to that of the rest of the Majors this morning (typical Sunday activity, right?). Thanks to Fangraphs, we can take a look at 2008.

The percentage of pitches outside of the strike zone at which the Astros swing: 28.0% - tied for 28th in the Majors. That's poor plate discipline. The Rays led the Majors with 22.6%. Only the Mariners and Angels swung (swinged? swang?) at more pitches outside of the strike zone.

The percentage of pitches outside of the strike zone at which the Astros swing, and make contact: 59.7% - 10th in the Majors. Of that 28%, the Astros make contact with almost 60% of pitches outside of the strike zone.

The percentage of pitches inside the strike zone at which the Astros swing: 67.5% - 27th in the Majors. Only the Royals, Cardinals and White Sox took the strikes the pitchers gave them. This is debatable on whether or not the Astros are 27th, or 4th.

The percentage of pitches inside the strike zone at which the Astros swing, and make contact: 88.3% - 14th in the Majors.

Overall percentage of pitches at which the Astros swing: 48.2% - 29th. Only the Royals cut at more pitches.

Overall percentage of pitches at which the Astros swing, and make contact: 80.2% - 18th in the Majors.

The percentage of plate appearances in which the first pitch was a strike: 60.0% - 27th in the Majors. Only the Rockies, Giants and Royals had an 0-1 count in more plate appearances than the Astros. Meaning 16 out of 27 batters started out behind in the count.

So the Astros are a free swinging team, obviously. But with a .263 team average, it doesn't translate to hits. There's another useful statistic called BABIP - or the batting average of balls put in play. The Astros' BABIP is .299 - 20th in the Majors, 10th in the NL, and 3rd in the NL Central. Will it turn around this year? Will the law of averages catch up? Just Michael Bourn acting like a Major Leaguer will help...

1 comment:

TJ Vetrone said...

I think all of this is mainly distributed to Towles, Pence and in third Bourn. All of which have "made significant progress". Think this should improve dramatically this season. Nice post BTW, good to see some number crunchin somewhere in here.