Friday, February 5, 2010

A long note on Plate Discipline

As I feel like I'm slacking off a little bit, I thought I'd try to do something to redeem myself by taking a significant amount of time to look at the plate discipline of our chosen team. All data is courtesy of FanGraphs.

A note: I set the minimum PAs at 200. This way we don't take Chris Johnson, who was swinging just to get a little exercise, out of context.

A Glossary:
O-Swing%: Percentage of pitches outside the strike zone resulting in a swing
O-Contact%: Pitch% outside of the strike zone in which a batter made contact
Z-Swing%: Pitch% inside the strike zone resulting in a swing
Z-Swing%: Pitch% inside the strike zone resulting in contact
Swing%: Total percentage of pitches resulting in a swing
Contact%: Total percentage of pitches in which a batter made contact


A few things to note here:

-The two players who would swing at the highest percentage of pitches outside of the strike zone (Pudge - 38.9% and Tejada - 32.5%) are gone. And Blum, with the 4th-highest percentage, has been reduced to a utility role.
-Jeff Keppinger is incredibly selective, but we already knew that. That said, he had the highest percentage of contact with pitches outside of the strike zone.
-Hunter Pence has the lowest rate of contact on the team (76.7%)
-I didn't list it in the above table, but Lance Berkman saw the fewest percentage of pitches in the strike zone (45.4%). Next was Geoff Blum (?) (46.2%).

It's an appropriate time to list Pedro Feliz in here, and if we could, we'd put Tommy Manzella and Towles/Quintero. But we can't. Sample size is too small. So Happy Pete it is (with Blum relisted for comparative purposes):


So. Feliz swings at a slightly higher percentage of pitches outside the strike zone, but connects more often. He also is more selective inside the strike zone than Blum, but also connects more often. Feliz also swings more often, and makes more contact. Yay.

For a note of qualification, this is just a look at plate discipline, not batting average, slugging percentage, ball placement, etc. We're just looking at who pounces on strikes, and who lays off balls. (snickering).