Saturday, June 9, 2012

I'm starting to grow tired of Jordan Schafer's strikeouts

Baseball-Reference can tell you what you need to know about Jordan Schafer's statistics this season through 50 games:

206 PAs, 45 hits, 10 extra-base hits, 14-for-18 in stolen base attempts, .246/.315/.328 line for a .643 OPS. Incidentally, in 30 games last season for Houston, he was hitting .245/.314/.311 for a .625 OPS.

That's not good, particularly when the average NL center-fielder is hitting .266/.333/.403 (.737 OPS).

But despite the "not-hitting" thing, Schafer's strikeouts are starting to get more irritating. In 206 PAs in 2012, Schafer has 62 strikeouts - 30.1% of his plate appearances. Now, Schafer does not lead the NL in strikeouts - he's tied with Kirk Nieuwenhuis for 5th, three Ks behind Corey Hart and Dan Uggla. ESPN doesn't show PAs on their leaderboard, but by looking at ABs, Rickie Weeks (who is leading the NL in strikeouts, leads the NL in strikeout rate with a 36% K-rate. Your top ten (Ks/ABs):

36.3% (61K, 168AB) - Pedro Alvarez
36% (71K, 197AB) - Rickie Weeks
35.9% (70K, 195AB) - Danny Espinosa
33.9% (62K, 183AB) - Jordan Schafer
32.7% (55K, 168AB) - Bryan LaHair
32.2% (59K, 183AB) - Ike Davis
32.3% (62K, 192AB) - Kirk Nieuwenhuis
30.1% (65K, 216AB) - Corey Hart
31.4% (65K, 207AB) - Dan Uggla
28.9% (59K, 204AB) - Drew Stubbs

Here's the thing, of those ten, only Rickie Weeks and Ike Davis have a lower OPS than Schafer.

Some more stats on Schafer, you say? Well, then (with NL avg in parentheses):
*In 82 games in 2011, Schafer struck out 70 times in 338 PAs (20.7%), and if you're used to reading the K/AB rate, that results in 23.2%. - 10.7% lower than 2011.
*Vs. RHPs: 45K in 169 PAs - 26.6% (19.3%)
*Vs. LHPs: 17K in 37 PAs - 45.9% (27.8%)
*April: 30K in 99 PAs - 30.3%
*May: 21K in 85 PAs - 24.7%
*June: 11K in 22 PAs - 50%
*After 0-1 count: 38K in 104 PAs - 36.5% (27.8%)
*After two strikes: 62K in 113 PAs - 59% (40.7%)
*After 1-0 count: 24K in 79 PAs - 30.4% (16.5%)
*2-2 count: 25K in 36 PAs - 69.4% (42.7%)
*Innings 1-3: 29K in 87 PAs - 33%
*Innings 4-6: 15K in 60 PAs - 25%
*Innings 7-9: 17K in 54 PAs - 31.5%

Schafer also has 16 multi-K games this season - with three 3K games in the last week.

How about the breakdown between swinging/looking strikeouts?
Swinging: 70.2%
Looking: 29.8%

We could do splits on splits all day (but I've already spent too long on this). Fact is, over 70% of Schafer's strikeouts are swinging strikeouts. And all you have to do is look at Schafer's K-rate vs. LHP, where he's striking out in 45.9% of his plate appearances (and NL average for LHBs striking out against LHPs in 27.8% of their PAs) to realize that, at best, Schafer's .373 OPS does not need to play against lefties. I'm normally against this type of thinking, but Schafer either needs to step it up, or step it out.


Matt Adams said...

Slightly related observation from left center bleachers at U.S. Cellular Friday night: Jordan Schafer deals with hecklers well.

Anonymous said...

If he would get his hands up higher, it just might reduce his K rate tremendeously.

Anonymous said...

They should play Maxwell against lefties. Even when Schafer does start, I'd prefer him in the 8 hole. He just doesn't get on base enough to bat 1st or 2nd.