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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Caught Looking versus Swinging

A commenter on my article on Baseball Analysts this morning asks this question:

"Somewhat related to your analysis of Swinging K's, I've often wondered about anything that can be gleaned from players who have a tendency to strike out looking vs. strike out swinging. Is one "worse" than another? Does looking suggest poor pitch recognition and does swinging suggest less of an ability to make contact?"

Good question so I thought I'd run the numbers. Here are the top and bottom 20 in percentage of strikeouts that are called versus swinging (miss, foul tip, swinging strike blocked).

Name PA C S C/S
Jody Gerut 191 13 7 0.650
D'Angelo Jimenez 119 14 9 0.609
Brian Giles 674 38 26 0.594
Todd Linden 187 32 22 0.593
Eric Young 163 7 5 0.583
Frank Thomas 124 18 13 0.581
Jeff Bagwell 123 12 9 0.571
Alberto Castillo 115 12 10 0.545
Bobby Hill 105 9 8 0.529
Bobby Kielty 433 35 32 0.522
Chipper Jones 432 29 27 0.518
Oscar Robles 399 17 16 0.515
Kenny Lofton 406 21 20 0.512
Jeff DaVanon 271 22 22 0.500
Marco Scutaro 423 24 24 0.500
Scott Podsednik 568 37 38 0.493
Frank Menechino 180 16 17 0.485
JD Drew 311 24 26 0.480
Maicer Izturis 210 10 11 0.476
Jose Offerman 118 8 9 0.471



Name PA C S C/S
Dontrelle Willis 101 0 12 0.000
Jose Macias 190 1 23 0.042
Angel Berroa 652 5 103 0.046
Aaron Guiel 121 1 20 0.048
Jorge Cantu 631 4 79 0.048
Jorge Piedra 124 1 14 0.067
Kazuo Matsui 295 3 40 0.070
Miguel Olivo 281 6 74 0.075
Juan Uribe 540 6 71 0.078
Vladimir Guerrero 594 4 44 0.083
Todd Greene 134 2 19 0.095
Ivan Rodriguez 525 9 84 0.097
Mike Sweeney 514 6 55 0.098
Johnny Estrada 383 4 34 0.105
Torii Hunter 416 7 58 0.108
Brian Jordan 251 5 41 0.109
Reed Johnson 439 9 73 0.110
Carl Everett 547 11 88 0.111
Garret Anderson 603 10 74 0.119
Eric Bruntlett 121 3 22 0.120

Well, I think from this that clearly players who take fewer pitches overall are the ones who also don't strike out looking very often. Hard to believe that Angel Berroa was caught looking just 5 times.

The top list also I'm sure has a higher OPS since those in the bottom don't walk much.

So to answer the question it doesn't appear as if striking out looking is an indication of poor pitch recognition nor does striking out swinging suggest a reduced ability to make contact. I think it's simply more tied to aggressiveness.

1 comment:

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