Friday, February 20, 2009

Don't Hold Back

In preparation for the upcoming baseball season and because I am finishing up a statistics course, I am going to do a series on interesting stats from the great game. These are not necessarily original statistics, but the ones that I find interesting. All stats come from last season.

Fast Ball Percentage
To what degree do pitchers feel comfortable throwing the heat? Are they pretty sure that you will chase junk in the dirt? I think answers to these questions should help a player focus on areas to improve during the offseason. The average player sees about 60% fastballs when they come to the plate.

Let's start with players around the league who should swing early and assume fastball. Pitchers think that they cannot get around on a good fastball.
PlayerTeamFastball %
Juan PierreDodgers70.1 %
Chone FigginsAngels69.1 %
Placido PolancoTigers68.1 %
Johnny DamonYankees67.8 %
Matt HollidayRockies67.0 %

Two Rangers this year need to take notice:
PlayerTeamFastball %
Taylor TeagardenRangers70.8 %
Frank CatalanottoRangers66.6 %

As far as players who can't hold back on any pitch, the following are in the cellar. Pitchers think that they can get them to whiff on anything with movement. If this group does not stay planted on their back feet, they are toast.
PlayerTeamFastball %
Alexei RamirezWhite Sox47.0 %
Hunter PenceAstros49.8 %
Dan UgglaMarlins50.2 %
Aubrey HuffOrioles51.0 %
Ryan HowardPhillies51.2 %
Geovany SotoCubs51.2 %

The offending Rangers are:
PlayerTeamFastball %
Hank BlalockRangers53.2 %
Josh HamiltonRangers53.4 %
Chris DavisRangers55.3 %
Nelson CruzRangers55.4 %

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