Who is really the best baseball team in the majors? I honestly don't know but I try to figure that out by using basic and advanced statistics. I live for talking about baseball, it's my biggest drive in my life and I will jump on the opportunity to talk baseball with anyone, even with people who I don't really like. For me, Baseball is a piece of art that sits in my mind all day, ready to be painted on at any point of the day.

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Brief History on Sabermetrics Part II (Hitting)

By Simon Stracher

I am sorry that it took me so long to write up this second part, and there most likely be two or three more posts on Sabermetrics. This post will end the hitting part of Sabermetrics. Enjoy!

1. HR/FB (Home-run/Fly ball)- A players home-run rate (HR/FB) is literally the percentage of home-runs hit out of their total fly balls. Good home-run hitters usually have HR/FB ratios usually between 15%-20%. Weaker ones can have as low as 1%. HR/FB can show you if a player is declining (say his HR/FB rate is the same as before but he is hitting less home-runs), or if a player is getting unlucky or lucky (say if a player is hitting more fly balls, but his HR/FB is lower, therefore making him more unlucky and vice versa). If his HR/FB is getting worse, it can also mean the player is losing power and declining and not getting unlucky. In order to get a player's true HR/FB, you should look at their HR/FB over three years, not one or two.

Context (from www.fangraphs.com):

2010 HR/FB Values

2. Spd (Speed Score)- Speed score is a statistic that rates a player based on speed and baserunning ability. Different websites use different components, but Fangraphs uses Stolen Base Percentage, Frequency of Stolen Base Attempts, Percentage of Triples, and Runs Scored Percentage. Speed Score is good for evaluating true speed, but far from perfect. Think before you use it.

Context (from www.fangraphs.com):

2010 Speed Scores

3. GB%, LD%, and FB% (Groundball, Line drive, and Fly ball percentage)- GB%, LD%, and FB% are fairly straightforward; the percentage of groundballs, fly balls, and line drives a player hits every time the ball goes into play. The more groundballs you hit, generally the lower your average. The more line drives you hit, the better your average. The more fly balls you hit, also generally the lower your average but higher home-run totals. Groundballs hitters are usually contact hitters, line drive hitters are usually in between power and contact hitters and have better averages, and fly ball hitters usually have lower averages but higher home-run totals and are power hitters. Remember, hitters want to hit line drives and fly balls, while pitchers try to make hitters hit groundballs.

Context (from www.fangraphs.com):

2010 Batted Ball Values




4. K% and BB% (Strikeout and Walk percentage)- K% and BB% are the percent of times that a player strikes out or walks in his Plate Appearances. High walk rates are good because it allows players to reach base more and have a higher OBP. Lower walk rates are bad because players don't reach base as much and therefore have a lower OBP. High strikeout rates usually indicate a player is swinging for the fences and is a power hitter. Power hitters also usually have high strikeout rates and walk rates since they swing and miss often but get pitched around by pitchers. You don't want a high strikeout rate, but it is not as important as walk rate. You can still be a very productive hitter with a high strikeout rate (Ryan Howard). Remember, power hitters will usually have a high walk and strikeout rate, while contact hitters will have a low walk and strikeout rate.

Context (from www.fangraphs.com):


2010 Strikeout and Walk Rates


5. Plate Discipline (O-Swing%, Z-Swing%, Swing%, O-Contact%, Z-Contact%, Contact%, Zone%, F-Strike%, SwgStr%)- These plate discipline tools help you determine why someone is striking out more/less and walking more/less.

O-Swing%: The percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside the strike zone.

Z-Swing%: The percentage of pitches a batter swings at inside the strike zone.

Swing%: The overall percentage of pitches a batter swings at.

O-Contact%: The percentage of pitches a batter makes contact with outside the strike zone when swinging the bat.

Z-Contact%: The percentage of pitches a batter makes contact with inside the strike zone when swinging the bat.

Contact%: The overall percentage of a batter makes contact with when swinging the bat.

Zone%: The overall percentage of pitches a batter sees inside the strike zone.

F-Strike% – The percentage of first pitch strikes.

SwgStr%: The percentage of pitches a batter swings and misses on.

Context (from www.fangraphs.com):

Here are the league averages for each of these statistics for 2010:


This concludes the hitting portion of my posts on advanced hitting statistics. Stay tuned for Part III, advanced pitching statistics. I hope this helped you and you enjoyed it.

(Statistics in courtesy of: www.fangraphs.com).

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