Hitter Analytics (3/15/15)

Weekly update:

• Add a bunch of times to first.
• On batted ball, I am trying to correctly combine categories batted ball categories. With categories combined, it will take less time for a hitter’s batted ball profile to stabilize. I hope to have a major update on this area in the next week or two. After that, I can start getting some real values for the stats begin to stabilize.
• Here is a link to the data in an Excel format. For some reason I can only embed OpenOffice files.


Pitchers’ Approach Attacking Hitters

Robert Arthur at Baseball Prospectus has shown pitchers will change their approach depending on the hitter’s talent level. Here is a complete list of the number of fastballs (including sinkers) thrown to each hitter of the past two years divided into half seasons. Also the number of pitches in the strike by half season is included along with the fastball percentage in the strike zone. I will begin adding 2015 information as it becomes available.

Batted Ball Profiles

Inside Edge tracts nine distinct batted ball types. The data includes the normal three distinctions of Groundball, Line Drive and Flyball. Additionally, the designations of Weak, Medium and Well-Hit are used. Here are the league average values for each of the nine batted balls.

Batted Ball Type: xBABIP, wOBAcon, % of batted balls
Groundball – Weak: .151, .112, 31.4%
Groundball – Medium: .461, .416, 9.5%
Groundball – Well-Hit: .647, .610, 3.8%
Line Drive – Weak: .622, .579, 2.3%
Line Drive – Medium: .650, .638, 7.3%
Line Drive – Well-Hit: .719, .815, 11.1%
Flyball – Weak: .078, .074, 18.5%
Flyball – Medium: .069, .081, 8.2%
Flyball – Well-Hit: .641, 1.168, 7.8%

With these values, I have created three values to determine a hitter’s talent level.

  • BABIPwHR (including home runs, but excluding bunts) – Number of batted balls which went for hits.
  • wOBAcon (how hard is the contact) – Each hit is weighted to an average run value. I used 0.9 for single, 1.25 for doubles, 1.6 for Triples and 2.1 for home runs.
  • Orig_xBABIP – I created this formula a while back which uses hard hit batted balls and Speed Score to estimate a player’s BABIP

Additionally, I have put some stats on a Plus system to help put the values in context. A value at 100 is league average, 90 is 10% below league average and 110 is 10% above league average. The nine categories or ordered by likelihood of getting a hit. If you want them in order of damage done per hit move the Well-Hit Flyballs to first in the list.

Plate Discipline

A few years back, I found walk and strikeout rates can be found using O-Swing%, O-Concat%, Z-Contact% and Z-Swing% values found here at FanGraphs. By looking at a hitter’s approach, we can get a quick idea if they are hacking too much at bad pitches and will this approach catch up with them. Additionally, I included what the expected value would be if regressed corrected. Strikeouts and walks regress in a small number of samples, so this value will near the actual production rather quickly.


Times to First

I am collecting times from home to first base when a hitter is giving it their all to beat out a throw for a hit. With this information, changes in talent from age or injuries could be detected. Readers can submit times to first information by commenting in any of my articles, Tweet the info to #time2first or fill out the form below. All I would need is the player, handedness if a switch hitter, game and inning. If you can time the run even better. If you don’t have the chance to time the run, just let me know the other information and I can watch the game. I will check each when I have time and I will add them to the spreadsheet.



Additionally, here is a simple tool to give me some times


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Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Hey Jeff,

Excited for this series this year. Question: what’s the difference between predicted and regressed predicted for the plate discipline stats? Which is more important ?