Since the Sox don't play tonight, I figured I would take a look at most of the Red Sox hitters by pitch result and other stats. Below is the data, including last night's game:
OK so that is a lot of numbers for you to digest. Let us go through it.
The first table is the results for every pitch the Red Sox hitters have seen this year. The second table are some various calculations to give us a better understanding of what we are looking at.
Here is what each stat means:
|Ball %: Simply the percent of total pitches that are called ball. Obviously a higher percentage is better. |
|Called Strike %: Percent of total pitches that are called strike. A lower number would be better. |
|Strike Swinging %: Percent of total pitches that are swung on and missed. This includes bunts. A higher percentage would mean the hitter is not making as much contact as he would like. |
|Foul %: Percent of total pitches that are fouled off. This includes bunts. Without knowing the hitters intent, we can't determine if they are fighting off pitches or missing pitches they should hit. |
|Strike %: Percent of total pitches that end up as a strike. If a ball is put in play, that is considered a strike. |
|Swing %: Percent of total pitches that the batter swung at. Aggressive hitters will have a higher number than patient ones. |
|In Play %: Percent of total pitches swung at that are put in play. |
|Ball: Called Strike: This helps us measure batting eye. The higher the better. |
|Contact %: Total pitches that the hitter makes contact with divided by total pitches swung at. Notice the difference between this and In Play %. |
So now that we understand each category, let's take a look.
Ball %: Moss, Drew and Ortiz rank 1,2,3 in this category. Moss has a small sample size issue for all of his data since he has only seen a total of 81 pitches, so we won't include him in the rankings. There should be no surprise that Drew, Ortiz and Ramirez lead the team in this category. All three are known for their eye, but one surprise for me is to see how low Youkilis is. Youks is a guy I would have expected to have a higher ball percentage, but note his walk rate is down this year from 12.7% last year to 8.7% this year.
Called Strike %: The leaders here are the same from ball %. These two categories go hand in hand, so it is good to see them match. Once again we see Youkilis is struggling recognizing location, tied for the team lead at 21%.
Strike Swinging %: Pedroia and Casey swing and miss the least while Cash and Ramirez are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Pedroia is known as a contact guy with only 10.7% of his PA's ending in a strikeout. Cash is no surprise but Ramirez is. Ramirez's strike out percentage has jumped from 19% last year to 24% this year, even while having a better overall year in 2008. His strikeout rate is the highest of his career since 2001 and this number helps reflect that. I wonder how much of this is due to his pressing while trying to hit his 500th HR. It would be good to keep on eye on this number as the season goes.
Foul %: Like I said above, you don't know if this number is a reflection of a hitter fighting off pitches so that he can get "his" pitch or if it is because he is missing hittable pitches. Either way, there is very little difference between the best and worst of the bunch.
Strike %: Crisp has the highest while Ortiz and Drew are the lowest. I don't think this stat works as good for hitters as it does for pitchers.
Swing %: Most aggressive: Crisp and Ramirez. Least aggressive: Drew. Crisp is a free swinger so this is to be expected. Seeing Ramirez on both this list and the ball% list goes to show how dynamic Manny is. He has a very good eye and is looking to swing when he gets a hittable pitch. Combine these two categories and you have a lethal hitter.
In Play %: Take a look at all the hitters. It seems that the higher power guys such as Ramirez, Ortiz, Drew and Varitek have a lower percentage of balls in play while some of the slap hitters and high batting average guys have higher numbers. This second group includes Pedroia, Casey, Crisp and Ellsbury.
Ball/CS: Ramirez and Ortiz top this list while Youkilis is the lowest. Something has to be going on for Youkilis. While I haven't seen this data in years past, this just seems off for his reputation.
Contact %: List resembles In Play %. Casey is highest while Ramirez is lowest.
It is great to be able to use pitch f/x to help us better understand players and the reasons behind their struggles or success. The next step will be to break down the players by pitch type or pitch speed. Once we get that, we will better understand what pitches are causing these numbers.
Here is the charts with the calculations for you to view