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  1. #1
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    How important are strikeouts for a batter?

    First off you should at least know that I am smart enough to know that a strikeout is barely more detrimental in terms of net runs lost than a normal out. Something to the tune of -.011 runs different than a regular out.

    So I bring the question up for this reason.

    Is it conceivable that if a player like lets say Adam Dunn were to strikeout less he would be much more valuable.

    After two strikes for Dunn's career he has a 152/278/306/584 line. It gets even worse when you look at Dunn with 2 strikes and less than 3 balls. He has approximately (I say approximately cuz I did the math) a 135/133/264/397 line given those parameters.

    Dunn is very good before 2 strikes (377/495/807/1.303), and even a very good one with a full count (195/497/418/915).

    So what would happen if Dunn were to try to make more contact on 0-2,1-2 and 2-2 counts. I am not saying become Juan Pierre, but just widen the strike zone a little bit. Dunn makes doesnt make very good contact (71.4%), but you would think even if he were able to cut down on maybe 30% of those strike outs I think he would be okay.

    Dunn has struck out 1044 times in situations with 2 strikes and < 3 balls. So if we cut that down to lets say 700 times. Now if he could do that with say a 275 BABIP it would give him an extra 35 hits. Raise his BA up 20 points in doing so also raise his OPS up to a .437. Not a lot, but thats only a 30% decrease in Ks. Cut it in half and his OPS is up to around 500. Or a 25% increase from where it was.

    Dunn sucks in those situations (most players do), but if he became a little more aggressive only in those situations it could pay off a little for him.

    The more I got into this the more I realized it probably isn't worth it, but we haven't had much discussion in here so I thought I might as well leave it up.

    So do you think a batter should maybe change their ways and become a little more aggressive with 2 strikes and less than 3 balls. Or should they just stay the same no matter what?
    Free Doug

  2. #2
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    It's probably to difficult to project if "Player A were to swing more he would be more successful," because there's the possibility that he sacrifices some of his ability to get on base to make more contact.

    I do agree that strikeouts are important, but it's not because they're detrimental, simply because that's fewer balls to put into play and work some BABIP magic.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantes4Life View Post
    It's probably to difficult to project if "Player A were to swing more he would be more successful," because there's the possibility that he sacrifices some of his ability to get on base to make more contact.

    I do agree that strikeouts are important, but it's not because they're detrimental, simply because that's fewer balls to put into play and work some BABIP magic.
    That's how I mainly look at it. Also, since I'm a big minor league buff, I look at strikeouts because K/BB ratio is a decent way to tell about a guys' grasp of the strikezone.

    Poodski brings up a really good point, and one I wish some players would give a try. If a Ryan Howard or a Adam Dunn were to cut down and be more aggressive on two strikes, would their numbers improve? I mean the reason they don't cut down is that they're power guys and they want to obviously hit for power. But guys like that, guys who are 75's or 80's in power, would it really be so bad to be more contact oriented with two strikes. I mean you'd have to think someone like Ryan Howard would still have pretty good power even if he did cut down on his swing.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilly Bohnson View Post
    That's how I mainly look at it. Also, since I'm a big minor league buff, I look at strikeouts because K/BB ratio is a decent way to tell about a guys' grasp of the strikezone.

    Poodski brings up a really good point, and one I wish some players would give a try. If a Ryan Howard or a Adam Dunn were to cut down and be more aggressive on two strikes, would their numbers improve? I mean the reason they don't cut down is that they're power guys and they want to obviously hit for power. But guys like that, guys who are 75's or 80's in power, would it really be so bad to be more contact oriented with two strikes. I mean you'd have to think someone like Ryan Howard would still have pretty good power even if he did cut down on his swing.
    I would love it if players like Howard tried to shorten up on 2 strikes but the fact of the matter is they can still hit HRs with 2 strikes, albeit at the mercy of putting the ball in play.

    comparing Howard and Polanco (best contact guy off top of my head) in 08
    Howard hit 15/48 HRs with 2 strikes while polanco hit 0/8. With 2 strike Howard hit ~.140 Polanco hit ~.240. Howard K'd in 199/317 AB with 2 strikes, Polanco K'd in 43/213.

    I know everyone cant be like polanco, but when watching guys like Howard still take giant hacks with 2 strikes and not even put the ball in play, its frustrating. You'd have to bring guys up all the way through the minors with a "choke up w/ 2" mindset and not place soo much emphasis on the HR.

    Adam dunn has 22 career SF in 5100 PAs, Polanco has 32 in 5800.

    just saying

  5. #5
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    Here is another angle - Rob Deer. He struck out a lot and hit a lot of HR's, but he didn't walk much. He was ineffective.

    Dunn walks a lot. Dunn is highly productive. He is more productive according to RC/9 then Ichiro. He's not a lot of fun to watch, but Dunn who will finally hit over 45 HR's this year is well up there in all time BB/PA, OBP%, SLG% - so a low BA and high K's don't come near hurting his effectiveness. His glove? Ouch, but as a DH in the AL, he'd be well worth his salary if looking at RAA and RC/9, etc.


    6/27/09: “We expect [Rondo] to play by the rules and be a leader as a point guard. We need him to be more of a leader,” Ainge said. “There were just a couple situations where he was late this year, I don’t know if he was sitting in his car, but showed up late and the rest of the team was there. We have team rules and you have to be on time. He was fined for being late, he said he was stuck in traffic, and it’s just unacceptable.”

    Some jerks never learn.....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagwell368 View Post
    Here is another angle - Rob Deer. He struck out a lot and hit a lot of HR's, but he didn't walk much. He was ineffective.

    Dunn walks a lot. Dunn is highly productive. He is more productive according to RC/9 then Ichiro. He's not a lot of fun to watch, but Dunn who will finally hit over 45 HR's this year is well up there in all time BB/PA, OBP%, SLG% - so a low BA and high K's don't come near hurting his effectiveness. His glove? Ouch, but as a DH in the AL, he'd be well worth his salary if looking at RAA and RC/9, etc.
    just a fyi, dunns on pace for 41, but I must admit I didnt realize he was having this good of a year, on pace for 79/41/117/.275.

    I dont know how "trustworthy" the RC/9 stat is, seeing how the basic formula is just OBP*TB (which obviously is very favorable to the dunns and unfavorable to the ichiros). I know they have more complex ones now, but Im assuming they are still based off this basic premise, which is not infallible.

    I think an interesting thing to see would be how a line up of 9 ichiros compared to a lineup of 9 dunns. another interesting thing would be to see which 2 [non ******] batters had the largest discrepancy in std dev, i would guess pierre and reynolds.

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    I find .195/.497/.418 absolutely staggering.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveshane67 View Post
    I dont know how "trustworthy" the RC/9 stat is, seeing how the basic formula is just OBP*TB (which obviously is very favorable to the dunns and unfavorable to the ichiros). I know they have more complex ones now, but Im assuming they are still based off this basic premise, which is not infallible.
    RC/9 isn't trustworthy. Anything using Runs Created (or any dynamic run estimator) for an individual hitter isn't trustworthy unless you're using a theoretical team approach.
    My blog- analysis of the San Francisco Giants, Baseball, and Sabermetrics.

  9. #9
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    dont worry about them. just focus on HR averages.

  10. #10
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    .....sweet mother of......

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by C1Bman88 View Post
    RC/9 isn't trustworthy. Anything using Runs Created (or any dynamic run estimator) for an individual hitter isn't trustworthy unless you're using a theoretical team approach.
    The one thing I did do, after reading the RC/9 post about ichiro and dunn, was I looked at last years STL #s. Pujols had a RC of ~140, schumaker a RC of ~80. But whatever their difference was, it was almost the same difference in runs above replacement, as per fangraphs calculation, which is based off of wOBA. So maybe there is something to the OBP*TB formula.

    Im assuming bill james developed the formula based off of team totals and then found when applied to individual players on a team, the sum of individuals RC ~= team Rs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantes4Life View Post
    It's probably to difficult to project if "Player A were to swing more he would be more successful," because there's the possibility that he sacrifices some of his ability to get on base to make more contact.

    I do agree that strikeouts are important, but it's not because they're detrimental, simply because that's fewer balls to put into play and work some BABIP magic.
    I've been looking for the way to word how I feel on strikeouts for about two years now. You have just ended my quest. Thank you!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveshane67 View Post
    The one thing I did do, after reading the RC/9 post about ichiro and dunn, was I looked at last years STL #s. Pujols had a RC of ~140, schumaker a RC of ~80. But whatever their difference was, it was almost the same difference in runs above replacement, as per fangraphs calculation, which is based off of wOBA. So maybe there is something to the OBP*TB formula.

    Im assuming bill james developed the formula based off of team totals and then found when applied to individual players on a team, the sum of individuals RC ~= team Rs.
    That's just luck. The correlation between OPS and runs is much lower than wOBA and runs.

    Quote Originally Posted by MooseWithFleas View Post
    I've been looking for the way to word how I feel on strikeouts for about two years now. You have just ended my quest. Thank you!
    Glad I could help.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilly Bohnson View Post
    That's how I mainly look at it. Also, since I'm a big minor league buff, I look at strikeouts because K/BB ratio is a decent way to tell about a guys' grasp of the strikezone.

    Poodski brings up a really good point, and one I wish some players would give a try. If a Ryan Howard or a Adam Dunn were to cut down and be more aggressive on two strikes, would their numbers improve? I mean the reason they don't cut down is that they're power guys and they want to obviously hit for power. But guys like that, guys who are 75's or 80's in power, would it really be so bad to be more contact oriented with two strikes. I mean you'd have to think someone like Ryan Howard would still have pretty good power even if he did cut down on his swing.
    That's what I was thinking.

    I mean, it's logical to think that the biggest, strongest guys could afford to cut down more than the smaller guys because they still have a lot of strength in their hands and wrists to torque the bat enough to create power.

    You can see that in a guy like Bonds, who even when he was fooled at the outset could adjust in the middle of his swing and still hit it a mile with all hands and wrists. I would venture a guess that Howard is as strong or stronger than Bonds.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milnertime View Post
    That's what I was thinking.

    I mean, it's logical to think that the biggest, strongest guys could afford to cut down more than the smaller guys because they still have a lot of strength in their hands and wrists to torque the bat enough to create power.

    You can see that in a guy like Bonds, who even when he was fooled at the outset could adjust in the middle of his swing and still hit it a mile with all hands and wrists. I would venture a guess that Howard is as strong or stronger than Bonds.
    This never happened.

    And guys might have been stronger than Bonds, but the difference was how quick his swing was. I mean really, he was a line drive hitter. Those line drives just usually went over the fence. But you're right.

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