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Reply to "Moneyball/Sabermetrics"

Originally posted by cball:
one thing I would like to see is statiscally are you better off taking a 1st pitch fastball for a strike or swinging.

Surely someone has crunched the numbers on the end results of both scenarios.

A good hitter will be out 70% of the time he puts the ball in play but that includes all pitches not just fastball strikes. But then again once ahead in the count the pitcher may start to nibble and fall behind and the hitter will see more pitches in that at bat

I have always told my son that the first pitch get me over fastball may be the best pitch to hit he sees in that at bat and have ecouraged him to jump on it. But I'm not positive it the correct approach.

That’s a discussion that’s really difficult to put a finger on because there are so many perspectives. I know I’ve looked at it what seems like a million ways from Sunday, and I still don’t have a “global” answer.

The problem is, what is meant by are you better off, and is that what everyone else means too? Chances are a lot of different people won’t agree, so it means in order to get the best answer for you, you have to define what “better off” means.

When you make that definition, you must include what level you’re talking about too. FI, I have scads of data for HSV, but its limited to in season play for large schools in NorCal. If you want to know about LL, college, MLB, or even summer or fall play for HSV, the results would be different. Give a definition a try, and I’ll try to get you an answer.

I can make an educated guess though. A lot of what happens depends on the hitter’s ability to recognize a pitch he can handle, how quickly he can do that, and how well he can get the bat in position to hit the ball once the 1st two things are done. A pitch doesn’t have to be a strike or a FB, but it does have to be one the hitter can hit solidly more often than not. I’ve shown over and over again that there are some players who do extremely well hitting early in the count, and others that do very well hitting later in the count. And like I said, a lot of it has to do with the hitters skills.

Of course the pitcher’s skills have a lot to do with it as well, and never forget for a second that the person calling the pitches has a lot to do with it too. The situation also has an effect on it, but its very difficult to put percentages on every factor.