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April 19, 2010

Patience my young padawan

Filed under: MLB — The Wizard @ April 19, 2010 11:18 am
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Glaser:

One of my main goals, in researching baseball, is to identify situations in which batters are not performing to the best of their abilities. I’ve previously shown that batters are least selective on 3-2 counts. This means that they are swinging at more pitches, whether they are in the strike zone or not. It seems that in this situation batters try to maximize swings at strikes in order to protect the plate. Perhaps this seems like the right approach on the surface but I’m not so sure that it is. I think that the same attitudes which led to the undervaluation of walks and on-base percentage (pre-Moneyball) are still around and are causing batters to be less selective than they should be on full counts. Alternatively batters could be trying too hard to avoid strike outs (especially strike outs looking.) Whatever the cause, I believe that most batters are adopting a less productive approach on 3-2 than they are capable of. …

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