Daily Archives: March 19, 2016
Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) Follow @stokes_hunter21
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Forgive me if I don’t follow a lot of other people’s opinion on the Tampa Bay Rays. I outlined in a recent article on over/under win totals for the year that the Rays are 1 of 2 best bets to be under their 82.5 wins for the year.
Okay so last year I did also call for their demise – and they rallied late in the year for a 80 – 82 record, however I don’t even think this club is as good as the roster that competed the 2015 season – meanwhile all the other clubs have maintained or added good players to their depth charts.
Not exactly loading the fanbase with can’t miss talent the Rays are significantly weaker in 2016 than 2015 in my view.
Their Bullpen is worse…The loss off Starter Karns may actually hurt the club. Read the rest of this entry
Two seasons ago (2014) in “Is Fouling Off Pitches a Skill?”, Eno Sarris discussed the idea of the two-strike approach, asking in response to Sam Fuld’s questions about foul ball percentage, if the best hitters have some advantage at the plate as they face a two strike count. That’s the gist anyway. Sarris finds little evidence to indicate there is. But he and Fuld may have been looking at it all wrong. But hitting more foul balls is a skill.
Indeed, during the turn of the 20th century, many sources report that players had become adept at fouling off balls; this was before the foul ball actually counted as anything more than a dead pitch. Prior to 1900, in fact, players started becoming skilled at foul ball hitting in order to draw a walk. The historical data certainly impresses upon us that such a skill does exist. Players like Rickie Ashburn were known to have this ability as late as the early- to mid-1900s.
Current data over the 2014 and 2015 seasons supports this idea too: Slapping away pitches does appear to be a skill when the foul ball rates of the top hitters are compared to those of the bottom hitters.
As is typical of baseball writers and statisticians, when we think of batting stats we always go to the defaults—batting average, WAR, OPS, etc. We also look at the number of at-bats, runs and number of and how many hits. But we fail to consider the as-important state of FABs (Fouls/At-Bat). Sarris used IncreaseFoul% for this analysis. FAB (the percentage of times a batter gets on base via a BB, 1B, 2B, 3B or HR after hitting at least one foul ball in the at-bat), however, as a statistic is as valuable as any of the others. And is the one that Sarris and Sam Fuld overlooked (mainly because I just made it up). In order to test whether there was a difference in percentages, in 2015 I altered the test to the current method (number of times batter got on base through conventional means/at-bats with foul balls). This is a derivation from the 2014 season which looked at the number of foul balls hit in conjunction with offense generated in the form of a BB, 1B, 2B, 3B or HR, and presents a more accurate conversion rate.
The results are very similar.
Read the rest on FoulBallz.com.
Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner – foulballz.com) Follow @foulballz
MORE FROM LONDON!
Imagine a native from England becoming the home run leader in the majors leagues.
There is no need to imagine it. Dave Brain already did it.
Fortune Favors the Bold on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast
Visit the British Baseball Federation by clicking HERE
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