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Batters who hit into the most major infield shifts:
Which players hit into the most shifts and the effect on their BABIP
Name Bats Times Hit into Major Shift BABIP w/ Shift On BABIP w/o Shift On BABIP
David Ortiz L 269 0.312 0.330 0.320
Adam Dunn L 203 0.256 0.288 0.269
Chris Davis L 199 0.302 0.431 0.349
Adam LaRoche L 161 0.286 0.272 0.279
Josh Hamilton L 151 0.278 0.330 0.312
basically, of the non-HR hits a team gave up, how often were they singles, doubles, or triples? Home runs are not considered because we are working with balls in play. These rates are then used to determine how many of the hits saved (or given up) were likely to have been a single, double, or triple. For example, the Rays' opponents non-HR hits were singles 75.56% of the time, doubles 21.86% of the time, and triples 2.58% of the time. So of the roughly 19 hits they saved by shifting, we would expect 14 to be singles, 4 to be doubles and 1 to be a triple
Infield shifts rarely affect balls that would be extra base-hits, almost everything caught is a ground ball or short line drive that the outfielder would have no trouble cutting off if it got through.
This is, to be blunt, a terrible way to analyze the data. Infield shifts rarely affect balls that would be extra base-hits, almost everything caught is a ground ball or short line drive that the outfielder would have no trouble cutting off if it got through. Let's say MLB as a whole saved 50 hits with infield shifts I would expect at least 45 of them to be singles.
Because it is the infielders being shifted and they are being shifted to reduce BABIP on groundballs. Why would the SS standing to the right of 2B affect Ortiz's BABIP on fly balls? If it does, why are HRs excluded? If it affects FBs maybe it also affects BB and K rates so why are these excluded?
Baseball Info Solutions categorizes shifts into two types. The Ted Williams Shift, with three infielders on one side of the bag, and Other Shifts, where players are clearly shifted well out of the normal infield alignment but short of three fielders on one side of the bag.
Hitter All Shifts 2010-11
David Ortiz 486
Finally, there is one statement that Bill makes that I want to point out that I disagree with. Bill wrote, "John wants to focus on groundballs and short line drives, which, again, is a legitimate and constructive step toward understanding the problem, even though I think it is being used to create an exaggerated estimate of the shift’s effects."
I totally disagree with the part starting with "even though". We are not trying to create an exaggerated estimate. We are presenting the facts that we have. Right now Baseball Info Solutions is undergoing an extensive video review effort to record every plate appearance and every batted ball where a Ted Williams Shift occurred in the last two years. It’s a massive effort.
Our data currently splits our Shift info between Ted Williams Shifts and Other Shifts for grounders and short liners only. We did these first because it would lead to the quickest initial significant results. Now we are going back to review all plate appearances, not just the grounders and short liners, to split our shift data between these two types of shifts. This has nothing to do with trying to exaggerate the data and everything to do with trying to develop useful research.
I think most people would agree that a Ted Williams Shift is more likely to affect grounders, short liners and bunts than it would affect a player’s flyballs to the outfield, how often he strikes out or walks, or even how often he hits a pop-up that gets out of reach of a fielder playing out of position.
Ted Williams Shift On
AB H Avg
Overall 237 58 .245
Bases Empty 139 30 .216
Runners On 98 28 .286
No Ted Williams Shift
AB H Avg
Overall 125 29 .232
Bases Empty 34 8 .235
Runners On 91 21 .231
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