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Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Least Authoritative Hitters of All Time

How do we identify the lightest of the light hitters?

By using raw contact scores, that’s how. Strip away the Ks and BBs, and apply run values to all balls in play based on the norms for that era. Scale it to 100, and you have unadjusted contact scores for all regulars going back to 1901. Since we don’t have access to granular batted-ball data going that far backward, we’re not going to be able to adjust for context. That context includes the effects of ballparks, individual player’s speed, and of course, luck. In a given year, that those factors might affect an individual player significantly. Over the long haul, however, raw ball-striking ability, or lack thereof, as well as contact quality, the respective freqeuncy of line drives and popups, of weak and hard contact in general, makes the difference….

2 – Ozzie Guillen – (Career Contact Score = 67.2, 12 qualifying seasons) – Here is the only member of our bottom ten never once to post a single-season contact score of at least 80; his one-year peak was 78, in his rookie season. His floor was 51, in his final year, finishing off his three-year trough average of 53.9, second worst among this group. Guillen’s K and BB rates were consistently among the lowest in his league; both were over a full standard deviation lower than average in all of his 12 seasons as a regular. Guillen’s career OPS+ of 69 fits right in among this group.


 

 

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