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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Beyond the Box Score: Is the infield shift ruining baseball?

If the shift is really transforming baseball [...] by rendering pull-heavy hitters less valuable, we would want to know just who these hitters are. To identify them, I create a simple “balance factor” to judge how frequently these hitters pull the ball as opposed to going up the middle and to the opposite field. I used FanGraphs’ batted ball data for the location of balls put in play and calculated the “balance factor” with the following equation:

(((Center Rate + Opposite Field Rate) ÷ 2) - Pull Rate) × 100

Positive outcomes show a propensity for going the other way and up the middle, while negative rates show a propensity to pull the ball. Scores of zero show that the hitter has an equal chance to pull the ball as he does to go the other way and up the middle. I only used qualified hitters in this study, and we’ll talk more about that in a minute.

bobm Posted: April 12, 2014 at 05:57 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: shift

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 13, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4685309)
While I have not RTFA, isn't what we're really saying here is that a potential emerging "market inefficiency" in baseball will be hitters who do have unusually diverse spray charts?

It doesn't matter if you pull the ball a lot, or take the ball to the opposite field a lot, or hit lots of ground balls, or fly balls, or whatever, in this context. What matters the most is whether or not your hitting patterns are sufficiently predictable that an opposing team can take hits away by putting defensive players where you frequently hit the ball.

While we're on the topic: For a guy like, say, David Ortiz, where they leave the left side of the infield largely vacant nowadays, how many times would he have to bunt the ball down the third base side for easy singles before opposing defenses would say, "Screw it", and then allow him to "hit 'em where they ain't" once again? Or do we think he simply refuses to bunt once in a while? Or that he cannot do it well? Or that it will screw up his plate approach? Or that the gain in bunt base hits is more than negated by the decrease in walks and extra base hits?
   2. Rough Carrigan Posted: April 13, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4685463)
Ortiz does try to lay one down now and then. And he will hit the ball to the opposite field in the outfield. But, no, he doesn't try to do it enough to shake other teams out of the shift.
   3. tshipman Posted: April 13, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4685474)
No, the infield shift is not ruining baseball.

This is an unusually poor headline in terms of capturing the meaning of the article.

Edit: I should point out that the article posits that it places fielders who hit to all fields at an advantage. That is not true--the standard defense is already built to take advantage of a neutral hitter.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: April 13, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4685497)
For a guy like, say, David Ortiz, where they leave the left side of the infield largely vacant nowadays, how many times would he have to bunt the ball down the third base side for easy singles before opposing defenses would say, "Screw it", and then allow him to "hit 'em where they ain't" once again? Or do we think he simply refuses to bunt once in a while? Or that he cannot do it well? Or that it will screw up his plate approach? Or that the gain in bunt base hits is more than negated by the decrease in walks and extra base hits?


The Reds have put the shift on nearly every time against Adams this year, and Adams has pretty consistently beaten it by just poking the ball opposite field. The thing is, I used the word poke, but they really weren't pokes, they were well hit balls that might have been hits even without the shift.

   5. cardsfanboy Posted: April 13, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4685504)
Reading the article now...

MLB.com writer Barry Bloom. He asked aloud if the shift is ruining baseball and if there should be a mandated balance for infielders, perhaps limiting the area where they can be lined up before each pitch.


And I have to apologize to everyone who I thought espoused some incredibly stupid ideas (like automatic awarding of a base for intentional walks or limiting the number of pick off attempts or requiring pitchers to face a certain number of batters in relief or not allowing more than one mid inning pitching change) it seems those ideas didn't touch the stupidity meter to the level that this guy just put out there. Outside of maybe deregulation, this has to be by far one of the dumbest things anyone has ever proposed, whether he was serious or not.

The article is a fine piece of work, and as mentioned upthread the title does it a disservice.

If anything the shift could help improve baseball, depending on how you look at it. If players start sacrificing power for contact/control, you might be able to reduce strikeouts and homers and increase balls in play, which is something it seems a lot of people want to see.
   6. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 13, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4685549)
I like the article's premise, but the balance figure doesn't exactly show us what we need to know. It is based on all balls in play, but teams shift in fields and outfields differently. I would like to know the im/balance ratio on GBs and FBs separately then see if there's an effect.
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 13, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4685554)
baseball is slow to adapt but still it adapts. teams will sort out how to manage widespread shifts. it will just take a while.

baseball is very DELIBERATE
   8. Walt Davis Posted: April 13, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4685579)
(((Center Rate + Opposite Field Rate) ÷ 2) - Pull Rate) × 100

The ratio of pull/non-pull is what you want here. Or, for modeling purposes should one be so inclined, the log of the odds ratio.

Per the headline ...

BABIP

2014 NL 306 AL 287
2013 NL 297 AL 298
2008 NL 298 AL 302
2003 NL 294 AL 294
1998 NL 298 AL 302

Behold the new golden age of defensive positioning!


   9. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 13, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4685583)
baseball is slow to adapt but still it adapts. teams will sort out how to manage widespread shifts. it will just take a while.


Baseball is already adapting. Baseball recognizes that we are in a pitching and defense dominated era. There's a reason, beyond "we're concerned about concussions and broken legs," that catchers have to leave a sliding lane to home and why out of the blue balls that are dropped "on the transfer" are ruled safe rather than out.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: April 13, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4685590)
BABIP

2014 NL 306 AL 287
2013 NL 297 AL 298
2008 NL 298 AL 302
2003 NL 294 AL 294
1998 NL 298 AL 302

Behold the new golden age of defensive positioning!


Isn't part of the point of positioning is to eliminate the extra base hits while maybe accepting weaker singles?
   11. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 13, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4685593)
Isn't part of the point of positioning is to eliminate the extra base hits while maybe accepting weaker singles?


That's more or less the entire point. "Hey buddy, you want to slap a single to left, feel free. But if you pull it to right we're going to have 7 guys over there to catch it." BABIP is a bad metric to look at here.
   12. bobm Posted: April 13, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4685604)
For single team seasons, From 2000 to 2014, All Teams in Major Leagues, Pulled-LHB (within Hit Location), sorted by year

                                                                                                
Rk     I      Split Year BAbip    PA    AB    H   2B  3B   HR   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS GDP ROE tOPS+
1        Pulled-LHB 2000  .399 15819 15604 7208 1308 150 1555 .462 .458 .864 1.322 192 206   231
2        Pulled-LHB 2001  .393 15279 15078 6784 1339 135 1323 .450 .446 .820 1.266 195 175   226
3        Pulled-LHB 2002  .393 15495 15285 6854 1299 167 1300 .448 .445 .810 1.255 169 192   229
4        Pulled-LHB 2003  .376 16267 16086 6885 1374 165 1273 .428 .425 .771 1.196 235 191   210
5        Pulled-LHB 2004  .380 16433 16194 7024 1416 177 1355 .434 .431 .794 1.225 195 211   214
6        Pulled-LHB 2005  .379 16282 16025 6914 1422 156 1267 .431 .428 .777 1.205 196 191   215
7        Pulled-LHB 2006  .386 15042 14787 6445 1319 193 1137 .436 .433 .782 1.215 214 182   210
8        Pulled-LHB 2007  .353 14984 14811 5935 1321 174 1058 .401 .399 .728 1.126 255 188   191
9        Pulled-LHB 2008  .358 14671 14520 5951 1277 171 1142 .410 .408 .757 1.165 216 198   204
10       Pulled-LHB 2009  .350 15224 15076 6043 1355 160 1136 .401 .399 .738 1.137 227 198   196
11       Pulled-LHB 2010  .351 14419 14252 5693 1229 153 1019 .399 .397 .722 1.119 250 202   201
12       Pulled-LHB 2011  .332 16258 16086 6084 1347 171 1088 .378 .377 .686 1.063 268 205   189
13       Pulled-LHB 2012  .313 15317 15132 5508 1162 150 1093 .364 .362 .677 1.040 301 184   181
14       Pulled-LHB 2013  .323 16352 16182 6039 1332 137 1153 .373 .371 .686 1.057 277 212   190
15       Pulled-LHB 2014  .311  1148  1133  410   82  11   80 .362 .359 .665 1.025  22  21   185


Note the decline in tOPS+ for this split.

   13. bobm Posted: April 13, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4685610)
All Teams in Major Leagues, Up Mdle-LHB (within Hit Location)

                                                                                  
Rk         Split Year BAbip    PA    H   2B  3B  HR   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS  GDP tOPS+
1    Up Mdle-LHB 2000  .251 29236 7688 1482 292 560 .268 .266 .399 .665 1202    68
2    Up Mdle-LHB 2001  .248 29290 7815 1450 274 818 .272 .269 .427 .696 1094    81
3    Up Mdle-LHB 2002  .246 30262 7925 1484 281 758 .267 .265 .412 .677 1135    79
4    Up Mdle-LHB 2003  .255 29598 7972 1414 280 661 .275 .272 .411 .683 1077    79
5    Up Mdle-LHB 2004  .259 31615 8720 1449 266 814 .281 .278 .424 .702 1098    82
6    Up Mdle-LHB 2005  .256 31725 8562 1499 262 687 .275 .272 .406 .678 1210    79
7    Up Mdle-LHB 2006  .261 29873 8360 1431 266 862 .285 .282 .440 .723 1081    86
8    Up Mdle-LHB 2007  .279 31843 9360 1585 310 804 .301 .297 .449 .746 1152    94
9    Up Mdle-LHB 2008  .278 32779 9566 1631 289 766 .298 .295 .438 .733 1137    94
10   Up Mdle-LHB 2009  .282 33357 9885 1656 327 852 .304 .300 .453 .753 1063    98
11   Up Mdle-LHB 2010  .273 31300 8959 1480 289 725 .293 .290 .431 .721  994    96
12   Up Mdle-LHB 2011  .284 31341 9286 1494 296 665 .302 .299 .435 .734  987   102
13   Up Mdle-LHB 2012  .288 30023 9125 1475 277 812 .310 .307 .462 .769  945   110
14   Up Mdle-LHB 2013  .287 31468 9501 1517 247 777 .308 .305 .448 .753 1000   109
15   Up Mdle-LHB 2014  .296  2215  681  102  29  45 .314 .310 .450 .761   64   114


   14. bobm Posted: April 13, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4685611)
All Teams in Major Leagues, Opp Fld-LHB (within Hit Location)

                                                                           
Rk         Split Year BAbip    PA    H  2B 3B  HR   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS tOPS+
1    Opp Fld-LHB 2000  .308 12182 3857 951 27 220 .327 .320 .468 .788   100
2    Opp Fld-LHB 2001  .314 12062 3907 919 28 233 .333 .327 .476 .803   110
3    Opp Fld-LHB 2002  .313 12162 3883 911 24 178 .328 .323 .454 .776   106
4    Opp Fld-LHB 2003  .299 12409 3800 940 30 175 .314 .309 .441 .750    97
5    Opp Fld-LHB 2004  .305 10672 3331 837 20 163 .320 .316 .452 .768   100
6    Opp Fld-LHB 2005  .306 10826 3360 819 36 128 .319 .314 .440 .754   100
7    Opp Fld-LHB 2006  .317 10264 3343 864 34 181 .335 .330 .482 .812   110
8    Opp Fld-LHB 2007  .317  9474 3057 833 28 137 .332 .327 .473 .799   109
9    Opp Fld-LHB 2008  .320  9937 3233 859 21 127 .334 .328 .467 .795   111
10   Opp Fld-LHB 2009  .317 10153 3298 852 28 172 .333 .328 .476 .804   112
11   Opp Fld-LHB 2010  .320  9111 2963 795 28 125 .333 .329 .471 .801   118
12   Opp Fld-LHB 2011  .297  9632 2893 794 22 111 .309 .305 .435 .740   104
13   Opp Fld-LHB 2012  .309  9532 2989 849 29 114 .321 .317 .455 .772   112
14   Opp Fld-LHB 2013  .294 10107 3021 790 20 127 .307 .303 .430 .733   104
15   Opp Fld-LHB 2014  .308   682  212  61  1   5 .317 .314 .433 .747   111
   15. Walt Davis Posted: April 13, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4685710)
For single team seasons, From 2000 to 2014, All Teams in Major Leagues, Pulled-LHB (within Hit Location), sorted by year


Rk I Split Year BAbip PA AB H 2B 3B HR BA OBP SLG OPS GDP ROE tOPS+
1 Pulled-LHB 2000 .399 15819 15604 7208 1308 150 1555 .462 .458 .864 1.322 192 206 231
2 Pulled-LHB 2001 .393 15279 15078 6784 1339 135 1323 .450 .446 .820 1.266 195 175 226
3 Pulled-LHB 2002 .393 15495 15285 6854 1299 167 1300 .448 .445 .810 1.255 169 192 229
4 Pulled-LHB 2003 .376 16267 16086 6885 1374 165 1273 .428 .425 .771 1.196 235 191 210
5 Pulled-LHB 2004 .380 16433 16194 7024 1416 177 1355 .434 .431 .794 1.225 195 211 214
6 Pulled-LHB 2005 .379 16282 16025 6914 1422 156 1267 .431 .428 .777 1.205 196 191 215
7 Pulled-LHB 2006 .386 15042 14787 6445 1319 193 1137 .436 .433 .782 1.215 214 182 210
8 Pulled-LHB 2007 .353 14984 14811 5935 1321 174 1058 .401 .399 .728 1.126 255 188 191
9 Pulled-LHB 2008 .358 14671 14520 5951 1277 171 1142 .410 .408 .757 1.165 216 198 204
10 Pulled-LHB 2009 .350 15224 15076 6043 1355 160 1136 .401 .399 .738 1.137 227 198 196
11 Pulled-LHB 2010 .351 14419 14252 5693 1229 153 1019 .399 .397 .722 1.119 250 202 201
12 Pulled-LHB 2011 .332 16258 16086 6084 1347 171 1088 .378 .377 .686 1.063 268 205 189
13 Pulled-LHB 2012 .313 15317 15132 5508 1162 150 1093 .364 .362 .677 1.040 301 184 181
14 Pulled-LHB 2013 .323 16352 16182 6039 1332 137 1153 .373 .371 .686 1.057 277 212 190
15 Pulled-LHB 2014 .311 1148 1133 410 82 11 80 .362 .359 .665 1.025 22 21 185



Note the decline in tOPS+ for this split.


Note the decline in HR/PA rate:

099 087 084 078 082 078 076 071 078 075 071 067 071 071 070

2010-14 have produced the lost HR/PA rates of this period. Remind me again how infield shifts affect HR rates.

Dropping .008 HR/PA may not see like much but that's about 32 points of SLG/ISO if converted to outs or 24 points if converted to singles. The ISOs from 2000-2009 ranged mostly from about 345-360, now they're about 315-320 so most/all of that is the reduction in HR/PA.

And has there been any shift in the platoon advantage in those years? If teams are more likely to use LHP vs LHB we would of course expect these numbers to go down.

There has been a massive drop in BABIP on pulled balls pretty much matched by a massive jump in BABIP on straight-away balls. I don't notice a substantial shift in the ISOs for straight-away balls.

I agree we need more detailed data than BABIP to answer the question but I also note every time this comes up that there's no reason to believe that IF shifts affect production on flyballs. Also teams have always played the 1B on the line against LHB pull hitters so I don't expect it to have much impact on double/triples rates either.

Overall BABIP on GB in 2012-13 was the highest it's been since 2007. SLG was also the highest it's been since 2007 although those differences are trivial. And do you folks know how trivial this is. ISO on GBs has not been higher than 023 from 2000-2014. In 2002 -- the height of sillyball -- it was 006. Less than 10% of hits and about 2% of all PA result in doubles. There were no extra base hits to stop by shifting the IF.

My guess about platoon splits appears to be correct. 2012-13 saw the highest number of LvL matchups, by quite a lot over the early 2000s but even by about 10% vs. the next highest seasons. LvR is also way up from the early 2000s (i.e. more LHB these days it seems) but has been pretty steady since 2003. So in the last few years it's gone from about 28% of all LHB PAs to about 32%. The average OPS difference is about 90 points so that only makes a difference of about 4-5 points in OPS.

9 Opp Fld-LHB 2008 .320 9937 3233 859 21 127 .334 .328 .467 .795 111
10 Opp Fld-LHB 2009 .317 10153 3298 852 28 172 .333 .328 .476 .804 112
11 Opp Fld-LHB 2010 .320 9111 2963 795 28 125 .333 .329 .471 .801 118
12 Opp Fld-LHB 2011 .297 9632 2893 794 22 111 .309 .305 .435 .740 104
13 Opp Fld-LHB 2012 .309 9532 2989 849 29 114 .321 .317 .455 .772 112
14 Opp Fld-LHB 2013 .294 10107 3021 790 20 127 .307 .303 .430 .733 104


So shifting IF to the right side greatly reduces production to the left side -- makes perfect sense. Note also the strong downward trend in LHB hitting the other way (from 12,000 PA to 9500). The other PA counts are all fairly stable. So putting IF on the right side makes it less likely batters will hit to the left side -- makes perfect sense.

I'm sorry, I don't know how to sort LHB from RHB, I'll leave that to BobM.

   16. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 13, 2014 at 11:16 PM (#4685724)
requiring pitchers to face a certain number of batters in relief


As opposed to the existing rule, which requires pitchers to face a certain number of batters in relief.

   17. Walt Davis Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:51 AM (#4685763)
Oh, there it is. I'd really like to split pulled GB by LHB though.

Anyway:

fact #1: on BIP, production has been practically constant from 2000-2014 with BABIP at 300 and ISOBIP at 080. There was a small peak in 06-07 at 305/085.

fact #2: there has been a reduction in BIP from about 131-133,000 per season to 126-127,000; with a reduction in HR/PA too it's clear this is due to the increase in Ks (and the consequent drop in overall scoring and PAs).

fact #3: production on ground balls has been very steady since 2003 with a BABIP around 237 and ISOBIP around 020. There has possibly been a small downward trend in ISOBIP from 022 to 020.

fact #3a: players have never gotten XBH out of GB therefore IF shifts can't affect XBH. The 1B has always been on the line against LHB pull (and 3B vs RHB pull), the 2B is now standing in short straight RF where GB XBH never occurred, the SS is now straightaway CF where GB XBH never occurred. The change is to open up the 3B line which, if anything, should increase doubles (but hasn't).

fact #4: GB have been about 40% of BIP but account for only about 1500 of the 7000 BIP reduction. That is GB as a proportion of BIP appear to be up which should reduce overall production on BIP. This should be even more true if IF shifts had a strong impact on GB production. But overall production on BIP hasn't gone down.

'fact' #5: The LD data are completely screwed up. In 2000-02, the LD data do not include HR. From 2003 on they do. In 2014, LDs jumped by 25% and HRs on LDs more than doubled. That's after HRs on LDs dropped by about 40% from 2003-2012.

'fact' #6: which seems to screw up the FB data. FBs dropped by about 5000 in 2014, about the same as the LD increase. HR on FB dropped by 900.

I don't know what happened to LD/FB classification between 2012 and 2013 but at the moment we might have to toss out the 2013 data or combine LD and FB.

So from 2003-2012, BABIP on LDs was down about 10 points but the main issue was a massive drop in HR on LD. I mean you go from about 550-620 HRs on 26,000 LDs from 2006-9 then about 420 HR on 24,800 LD from 2010-12. That's about a 4-5% reduction in # of LDs but about a 25-30% reduction in HR on LDs. These numbers also seem fishy to me but they sure don't point to the benefits of IF shifts.

Rate stats on fly balls were quite steady from 2004-12 with a reduction in the number of fly balls, especially in 2012.

fact #7: there has been a big drop in LHB-pull outcomes. There has been a big drop in RHB-pull outcomes. BABIP is down about 40 points, ISO is down about 40 points, HR/PA appears to be down substantially too. But similarly RHB up-middle BABIP is up about 20 points relative to 03-06 and 12 points relative to 07-09. ISOs appear to be fairly steady for RHB-middle. RHB-opp BABIP is down starting in 08 but fairly stable since then. ISOs dipped in 07 but bounced back in 12-13. PAs to opp are down, up the middle are pretty steady.

So, near as I can tell, best possible story so far about IF shifts ... batters started pulling the ball more often (as proportion of contact) in about 2007. That is they traded opposite field contact for pull contact (and presumably Ks). Defenses reacted in 2010. Result: no shift in overall production on GB or BIP in part because, shift or no, production on pull is higher than production the other ways. Also this implies this is not defensive genius at work to thwart hitters as much as delayed reaction to changes by hitters.

To assess IF shifts, you need to get FBs (and probably LDs) out of the analysis. If they affected overall GB production by LHB pull hitters we should see at least one of (a) an overall reduction in production on GBs or (b) increased production by everybody else for some inexplicable reason. We don't seem to be seeing either.

This is an aggregate look and obviously internal variation is a different matter. Maybe the shift is very effective against LHB pull but teams are employing it far too often against guys they shouldn't (greatly increasing their production).

In addition to getting FBs out, you've got to take account of any changes in LvL and RvR matchup rates and changes in number of PAs with 2 strikes. Maybe those haven't changed but we would expect them to affect production.

I'm not arguing against the "common sense" behind IF shifts -- put IFs in areas where GB are more likely and you should be more effective at converting GB into outs. I'm simply noting that we are seeing no such effect. If the new defensive positioning tactics are lowering the production of a certain class of hitters they are obviously increasing the production of some other class(es) of hitters because overall production on GB hasn't budged. I'd be happy for somebody to tear it apart and see what's going on at a more micro level.

An aside: for those who haven't played around with it much (which includes me before this evening), the split finder at b-r does not seem to provide any method for splitting GB by LH/RH much less GB by LH-pull, etc. I'd have provided such numbers if I had the capability.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:13 AM (#4685766)
From the article:

Knowing this, it was only natural that teams would begin moving their fielders to accommodate for these tendencies, especially the hitters who exhibit extreme ones. Take for instance Carlos Pena.

Nothing wrong with that point except that extreme pull hitters like Pena have been shifted against since at least Ted Williams (as noted in the article). The change is about employing it even more often against guys like Pena -- it was virtually never employed with men on base in the past -- and employing it against a much wider array of hitters.

It surely puts certain players at a disadvantage and these are often the power hitters that the game has loved so much over the years.

But these guys have never been GB hitters. In a couple of extreme cases, McGwire's contact resulted in a GB less than 30% of the time and his career BABIP was only 255; Bonds wasn't quite so extreme but it was still only about 33% of the time and he had a 285 career BABIP.

Ortiz's contact produces a GB only about 35% of the time but at least he has a healthy BABIP of 305. (He has been above that career average each of the last 4 years so ...) But say you whack him 20 points on his BABIP on his 35% of GB on his 68% contact rate ... you take away 3 singles per 650 PA or, occasionally, 2 singles and a double. This does not effect the status of a power hitter in the fans' eyes and its overall effect is on the order of 2-3 runs off his Rbat.

Obviously if you can save 2-3 runs per opponents' batting order slot per year, that could be 2-3 wins for "free" -- assuming none of the other teams have enough sense to shift -- so of course you do it.

The author's balance factor seems to ignore GB vs FB (probably used b-r too).

Anyway, it's a somewhat micro look that arrives at the same conclusion -- shifts are not really having a big effect or, at least, it's being compensated for in some other way. He doesn't formally test that -- i.e. he notes there are good and crappy hitters in both bunches, the mean wRC+ is essentially the same. But he hasn't looked at it over time -- i.e. maybe pull hitters used to have a substantially higher wRC+, maybe they've gotten worse while the others have gotten better, evening out. And of course what do IF shifts have to do with production on FBs, GB/FB rates and strikeouts?
   19. bobm Posted: April 14, 2014 at 07:48 AM (#4685772)
[15] I'm sorry, I don't know how to sort LHB from RHB, I'll leave that to BobM.
[17] An aside: for those who haven't played around with it much (which includes me before this evening), the split finder at b-r does not seem to provide any method for splitting GB by LH/RH much less GB by LH-pull, etc. I'd have provided such numbers if I had the capability.

As an alternative, one can use BR Event Finder, e.g., "All of MLB: 6606 Plate Appearances in 2000, Pulled by Batter, Ground Ball and as LHB." (Here's the linked report showing the first 500 PA: http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/OmiH0)

While one can generate only a single season's data at a time, you can add in further splits by stadium, opponent, etc.

Plate Appearances in each season, Pulled by Batter, Ground Ball and as LHB

   G     PA    R    AB     H   2B  3B HR  RBI BB IW SO HB SH SF  ROE  GDP    BA   OBP   SLG   OPS BAbip    WPA   LI  RE24 Year 
2217   6606  565  6606  1509  138  15  0  506  0  0  0  0  0  0  176  197  .228  .228  .254  .482  .228  -43.0  .98  -521 2000
2227   6426  539  6426  1402  146  15  0  482  0  0  0  0  0  0  148  198  .218  .218  .246  .464  .218  -37.2  .96  -469 2001
2204   6141  461  6141  1189   83   8  0  408  0  0  0  0  0  0  160  172  .194  .194  .210  .403  .194  -47.1  .99  -543 2002
2281   8064  830  8064  2263  287  41  1  768  0  0  0  0  0  0  154  237  .281  .281  .327  .607  .281  -11.6  .98  -162 2003
2299   8088  876  8088  2341  310  44  0  819  0  0  0  0  0  0  166  203  .289  .289  .339  .628  .289   -5.5  .99    -6 2004
2286   8046  759  8046  2285  299  38  0  704  0  0  0  0  0  0  153  200  .284  .284  .331  .615  .284   -9.5  .99  -118 2005
2257   7518  714  7518  2137  244  48  0  667  0  0  0  0  0  0  144  222  .284  .284  .329  .614  .284  -20.0  .96  -192 2006
2307   8512  812  8512  2105  285  54  0  738  0  0  0  0  0  0  154  264  .247  .247  .293  .541  .247  -44.0  .98  -447 2007
2307   8184  767  8184  2012  243  45  0  709  0  0  0  0  0  0  164  224  .246  .246  .287  .532  .246  -35.9  .99  -364 2008
2330   8545  704  8545  1982  267  42  0  634  0  0  0  0  0  0  158  235  .232  .232  .273  .505  .232  -44.9  .97  -487 2009
2293   8257  697  8257  1955  243  37  1  638  0  0  0  0  0  0  171  256  .237  .237  .276  .512  .237  -36.9  .97  -369 2010
2341   9619  734  9619  2112  272  40  0  672  0  0  0  0  0  0  157  278  .220  .220  .256  .476  .220  -50.4 1.01  -549 2011
2325   9390  719  9390  1950  243  46  0  665  0  0  0  0  0  0  146  314  .208  .208  .243  .451  .208  -60.8  .98  -666 2012
2347   9585  646  9585  2035  249  33  0  585  0  0  0  0  0  0  176  282  .212  .212  .245  .457  .212  -60.0  .96  -598 2013
 173    732   58   732   141   15   1  0   56  0  0  0  0  0  0   20   22  .193  .193  .216  .408  .193   -3.7  .99   -51 2014
   20. bobm Posted: April 14, 2014 at 08:03 AM (#4685773)
[19] NB - To use BR (Batting) Event Finder to generate splits of splits, first select an individual team rather than "All Teams," otherwise when one selects "Plate Appearances," the query will be too large to return a report.

That builds a general report with all of an individual team's PA. Next, create your sub-report by changing the team drop-down box to "All Teams" and clicking on the appropriate red text for splits in the summary box. Run the report again and now you have the desired split report.

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