Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BtBS: The Rise of the Called Strike

Using the retrosheet files dating back to 1988 (when pitch count data first becomes prevelent [sic]), I found that the amount of Balls per plate appearance has remained relatively stable since 1988, but the amount of strikes per PA has risen considerably.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise—walk rates in the majors have returned to normal, while strikeout rates continue to inflate exponentially.

But what I did find surprising is that despite all the flame-throwing 7’ tall relievers with 100 mph four-seamers and untouchable, ‘filthy’ breaking pitches, it’s not the Swing-and-Miss Strike that has become more popular over the last two decades. It’s actually the Called Strike that has become more frequent in the modern day pitcher-batter face off

bobm Posted: March 27, 2013 at 08:22 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: umpiring

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. TomH Posted: March 27, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4397496)
a fine article!

I suspect breaking up the "called strikes per PA" trend line into groupings like
a) players who hit home runs in >4% of PA
b) players who hit home runs in <1.5% of PA
c) the middle group in between
....... such that the 3 groups are about equal

and see what corrleation there is, as well as how the increase in HR/PA over time work swith this, might show if batter selectivity in pitches to emphasize power is an important variable.

   2. Walt Davis Posted: March 27, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4397882)
It's probably my crappy connection but the article won't load for me. This is probably addressed in the article but in case not ...

(Not having seen the actual numbers) this is surprising to me. If balls/PA is remaining the same while strikes/PA is going up, then it's not strike zone expansion, it's an even greater reliance on rake and take. Which is consistent with more called strikes.
   3. dr. scott Posted: March 27, 2013 at 06:53 PM (#4397971)
One theory I read about the rise of strikeouts was the analytics available now on every batter. (for instance I have an app on my iphone that tells me every hole in hittters swing given counts, pitcher handedness etc). the theory is its easier for the pitchers, whose job is to be able to throw the ball at any location, to exploit this data than it is for the batter to correct the hole in the swing. I guess this would jibe with this data if one assumes the hitters also know the holes in thier swings and just dont swing at those balls... seems more likely that all strike outs would be up though.. too bad. I liked that theory.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: March 27, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4398105)
I possibly take it back a bit. Obviously pitches per PA is going up (if the number of balls are the same and the number of strikes are up) which means the denominator is bigger so the rate of ball/pitch is lower which is consistent with an expanded zone. Per PA rather than per pitch seems a somewhat odd way to measure it to me.

Or is he not counting BIP as "strikes"?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
rr
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogMake relievers face more than 1 batter for faster game, more runs | FOX Sports
(236 - 4:23am, Jan 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogMontreal threat a reminder of how MLB once touted Tampa | TBO.com and The Tampa Tribune
(49 - 3:40am, Jan 30)
Last: Bourbon Samurai

NewsblogTop 100 prospects of 2015 including Kris Bryant, Byron Buxton and more - ESPN ($PAY$)
(29 - 3:32am, Jan 30)
Last: DJS and the Infinite Sadness

NewsblogHow Has BABIP Held Up as Leaguewide Offense Slides Ever Lower? | Banished to the Pen
(31 - 3:26am, Jan 30)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogPitchfork: Jack White Gets His Own Baseball Card
(206 - 3:18am, Jan 30)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOrioles Do Something, Add Lottery Ticket in Travis Snider | FanGraphs Baseball
(31 - 2:41am, Jan 30)
Last: cercopithecus aethiops

NewsblogFangraphs: Last Year’s Minor-League WAR Leaders, If That Existed
(12 - 2:35am, Jan 30)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - January 2015
(1644 - 2:05am, Jan 30)
Last: Into the Void

NewsblogRanking baseball's greatest dynasties - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN
(138 - 12:39am, Jan 30)
Last: The Chronicles of Reddick

NewsblogOmar Minaya to leave San Diego Padres, join MLBPA as special adviser
(1 - 11:53pm, Jan 29)
Last: 'Spos stares out the window, waits for spring

NewsblogOT: Soccer January 2015
(379 - 11:38pm, Jan 29)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

NewsblogOT - Politics January 2015 - Mario Cuomo, New York Governor and Minor League Ballplayer, Dies at 82
(4122 - 11:30pm, Jan 29)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(11706 - 11:04pm, Jan 29)
Last: booond

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-29-2015
(23 - 10:15pm, Jan 29)
Last: bobm

NewsblogBaseball Prospectus | BP Unfiltered: People Are Currently Reading The 2015 BP Annual And You Could Be Next
(6 - 8:45pm, Jan 29)
Last: cardsfanboy

Page rendered in 0.1895 seconds
48 querie(s) executed