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
JPWF13
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogMelky Cabrera smashed a windshield with a homer
(15 - 5:02am, Jul 30)
Last: Bunny Vincennes

NewsblogESPN: Twins Sign "Out Of Nowhere" Prospect
(22 - 4:53am, Jul 30)
Last: RollingWave

NewsblogSOE: Minor League Manhood - A first-hand account of masculine sports culture run amok.
(18 - 4:23am, Jul 30)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogABC News: ‘Capital Games’: How Congress Saved the Baseball Hall of Fame
(49 - 4:10am, Jul 30)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogFull Count » Tim Kurkjian on MFB: ‘I’m going to say that Jon Lester is not going to be traded’
(33 - 3:14am, Jul 30)
Last: ellsbury my heart at wounded knee

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-29-2014
(62 - 2:54am, Jul 30)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3571 - 2:20am, Jul 30)
Last: Joe Kehoskie

NewsblogHoward: David Ortiz shaping up to become first steroid era Teflon slugger
(32 - 1:17am, Jul 30)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1015 - 1:10am, Jul 30)
Last: RollingWave

NewsblogTrader Jack? As Seattle's GM struggles to complete deals, some rival executives wonder | FOX Sports
(59 - 12:58am, Jul 30)
Last: Spahn Insane

NewsblogMASN TV Contract Pits Selig vs Nationals vs Orioles
(21 - 12:34am, Jul 30)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

NewsblogWhich Players Will Be Most Affected by the Hall of Fame’s New Rules?
(11 - 12:29am, Jul 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1957 Discussion
(13 - 12:02am, Jul 30)
Last: MrC

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(508 - 11:02pm, Jul 29)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogValencia traded to Toronto
(12 - 9:52pm, Jul 29)
Last: Davo Dozier

Page rendered in 0.0938 seconds
53 querie(s) executed