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Jim Furtado
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Immediate Outcomes Newsbeat

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Bill James:  Swing Hard; maybe you’ll run into something

I had a question from a reader a couple of weeks ago; I can’t remember the exact wording, but the essence of it was, are there some players now, with all of the strikeouts, who would be better off if they would put the ball in play more often?  Is the number of those players rising?  Could you just perhaps figure runs created with the ball in play and runs created on home runs, walks and strikeouts, maybe with a basic Runs Created formula?...

To cut to the heart of the matter:  Immediate Outcome plays are far, far more productive, on average, than balls put into play.  Historically, 85% of players with 300 or more Plate Appearances have been more productive on Immediate Outcome plays than when putting the Ball in Play.  Most of the exceptions have been the worst hitters in the league.  The Mark Belangers and Mario Mendozas and Mallex Smiths and Yolmer Sanchezes of the world are often more productive when they put the ball in play than when they don’t.  But the Ted Williamses and Babe Ruths and Mickey Mantles and Barry Bondses and Mike Trouts; those guys are VASTLY more productive on three true outcome plays than when putting the ball in play.

As strikeouts have increased, the percentage of players who are more effective when putting the ball in play HAS risen very substantially, from less than 3% in the early 1950s to almost 30% now.  Thus, it IS possible that this trend could be putting pressure on players to adjust, and, particularly if the trend continues, it could conceivably lead to changes in how the game is played.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2021 at 09:08 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: immediate outcomes

 

 

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