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Friday, June 02, 2023

Hitters Are Losing More Long Plate Appearances

Little change here. So what does this all mean? Well, hitters have the advantage when they put the ball in play on the first or the second pitch, and there’s a massive dropoff once the possibility of a strikeout arises at three pitches. wOBA doesn’t really re-approach average (i.e., a wOBA change of zero) until you get to six pitches, which is where you have a bunch of full counts and hitters who have fouled off a few. Each of the past two years, wOBA has continued rebounding or stayed level through at least nine-pitch PAs. This year, however, the rebound surges at seven pitches and then stops….

This makes me think that it’s less a matter of fatigue and more a matter of focus. Hitters typically have shorter bursts of action than pitchers; hurlers routinely rack up double-digit pitch counts in an inning, and a long PA won’t do much to change that, but it isn’t every day that a hitter has to battle through a 10-pitch PA. That wears on your mind just as much as your body.

Pitchers still control the action, and while they do have more violations than hitters, their clock-aided gamesmanship is only improving. On the other hand, it seems to me that far less emphasis was placed on how hitters can use the clock to their advantage; making use of their one timeout is paramount to helping them re-focus. With the caveat that I didn’t distinguish between runners-on and bases-empty situations, an avenue for future research given the differences in the clock across those scenarios, I imagine that with more reps hitters will have an easier time keeping their head in the game in this new era and continue to boost offense this year.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 02, 2023 at 04:03 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pitch clock

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   1. Jose Canusee Posted: June 05, 2023 at 06:20 PM (#6131591)
another thing to check is how many pitch types get thrown after two strikes this year compared to before. If half the pitchers before only threw fastballs on 3-2 and now only a third do that will be a lot of batters fooled by a changeup expecting another fastball.

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