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Zakath
06-25-2010, 08:10 AM
As much as we complain about the Sox' hitting woes to start the season (which has improved, albeit not dramatically), we actually lead the league in one very important stat.

Fewest strikeouts.

Sox batters have struck out 362 times in 71 games (just over 5 oer game). The next closest is KC with 396 and then Minnesota at 427. At the other end, Arizona batters have struck out 672 times, almost 100 more than the next worst, Florida (575). The worst in the AL is Toronto at 571.

We're 140 below the MLB average of 502 and 122 below the AL average of 484. Not bad for a team that is still 7th in the majors in home runs.

To compare to previous seasons:
2009 - 1022 (6th in MLB)
2008 - 1016 (9th)
2007 - 1149 (22nd)
2006 - 1056 (14th)
2005 - 1002 (14th)

We're 24th in BB with 225, but the best in MLB in the walk vs. strikeout deficit (-137). Minnesota is next at -147.

Our pitching staff is 9th in the majors in K's at 533, putting us +171 in strikeouts thrown vs. our own hitters striking out, or nearly 2.5 per game. No one else is even close to that (the next best is San Francisco at +105). In case you're wondering, Arizona is -167.

If this team's batting average can come up even 10 points from the current .250 and the strikeout situation stays the same (with the pitching staff really putting it together), we're going to be one damn tough team to beat.

HomeFish
06-25-2010, 09:15 AM
We're too busy hitting popups to the second baseman.

Domeshot17
06-25-2010, 09:42 AM
This is hardly an important stat. Our offense rarely struck out last year, seriously, we were top 10 in not striking out and top 10 in stolen bases, and our offense was patheticly bad.

Frater Perdurabo
06-25-2010, 09:57 AM
This is encouraging.

I wish some of those popups to second base were hit deeper into RCF, especially with a runner a third with less than two outs.

I'd be pleased to lead the league in strikeouts if it also meant we were leading the league in runs.

The object of an offense is to score runs.

Zakath
06-25-2010, 10:27 AM
To score runs, you have to put the ball in play. Hard to do that when you're whiffing all over the place. That's why I also put the caveat in that we need to get the batting averages up. If they can keep the strikeouts down and bring the BA's (especially from a few guys) up, you're not giving outs away.

I love Jim Thome as much as the next guy, but he's a strikeout machine. That's why I cringe when everyone says they want Adam Dunn; he's just a younger bigger version of Thome. He's as likely if not more likely to strike out when you need a hit than he is to homer.

doublem23
06-25-2010, 10:29 AM
To score runs, you have to put the ball in play. Hard to do that when you're whiffing all over the place. That's why I also put the caveat in that we need to get the batting averages up. If they can keep the strikeouts down and bring the BA's (especially from a few guys) up, you're not giving outs away.

I love Jim Thome as much as the next guy, but he's a strikeout machine. That's why I cringe when everyone says they want Adam Dunn; he's just a younger bigger version of Thome. He's as likely if not more likely to strike out when you need a hit than he is to homer.

For sure, the last thing we need is a guy hitting .278/.367/.568 because instead of meekly popping out on the infield, he might strike out.

ilsox7
06-25-2010, 10:42 AM
For sure, the last thing we need is a guy hitting .278/.367/.568 because instead of meekly popping out on the infield, he might strike out.

Didn't 8 games without a home run teach you that we are better off having weak pop-ups than home runs? C'mon, get with the program.

Zakath
06-25-2010, 10:50 AM
For sure, the last thing we need is a guy hitting .278/.367/.568 because instead of meekly popping out on the infield, he might strike out.

He has 72 hits this year and 80 K's. He's having an above average year this year (he's a lifetime .251 hitter), and still has more K's than hits. For his career, he has 340 more K's than hits (1173 hits, 1513 K's).

Think of how many times he came up just in the series we played against Washington where a big hit from Dunn would have changed the game and he struck out. 11 AB's against us and he struck out 5 times.

He has good power numbers when he makes contact, but I don't believe it's merely coincidence that Dunn's only played for one team that had a winning record (Arizona in 2008). Six seasons with 30+ HR, four times with 100+ RBI, but very few winners.

doublem23
06-25-2010, 10:54 AM
He has 72 hits this year and 80 K's. He's having an above average year this year (he's a lifetime .251 hitter), and still has more K's than hits. For his career, he has 340 more K's than hits (1173 hits, 1513 K's).

Think of how many times he came up just in the series we played against Washington where a big hit from Dunn would have changed the game and he struck out. 11 AB's against us and he struck out 5 times.

He has good power numbers when he makes contact, but I don't believe it's merely coincidence that Dunn's only played for one team that had a winning record (Arizona in 2008). Six seasons with 30+ HR, four times with 100+ RBI, but very few winners.

I don't even need to argue my point, this is so ridiculous.

Dunn is exactly the kind of guy this team needs. Left-handed, power hitter who gets on base. You're basing your entire argument on the fact that while he was in Cincinnati, the Reds consistently had terrible pitching and on 11 plate appearances against our buzzsaw of a pitching staff right now?

Snap.

Zakath
06-25-2010, 11:11 AM
I don't even need to argue my point, this is so ridiculous.

Dunn is exactly the kind of guy this team needs. Left-handed, power hitter who gets on base. You're basing your entire argument on the fact that while he was in Cincinnati, the Reds consistently had terrible pitching and on 11 plate appearances against our buzzsaw of a pitching staff right now?

Snap.

Great.

So we need a guy who hits homers but doesn't drive in runs (a comment made about him in Cincinnati), a guy who strikes out nearly 1 in every 3 times he steps up to the plate, and a guy about whom it is said may not only be the worst defensive first baseman in the league this year, but the worst all-time.

And we can pay him $10M to do it.

Good luck with that.

soxfan43
06-25-2010, 11:25 AM
They are just trying to create a buffer for when K machines like Danks and Flowers come up.

doublem23
06-25-2010, 11:29 AM
Great.

So we need a guy who hits homers but doesn't drive in runs (a comment made about him in Cincinnati), a guy who strikes out nearly 1 in every 3 times he steps up to the plate, and a guy about whom it is said may not only be the worst defensive first baseman in the league this year, but the worst all-time.

And we can pay him $10M to do it.

Good luck with that.

You're holding RBI against the guy? You know that generally requires players to be on base ahead of you, so even though Dunn has driven in 100+ runs 5 of his 9 MLB seasons, his "lack of RBI production" probably can't be blamed solely on him. His defensive prowess at 1B? Who cares? We have a first baseman. Maybe you forgot in Ozzie's grand scheme to remold the Sox as a National League-style team, but we're still in the AL and are allowed to carry a DH. I don't care if the guy doesn't own a mitt, we're not in need of him defensively.

Finally, strikeouts. Holy crap, what difference does it make how a guy makes outs, as long as he's not making many of them. Maybe Dunn strikes out more than the league average, but nearly 4 of every 10 times he steps to the plate, he reaches base, which is a HISTORICALLY HIGH rate.

Also, while you may rail on the strikeout, it has several distinct advantages to your beloved ground out on the infield:

1) Eliminates the possibility of a double play. Dunn has grounded into double-digit double plays twice in his career, and not since 2007.
2) Forces the opposing pitcher to work, since a strike out takes at least 3, and generally more, pitches, as opposed to a free swinging maniac who pops the 1st pitch he sees up.

No, a strike out is not the ideal outcome of a PA, but ultimately, the guy produces a lot more than your average hitter in the pros right now. The worst you've got on the guy is he's a defensively challenged DH who K's a lot. At best, he's a left-handed power hitter with a high OBP who solidifies the middle of our order between Rios and Konerko/Quentin.

Domeshot17
06-25-2010, 11:31 AM
Adam Dunn has driven in 100 runs 5 of the last 6 years and the year he didn't he had 92.

lths06
06-25-2010, 11:50 AM
While this is an interesting stat no doubt, I dont think it necessarily says a whole lot. Such low strikeouts can be a symptom of not being patient enough and swinging too early in counts.

Craig Grebeck
06-25-2010, 12:39 PM
Less Dunn MOAR KOTSAY.

I'm on board with not acquiring Dunn, actually, because I'm not confident he could replicate his success in the second half of 2010. But to dismiss him because of his strikeout totals is medieval.

CAREY33
06-25-2010, 02:06 PM
While this is an interesting stat no doubt, I dont think it necessarily says a whole lot. Such low strikeouts can be a symptom of not being patient enough and swinging too early in counts.

Exactly, when you don't work the pitch count you aren't going to strike out. Dunn would be perfect for this team. He may strikeout a lot but the guy is an OPS machine. He wouldn't have to play the field so his defense wont be an issue. Kotsay currently gets way too many at bats.

Zakath
06-25-2010, 04:16 PM
You're holding RBI against the guy? You know that generally requires players to be on base ahead of you, so even though Dunn has driven in 100+ runs 5 of his 9 MLB seasons, his "lack of RBI production" probably can't be blamed solely on him.


Or that when runners are on ahead of him, more often than not he's striking out.


His defensive prowess at 1B? Who cares? We have a first baseman. Maybe you forgot in Ozzie's grand scheme to remold the Sox as a National League-style team, but we're still in the AL and are allowed to carry a DH. I don't care if the guy doesn't own a mitt, we're not in need of him defensively.


Last time I checked, whether you're in the NL or not, you can still only carry 25. Having a "permanent" DH who pretty much can't play the field because he's a defensive liability takes a potential glove away from the roster. So which defensive position do we short so that we can have his bat?


Finally, strikeouts. Holy crap, what difference does it make how a guy makes outs, as long as he's not making many of them. Maybe Dunn strikes out more than the league average, but nearly 4 of every 10 times he steps to the plate, he reaches base, which is a HISTORICALLY HIGH rate.


OK, let's break this down, since you seem so high on him.

Dunn's situational stats this year:

No one on - 45-144, 13 2B, 2 3B, 13 HR, 15 BB, 45 K, .313 AVG, .381 OBP, .701 SLG
Runners on base - 27-115, 7 2B, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 19 BB, 39 K, .235 AVG, .350 OBP, .400 SLG

As subsets of runners on:
RISP - 12-68, 4 2B, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 10 BB, 24 K, .182 AVG, .295 OBP, .288 SLG

As a subset of RISP:
RISP w/ 2 outs: 1-30, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 15 K, .033 AVG, .171 OBP, .033 SLG

Seems to me you have someone who would be a great leadoff hitter, but when you need the hit to drive in runs, especially when the guys in front of him have done their job and made it into scoring position, he ain't going to be there. He could have 30-40 more RBI over a season if these numbers didn't frankly suck as badly as they do.


Also, while you may rail on the strikeout, it has several distinct advantages to your beloved ground out on the infield:

1) Eliminates the possibility of a double play. Dunn has grounded into double-digit double plays twice in his career, and not since 2007.
2) Forces the opposing pitcher to work, since a strike out takes at least 3, and generally more, pitches, as opposed to a free swinging maniac who pops the 1st pitch he sees up.


I'd love to see where I said that I love infield ground outs. I said no such thing. If you want to build your own strawmen, that's fine.


No, a strike out is not the ideal outcome of a PA, but ultimately, the guy produces a lot more than your average hitter in the pros right now. The worst you've got on the guy is he's a defensively challenged DH who K's a lot. At best, he's a left-handed power hitter with a high OBP who solidifies the middle of our order between Rios and Konerko/Quentin.

His numbers say completely otherwise. It'd be great if he's hitting in the 4 hole when that spot leads off every inning, but that doesn't happen too often. He doesn't produce enough runs in key situations, which tells me that he leans more towards the worst case than he does towards the best.

And I can think of a lot better ways to blow $12 million (which is what he's currently making in Washington).

doublem23
06-25-2010, 05:41 PM
I'd love to see where I said that I love infield ground outs. I said no such thing. If you want to build your own strawmen, that's fine.

Fine, pop ups or fly outs or whatever. The fact is your splitting up outs like one kind is magically better than the other. They're all outs. Outs are outs. One kind of an out isn't any better or worse than another. All outs are created equal. I can't think of any more ways to spell it out.

Guys that make lots of outs = not good. Guys that get on base a lot = good.

This essentially sums up my position on hitting.

TheVulture
06-25-2010, 05:45 PM
You can't find a less productive player in the annals of baseball history that regularly hits 40 HRs a year and draws 100 walks.

That said, he'd obviously be a significant improvement over Kotsay and Jones.

TheVulture
06-25-2010, 05:50 PM
Fine, pop ups or fly outs or whatever. The fact is your splitting up outs like one kind is magically better than the other. They're all outs. Outs are outs. One kind of an out isn't any better or worse than another. All outs are created equal. I can't think of any more ways to spell it out.

Guys that make lots of outs = not good. Guys that get on base a lot = good.

This essentially sums up my position on hitting.

Still, you're talking about a guy who gets a base hit around 18% of the time he goes to the plate and fails to put the ball in play around 45% of the time he goes to the plate. If you want a guy up to drive in a runner in any given situation, Dunn's not a very good choice.

(He has actually improved that rate so far this year, though.)

Crestani
06-25-2010, 06:04 PM
Fine, pop ups or fly outs or whatever. The fact is your splitting up outs like one kind is magically better than the other. They're all outs. Outs are outs. One kind of an out isn't any better or worse than another. All outs are created equal. I can't think of any more ways to spell it out.

Guys that make lots of outs = not good. Guys that get on base a lot = good.

This essentially sums up my position on hitting.


Agreed...Like Hawk says, "Don't tell me what you hit, tell me when you hit it."

doublem23
06-26-2010, 01:01 AM
You can't find a less productive player in the annals of baseball history that regularly hits 40 HRs a year and draws 100 walks.

That said, he'd obviously be a significant improvement over Kotsay and Jones.

This is what is missing from this argument, Dunn's not going to be another 2008 Ken Griffey Jr. where Ozzie has to find him PT amongst a cast of already decent players, if Dunn is acquired he takes the place of washed up Andruw Jones and Never Really that good Mark Kotsay.