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  #1  
Old 08-22-2018, 01:21 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Default Transforming “slap-hitters” into “sluggers”

I thought this article was interesting. It explains how diminutive middle-infielders Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor evolved into elite power-hitters.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...he-next-level/
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:27 PM
WhiteSox5187 WhiteSox5187 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mohoney View Post
I thought this article was interesting. It explains how diminutive middle-infielders Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor evolved into elite power-hitters.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...he-next-level/
Interesting read. What happens in the "fly ball revolution" when pitchers start throwing more pitches up in the zone at the letters or above that guys can't barrel up?
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:36 PM
WhiteSox5187 WhiteSox5187 is offline
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I think the Indians hitting coach has an interesting philosophy of preaching where you can "catch" the ball rather than launch angle. Neither Lindor nor Ramirez strike out much, so I wonder if they're guys who just have more pull-power but can still take a pitch the other way when need be? Maybe that is, or should be, the new approach to hitting. If you get a pitch inside early, clobber it but be able to take the ball the other way when needed?
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:54 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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The most fascinating revelation in that article: fly balls to the pull-side have nearly a one-in-three chance of going over the fence. With that type of payoff, how can I justify conceding the chance at three extra bases by trying to hit the ball the opposite way against a shift?
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:22 PM
slavko slavko is offline
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Originally Posted by Mohoney View Post
The most fascinating revelation in that article: fly balls to the pull-side have nearly a one-in-three chance of going over the fence. With that type of payoff, how can I justify conceding the chance at three extra bases by trying to hit the ball the opposite way against a shift?
Amazing. But trying to pull outside pitches causes ground balls to the pull side, so I'd like to know how often hitters who are trying to are successful in hitting fly balls. (Knowing what's going on, I'd never throw these guys one over the plate.) It's a game of adjustments.

538 has got some great stuff.
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:02 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Originally Posted by slavko
Amazing. But trying to pull outside pitches causes ground balls to the pull side, so I'd like to know how often hitters who are trying to are successful in hitting fly balls. (Knowing what's going on, I'd never throw these guys one over the plate.) It's a game of adjustments.

538 has got some great stuff.
I don’t know if it helps you much, but the ground ball/fly ball ratio league-wide is 0.78, considering line drives as fly balls.
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:08 PM
WhiteSox5187 WhiteSox5187 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mohoney View Post
The most fascinating revelation in that article: fly balls to the pull-side have nearly a one-in-three chance of going over the fence. With that type of payoff, how can I justify conceding the chance at three extra bases by trying to hit the ball the opposite way against a shift?
Well, if you can hit against the shift, what are the chances that a ball to the opposite field falls for a hit? Is it more than a 33 percent chance? And if there are runners in scoring position and you have a greater than 33 percent chance of getting a hit by taking it the other way, wouldn't it behoove a hitter to do that?
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:36 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Well, if you can hit against the shift, what are the chances that a ball to the opposite field falls for a hit? Is it more than a 33 percent chance? And if there are runners in scoring position and you have a greater than 33 percent chance of getting a hit by taking it the other way, wouldn't it behoove a hitter to do that?
Ground balls to the opposite field against an infield shift result in a .531 batting average. I meant to post that here, but I accidentally posted it in the other thread.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:22 AM
WhiteSox5187 WhiteSox5187 is offline
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Ground balls to the opposite field against an infield shift result in a .531 batting average. I meant to post that here, but I accidentally posted it in the other thread.
Interesting, so you have a 1-in-3 chance of hitting a homer (theoretically; I suspect it’s not quite that simple) if you can pull the ball in the air but a better than 1-in-2 chance of getting a hit by beating the shift. It seems to me the numbers would suggest that a hitter’s best chance of success is to try to take it the other way and beat the shift.
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:45 AM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Originally Posted by WhiteSox5187
Interesting, so you have a 1-in-3 chance of hitting a homer (theoretically; I suspect it’s not quite that simple) if you can pull the ball in the air but a better than 1-in-2 chance of getting a hit by beating the shift. It seems to me the numbers would suggest that a hitter’s best chance of success is to try to take it the other way and beat the shift.
It’s a little bit more than that, though, because the positive outcomes are not equal. A more precise way of looking at it would be to call it a 1/2 chance at getting one base, with zero chance of getting more than one base, vs. a 1/3 chance of getting four bases, with some chance of getting one or two bases in the event that you fail.

Like you say, there is a lot more that goes into it. Bases empty and two outs? Swing for the fences. Leading off an inning with two or three mashers following in the order? Prioritize the out avoidance.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:11 AM
WhiteSox5187 WhiteSox5187 is offline
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It’s a little bit more than that, though, because the positive outcomes are not equal. A more precise way of looking at it would be to call it a 1/2 chance at getting one base, with zero chance of getting more than one base, vs. a 1/3 chance of getting four bases, with some chance of getting one or two bases in the event that you fail.

Like you say, there is a lot more that goes into it. Bases empty and two outs? Swing for the fences. Leading off an inning with two or three mashers following in the order? Prioritize the out avoidance.
Why is it only one base though? If you poke it down the line, it can easily be a double. The 1/3 chance is also assuming the ball is hit in the air, which is not guaranteed.

Ultimately, I agree that it depends on the situation but I still don’t get why more guys aren’t just taking the hit which would raise their average, OBP, and OPS. Not to mention if it’s done enough, teams will stop shifting altogether.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:20 AM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Originally Posted by WhiteSox5187
Why is it only one base though? If you poke it down the line, it can easily be a double. The 1/3 chance is also assuming the ball is hit in the air, which is not guaranteed.

Ultimately, I agree that it depends on the situation but I still don’t get why more guys aren’t just taking the hit which would raise their average, OBP, and OPS. Not to mention if it’s done enough, teams will stop shifting altogether.
If a guy can inside-out an inside fastball well enough to hit it with authority down the opposite field line for a double, the odds are strong that he won’t be getting shifted against too often.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:22 AM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Originally Posted by WhiteSox5187
The 1/3 chance is also assuming the ball is hit in the air, which is not guaranteed.
To be fair, the .531 average is also making a one-sided assumption. It is assuming that the ball is hit on the ground.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:25 AM
asindc asindc is offline
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Originally Posted by Mohoney View Post
It’s a little bit more than that, though, because the positive outcomes are not equal. A more precise way of looking at it would be to call it a 1/2 chance at getting one base, with zero chance of getting more than one base, vs. a 1/3 chance of getting four bases, with some chance of getting one or two bases in the event that you fail.

Like you say, there is a lot more that goes into it. Bases empty and two outs? Swing for the fences. Leading off an inning with two or three mashers following in the order? Prioritize the out avoidance.
The bolded part of your post is pure speculation, based on the assumption that the only possible result from hitting a pitch to the opposite field is that the batter will reach 1st base and no further. It ignores the fact that some balls hit to the opposite field results in doubles, triples, or even HRs.

What data are you referring to that shows that 1/3 of all balls hit to the pull side in the air result in HRs? That seems like an awfully high ratio.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:27 AM
asindc asindc is offline
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If a guy can inside-out an inside fastball well enough to hit it with authority down the opposite field line for a double, the odds are strong that he won’t be getting shifted against too often.
As well as hit a mistake pitch on the outside to the opposite field with authority, which is not done nearly often enough.
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