Whether You Are A Swinger or a Looker, We've Got a Deal For You

The trade deadline came to town, drank all our beer, left a smell on our couch, and left without saying good bye like some “friend” that all of your loved ones wish you stopped talking to years ago.  This is our team so you can go ahead and love it or leave it, but before showing yourself the door perhaps you wanted to see which of our players were swingers and which were lookers.  This isn’t some Evan Longoria or Julianna Zobrist type of look, instead I wanted to see which players are prone to taking strike three and which guys go out and earn it.  Those that watch a lot probably get frustrated with seeing B. J. Upton’s statuesque performance with two strikes, but is he the worst?  Which guys are more likely to grip it and rip it when they’re down in a hole?  The below chart can help answer some of these tendency questions:

This is every non-pitcher that has hit for the Rays this year ordered from lowest strikeout % to highest.  The blue bar shows us the Kss% or swinging strikeout % so far in 2010.  The green bar shows Kcs or strikeout looking % for 2010.  Team averages came out to 27.6% looking and 72.4% swinging on a team that strikes out in 23% of the plate appearances (3rd highest in Majors).  I don’t think it’s too surprising that Jaso, Zobrist, and Upton are near the tops in terms of striking out looking, but Bartlett has been nearly as likely to swing as look at strike three, third on the team.  Aybar and Rodriguez also took me by surprise, maybe less so in Willy’s case.

The other side of the coin is just how often Crawford swings and misses.  He’s always had a reputation as a bit of a hacker, but 1/8 of the time he’ll strike out looking with all the rest on swings.  That seems a bit imbalanced, but he’s enjoying a career year and I’m just some guy that watches every game and knows how to work a spreadsheet.  Matt Joyce is another guy that is known for his eye, but perhaps with two strikes he changes his approach since he’s going down looking about 23% of the time, one of the lowest on the team, but also one of the smallest samples.  I find it funny that Blalock and Burrell were exactly the same at 33.3% looking up there in the Zobristosphere.  Here’s a table showing all the data:

Strikeouts looking are simply called strikes/grand total while swinging strikes was (foul tip + swinging strike + swinging strike (blocked))/grand total for every count that had two strikes.  These don’t add up perfectly, but this is the best that we can do and I think delivers the point.  Big thanks to the always great JoeLefkowitz.com for the data.

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About Jason Hanselman

Rays fan.
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