Posted by dahsdebater on 5/14/2014 1:08:00 PM (view original):
Posted by tecwrg on 5/14/2014 12:54:00 PM (view original):This is a really outdated line of thinking. The reason why most teams don't adhere to it much of the time is that modern statistical analysis has demonstrated virtually beyond doubt that in most situations it's wrong. Just making contact isn't a particularly valuable thing to do. What do you think a guy's batting average might be on a "just make contact" swing? Let's be extremely generous and call it .200. I doubt it's much over .150, if that, in reality. But let's call it .200. And a guy in protect mode might OBP what if he's hitting .200? .225? .240? We'll give him .240 - again, extremely generous. And his slugging? Also .240 if he's lucky? Not a lot of XBH on protection swings.
Posted by bad_luck on 5/14/2014 12:44:00 PM (view original):With two strikes, in general, you want your batter to change their approach; shortening their swing to try to make contact and put the ball in play. That's smart baseball.
Posted by tecwrg on 5/14/2014 12:35:00 PM (view original):I'm a little confused as to what you think I'm arguing here. I'll try to answer your questions but keep in mind that no one is arguing that a hit is the same as a strikeout.
I wouldn't want my hitters shortening up in that situation and trying for a ground ball out. The benefit is small. I'd much rather risk a strikeout and that small benefit and have them take a real swing and have a chance at an extra base hit.
How many hitters go up to the plate with the intention of "trying for a ground ball out"?
Do you understand the concept of trying to make contact and put a ball in play?
Does every ball put in play result in an out?
1.) I don't know. I hope, for the most part, zero. Let's look at the situation. A player goes up to the plate with a guy on 2nd and one out. He strikes out. What do you think he should have done differently? If you say, "shorten up, make contact, and put the ball in play," my response would be, "doesn't that increase the likelihood that he will make an out because he won't hit the ball as hard?"
2.) I think all players are trying to make contact when they swing. I'm not arguing that they shouldn't. I'm arguing that they shouldn't change their approach in this situation merely for the sake of making contact. Weak contact here doesn't really help the situation.
3.) If a ball in play doesn't result in an out, the saying, "an out is an out," doesn't apply.
There are going to be exceptions to this, based on personnel and game situation. But the rule of thumb is, with two strikes, "just make contact".
Now look at the dude who continues to take borderline pitches and swing hard at a mistake. What's his average? .150? But he's taking some balls. He probably OBPs close to that same .240. And the kind of hitters who slug .500 in general are still going to slug .400+ with 2 strikes. So really, who's more valuable in this situation?
I'll disagree that this is an outdated line of thinking, or that it should be an outdated line of thinking. It may be that this is what it's become because of the lack of discipline that MLB hitters have adopted over the past 20-25 years or so, since the approximate start of the PED / HR era. But that doesn't mean that just because this is what it's become that it has to stay this way,
Plus, you shouldn't just focus on batting average on a "just making contact" swing. A short "contact" swing with two strikes sometimes/oftentimes results in a foul ball, which extends the plate appearance. Which occasionally gives the pitcher the opportunity to make a mistake that the batter can then turn into a line drive in the gap.
How many times have you seen a hitter fall behind in the count, foul off a crapload of pitches to extend the AB, and then turn a 7, 8 or 9 pitch AB into a base hit? That typically doesn't happen with the 150-190 K hitters.